Spreading Clean Beauty

Melanin synthesis, phygital reality and the active to fight dark circles caused by stress

The accelerated lifestyle that digital technologies enable is taking its toll on consumers’ health. Melanin synthesis is a complex process that is tightly linked to diverse bodily functions. Among these, stress and the subsequent sleep deprivation have been proved to have a remarkable impact on melanin synthesis, which in turn can cause health and aesthetic issues, including more intense dark circles around the eyes. 

We examine the possibility of a new product that counteracts eye bags and dark circles caused by stress and melanin synthesis, all within a digital detox context.

Technology and stress: how can beauty and personal care brands react

The current focus on technology is increasingly having an impact on consumers and figures published by Mintel-U.K ​confirm it: 

  • 80% ​of recent social media users believe social media can have a negative impact on mental health 
  • 57% of consumers are seeking ways to reduce stress
  • 32% of consumers are seeking ways to disconnect from their smartphone

These notions, in turn, influence consumer behaviour. On the one hand, more and more people are trying to fix these issues by disconnecting from technology (for instance, options such as unplugged holidays, digital detox breaks​ or digital retreats are increasingly popular).

On the other hand, self-care routines are increasingly popular: in fact, 74% of people claim taking care of their bodies is an important self-care routine.

In this context, beauty and personal care brands must adapt to changing consumer behaviour and perceptions. There are at least two ways to tackle the transformations described above:

  • Embrace the phygital reality trend, which sees marketing campaigns blending both digital and offline experiences in order to generate memorable messages.
  • Develop products that alleviate the impact of digital life and stress associated with it and provide self-care narratives. This can mirror product development for skin care that eases psychological stress in a pandemic context. For instance, there’s a market for products such as blue-light protecting ingredients, products that help reduce stress and facilitate sleeping or even products against “tech-neck”. 

LEGACTIF™: the answer to fight stress-induced melanin synthesis  

Periorbital skin (skin around the eyes) is the most fragile and sensitive in the body, it is not so protected by sebaceous glands. It’s thus the first to show signs of stress and so it comes as no surprise that the digital stress is seeing problems in this area arise. 

The origin of dark circles or hyperpigmentation in the eye contour area can be very varied and includes a range of factors, ranging from hyperpigmentation of the skin, inadequate blood circulation, lack of proper sleep and other factors.

In the digital-stress age, stress-induced melanin synthesis is behind many pigmented dark circles that are due to an accumulation of melanin. 

Navigating this landscape, beauty and personal care brands may find a chance to reach out to consumers by developing products that help them alleviate stress symptoms in skin, such as the appearance of dark circles under the eyes or eye bags. 

LEGACTIF™ provides an answer to this search. With its blood-circulation activation properties, this plant-based active was originally conceived to help relieve leg tiredness and heaviness, providing relaxation and wellness. 

However, recent clinical results have demonstrated its action on the improvement of the dark appearance of the skin around the eye, effectively targeting microcirculation and melanin synthesis and its effects on the gaze. 

This complex is produced from three plant ingredients: goldenrod, lemon and butcher’s broom. These plants’ components provide effective anti-edema effects as well as the stimulation of blood circulation.

Newly tested efficacy of LEGACTIF™ against the dark circles on the under-eye area is available to provide a background for consumers concerned with this issue. 

In order to do this, in vivo efficacy tests on eye contour, specifically to erase dark circles, have been carried out. As one of the causes of dark circles is the pigmentation in the lower eyelid caused by an increase in melanin, the study measured melanin presence through cross polarized light and digital analysis in volunteers. 

The result: a reduction in the melanin amount under the eye both after 14 and 28 days of application. More specifically, there was a 5,4% melanin reduction after 14 days compared to placebo results, while the reduction reached a significant 8,4% variation compared to placebo after 28 days.

This way, LEGACTIF™ effectively counteracts eye bags, dark circles and wrinkles, which are a common side effect from digital stress. Besides this direct effect on blood vessels, the active components on LEGACTIF™ have other complementary properties that target stress, including the reported calming effects (Garg, A., 2001), (Galati, E.M., 1994).

Furthermore, this active also targets consumers’ increasing interest in organic and natural certifications, as well as vegan certifications, as it complies with standards such as Halal certificate, vegan compliance, is Cosmos Approved and 99.6% of natural origin according to the ISO16128 standard.

All in all, LEGACTIF™ stands out as the right ingredient for targeting digital-stress concerned consumers who are ready to take on self-care routines that specifically target their skin needs.

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