an article by Milena Amos

Have you ever wondered about the fascinating link between stress and the health of your skin? Our skin is more than just an outer layer. It is a dynamic organ reflecting our emotions, overall health, and age. In our busy lives, stress can significantly impact our skin, leading to various issues. Recent scientific advancements in the cosmetic industry introduce the concept of neurocosmetics, shedding light on how our minds and complexion can team up to combat the effects of everyday stress. In this article, we will explore the principles of neurocosmetics and how they provide innovative solutions for skin health in our fast-paced lives.

Understanding the Skin-Nervous System Connection

Picture your skin and brain as partners in a musical symphony. The brain sends messages, and your skin plays them like musical notes. Stress, however, is like a jarring note, disrupting the harmony. Now, imagine neurocosmetics as the conductor. These cosmetic products step in to bring back the smooth flow, like turning stress into a calm melody. Applying neurocosmetics is like giving your skin and mind a musical makeover, creating a soothing tune for your well-being.

You can say your skin is a communication bridge between your brain and the world outside.

Neurotransmitters, crucial messengers for skin and neuron communication, play a key role in this connection. Some promote activity and others help calm or slow down the processes in our body.

In simpler terms, these messengers play a vital role in transmitting signals between our skin and the brain, influencing how our skin responds to different stimuli.

Neuropeptides on the other hand are larger molecules than neurotransmitters. They also play a crucial role in connecting the skin and the brain. Neuropeptides have prolonged effects on nerves and help with managing skin inflammation. This connection creates a link between the skin, immune system, and nervous system. This link is actively involved in stress-related inflammation, observed in skin conditions like psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. Messing up the regulation of neuropeptides can make symptoms worse, highlighting the complicated connection between stress, anxiety, and skin health.

Unveiling the World of Neurocosmetics

Neurocosmetics, a recent development in cosmetology, emerged with research revealing that our skin has receptors for neurotransmitters. This breakthrough discovery indicates that the skin can be influenced by substances previously thought to only affect the nervous system.

Scientists say Neurocosmetics are products you apply on your skin that don’t just stay on the surface but also have an impact on your nervous system. These products can adjust important messengers in your body, affecting things like skin aging and healing, and lessening the impact of inflammation or stress on your skin.

You might be curious about how these products do their magic. Well, Neurocosmetics are created using two main approaches:

either they contain ingredients that directly affect the nerve endings, or

ingredients that change how other cells (not the nervous ones) behave by either helping them or blocking certain messengers in these cells.

For example, skin neurons can produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter, when certain neurocosmetic products are applied. This can result in specific benefits like better skin circulation and complexion in that area.

Navigating the Impact of Stress Hormones on Skin

In our hectic modern lives, characterized by constant activity and insufficient sleep, the recurrent release of stress hormones disrupts physiological balance, and that has an impact on the skin. Cortisol, a key stress hormone, takes center stage in these processes. Elevated cortisol levels contribute to undesirable outcomes in our skin, leading to collagen atrophy, reduced cell growth, ski

Adverse Impacts of Cortisol on Skin:

  • It damages collagen and elastin, and with that accelerates skin aging and reduces elasticity over time.
  • Its potent catabolic influence results in the breakdown of dermal proteins.
  • Reduces production of hyaluronic acid, and with that increases transepidermal water loss (TEWL) contributing to skin dryness.
  • Elevated cortisol levels can contribute to fine lines, wrinkles, skin thinning, decreased elasticity, and compromised skin barrier function.
Neurocosmetics – Stress impact on the skin (Source: Harvard Health Blog)

One major way the stress hormone cortisol affects your skin is by converting inactive cortisone into active cortisol. This process is influenced by a specific enzyme that becomes more active with aging and sun exposure. Skincare experts have studied how cortisol, these enzymes, and skin balance are connected. They discovered neurocosmetic ingredients, including a special inhibitor for these enzymes, acting like a superhero for your skin by reducing cortisol levels. Using this ingredient in skincare can restore balance to cortisol levels, enhancing your skin barrier, elasticity, and density. It has been shown that people using this neurocosmetic product saw a significant increase in skin density after 4 and 12 weeks, linked to more proteins, especially collagen, in the deeper skin layer (dermis).

An alternative medical approach has resulted in a different neurocosmetic product called Neurophroline, derived from the Wild Indigo plant native to India. Neurophroline significantly reduces cortisol production in skin cells and triggers the release of a natural calming neuropeptide, contributing to improved skin texture and visibly enhanced skin tone.


In conclusion, neurocosmetics represent a dynamic and innovative arena within the cosmetic industry. By including active ingredients resembling neuromodulators, these formulations can effectively adjust physiological mechanisms, offering positive effects on aging and skin damage caused by everyday stressors. This approach promises not only improvements in physical appearance but also a holistic approach that combines scientific advancements with sensory pleasure for a more effective and enjoyable skincare routine. As the beauty industry evolves, it promotes an exciting era for beauty enthusiasts everywhere.