TiMOOD™ is a neurocosmetic active addressing the trend of emotional wellbeing in beauty. Based on timut pepper, it provides an even skin complexion and improves the mood.
Emotional beauty to improve wellbeing
In a global society characterized by more and more people feeling stressed, the concept of emotional wellbeing, which is the ability to adapt to stressful situations and produce positive emotions, has become increasingly important. Whereas self-care in beauty, such as beauty rituals, can help to boost mental health, a more relaxed state of mind, in turn, can improve skin appearance, as stress is a well-known inducer of skin problems. Skin that feels good can boost one’s mood; not only consciously due to a visible improvement of the facial appearance but also unconsciously via the skin-brain connection.
Skin-brain connection by the nervous system
Our skin contains a dense network of sensory neurons, which are peripheral nerve cells that link the skin and the brain. This supply of the skin with nerves functions as a sensor to warn the body of danger, such as heat coming from the environment. Cutaneous nerves, however, also respond to endogenous stimuli and emotions. Sensory neurons can impact physiological functions, such as inflammation and cell growth, and thus skin health through secreted factors, which are called neuropeptides. Aged skin shows a natural decline of the dense network of neurons, which may be linked to impaired skin functions and skin-brain communication.
Timut pepper to improve skin and mood
Based on dried fruits of the timut pepper plant (Zanthoxylum alatum), TiMOOD™ is a novel active that protects neurons from aging and thereby supports an even skin complexion but also improves wellbeing. As member of the citrus family, timut pepper is not a real pepper, but a spice plant that grows in the Himalayas. Due to their biological activities, the bark, seeds, and fruits of this plant have a long history in traditional medicine, amongst others to treat depression as well as skin irritation and wounds. In our research, we have already studied a timut pepper extract for application in food supplements and observed improved cognitive functions, which may indicate increased neural efficiency in the brain.
Timut pepper protects neurons in the skin
The effect of TiMOOD™ on neurons in the skin was tested in a coculture model of human sensory neurons and keratinocytes, treated with timut pepper extract. The treatment led to a higher number of neurons and increased neurite length compared to the untreated control, indicating a protective effect against neuronal aging. In addition, the proliferation rate of keratinocytes and the release of dopamine were increased. A higher number of keratinocytes could enhance the growth of neurites by growth factor release. Dopamine, known as a neurotransmitter in the brain, can be also released by keratinocytes, and is involved in skin microcirculation and barrier function. Thus, by stimulating keratinocyte growth and protecting neurons, timut pepper extract supports skin-brain communication and a functional and healthy-looking skin.
Homogenous skin complexion by TiMOODTM
To assess the effect of TiMOOD™ on the skin, a clinical study was performed on a panel of volunteers feeling stressed. The volunteers used either a face cream containing 2 % TiMOOD™ or a placebo cream for 28 days. The treatment with TiMOOD™ resulted in a significant improvement of skin tone evenness. The positive effect on skin complexion was confirmed by an expert grading which showed increased evenness of the complexion and skin luminosity, a reduced skin redness, and a fresher and healthier complexion after the 28-day treatment with TiMOOD™. These results were confirmed by the volunteers in a self-assessment questionnaire.
Improved emotional wellbeing by TiMOOD™
In the same study, a neuropsychological approach was used to test emotional wellbeing. The EmoCompass® is a market research tool that is usually used for fast-moving consumer goods. The application in the field of neurocosmetics is a novelty. For the test, the volunteers answered the question “How do you feel?” non-verbally by generating emotional patterns consisting of coded shapes and colors on a computer screen. The results of the test showed an improvement in emotional wellbeing in terms of a less stressed and more relaxed state of the volunteers who used the cream with 2 % TiMOOD™ for 28 days.
To summarize, TiMOOD™ is a neurocosmetic active based on timut pepper to improve skin complexion and emotional wellbeing targeting the skin-brain axis. The “look good – feel good” concept was proven by a combination of studies and provides the customer an ideal active ingredient for mood boosting and relaxing cosmetics that covers the trend topics emotional wellbeing and neurocosmetics.