Tatcha study outlines how ‘mindful’ skin care rituals can improve mental wellbeing

By Amanda Pauley | Published: 25-Oct-2022

The Japanese-inspired skin care brand’s ‘skin-mind connection’ report highlights the link between skin health and mental health

Tatcha has released a study which explores the link between skin health and mental wellbeing.

The luxury Japanese-inspired skin care brand has examined the ‘skin-mind connection’ in its 2022 Tatcha Study on Skincare & Self-Care report.

The study aims to demonstrate how skin care, when used within an ‘intentional ritual', can help reduce stress, improving skin health and wellbeing.

The Unilever-owned company surveyed 1,065 customers to understand their stress levels, self-care practices and the role skin care plays in their lives.

Just under three quarters (74%) said they sensed that their mental state and skin are connected. 

More than two thirds (69%) have also felt burnt out in the past 12 months, or been in a state of physical and emotional exhaustion due to stress.

70% noticed changes in their skin for the worse during this time, ranging from increased signs of ageing to a rise in skin irritation. 

One in two also felt “overwhelmed by life’s demands” and that they are “falling short”.

The brand said: “Under chronic stress… people can become stuck in a disruptive feedback loop wherein the brain fails to recognise there is sufficient cortisol in the system.

“The HPA-axis churns out more and more, contributing to the chronic nature of inflammatory diseases like eczema and psoriasis.”

74% of consumers said they sensed that their mental state and skin are connected

74% of consumers said they sensed that their mental state and skin are connected

Is skin care falling short of being self-care?

Although 84% wished they had more time for self-connection, 47% regarded their skin care routine as “just another task” in their day.

One in four also cited physical appearance as a main source of stress. 

“Through our research, we have concluded that societal pressures are affecting wellbeing in two ways,” the brand said. 

“First, there is emotional stress that comes with ‘problem skin’, and second, the drastic measures one may be driven to as a result, which often perpetuate the cycle.

“This signals an opportunity to elevate skin care from mundane routine to mindful ritual that helps improve wellbeing through a framework of connection, intention and attention.”

Three in four respondents reported that they are mentally absent for half the day or more.

Plus, more than half can only find 30 minutes or less per week for mindful activities.

However, three in four do have a skin care routine that they do for a minimum of 15 minutes at least once per day.

This is “a wellbeing opportunity hiding in plain sight”, the report states.

“With the understanding that the brain and skin are connected in a bi-directional pathway,” the brand said, combining “mindful rituals and multifunctional formulas that care for skin” is key.  

“Skin care is necessary to keep your complexion looking healthy, but it doesn’t have to be a daily chore,” the brand added.  

“When we use that time to quiet our minds and reconnect with ourselves, we reclaim it from being a task to a moment for rest so we can recharge our batteries.” 

The study suggests holistic solutions that consider both skin and mind, such as meditation, breathwork and mindfulness practices.

The brand is launching a new Forest Awakening Body collection, said to "lift mood, ease stress and calm the mind", into the UK in June 2023. 

About the study

Rose Sparacio, Vice President of R&D at Tatcha, commented: “For so long, the industry has only been concerned about what is on the surface, but we know that you have to consider the whole person to get to the root of these skin concerns.

“That is why we have built this research on the skin-mind connection into our entire product development process, from concept to formulation to testing.” 

The study was conducted with consumers in July and August 2022.

Tatcha partnered with experts across a range of fields, including psychology and spirituality, on the report. 

These included Dacher Keltner PhD, UC Berkeley Professor and Founder of the Greater Good Science Center, and Dr Qing Li, Forest Science Expert and Immunologist at Nippon Medical School. 

Read more: Tatcha founder Vicky Tsai on why she first stepped down as CEO.

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