Beauty and mental health are closely linked, a new report finds.
The report, penned by Unilever-owned skin care brand Tatcha, makes the case for thinking of mental health and skin health in the same vein.
Tatcha assessed the state of its core consumer by surveying 841 women, 69 percent of whom said they had felt burnt out in the past year. Half said they felt “overwhelmed” by daily obligations, while 314 also described themselves as “mentally absent” for at least half of each day, per the report.
Furthermore, the report indicates that bad skin can exacerbate depression symptoms. According to a 2020 study from China referenced in the report, acne, eczema and psoriasis showed a correlation with social isolation and loneliness. Seventy-four percent of the report’s respondents also said they noticed a correlation between skin health and emotion.
Vicky Tsai, the brand’s founder, said Tatcha was born out of her own quest for burnout relief and was built with the goal of making beauty routines a mindfulness practice — a mandate that took on greater importance in the wake of the pandemic.
“In 2020, when the pandemic hit, it was so traumatizing,” Tsai continued. “I couldn’t imagine how the impact of stress on people globally would affect their minds and bodies…my hope was that we could provide some of these rituals and wellbeing practices from Japan to clients.”
Tsai’s approach is to think of emotional fitness as part of a beauty routine. The report outlines a dichotomy between 82 percent of respondents, who think more time of self-connection would at least considerably shift their wellbeing, and the 47 percent of women treating skin care as a chore. Playing into the idea of ritualization and self-connection has been key to the brand’s launch strategy, notably starting last year.
“We created the Indigo Overnight Recovery Cream to really address the signs of stress on the skin, and re-strengthen the skin,” Tsai said. “But we also paired it with calming practices that originate in Japan, and are rooted in science as well. It was launched with a five-senses ritual that we tested through neuroscience, and we found that in one sitting, people would see a remarkable drop in stress levels. It included facial massage with the cream, but we also touched the other four senses. Since then, every collection that we’ve launched, we’ve focused on both physical and emotional benefits.”
Tatcha’s most recent launch, its Forest Awakening body collection, includes ingredients from Japanese trees clinically proven to boost a host of bodily functions. After one use, the collection also lifted mood for 40 consumers surveyed.
“In terms of talking about products, and how we develop them and the intention behind them — armed with this study, this just reaffirms our commitment,” said Mary Yee, the brand’s chief executive officer. “That connection of skin and mind is going to be at the heart of our product decisions of what we’re building, and in addition to that, it’s the message we want to put out there in the world.”