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CCUK Project Update - Integrating Skin Health and Mental Well-being in Personal Care


CCUK’s communications manager, Maria Rawson, caught up with CCUK Director and Research & Innovation Pillar Lead, Dr Katerina Steventon, to get the latest news on this important project following the event in April 2023 at York University and the announcement of a second event in 2024.


Maria: "What is the aim of this CCUK project?"

Dr Katerina: “The aim is to advance the intersection of skin health and mental well-being, highlighting the importance of touch benefits, self-esteem, and mental health as expressions of the self. This particular CCUK initiative delves into current trends in personal care that are moving towards addressing mental health and well-being through daily skincare routines. The overarching goal is to achieve a holistic approach to mental health by leverage of advancements in technology and expertise within the cosmetics industry. Insights gained from the Spring event have helped to form future plans, which include a next CCUK Roundtable Event dedicated to ‘Opening up psychodermatology to the cosmetics sector’ to be held in Autumn 2024 in York. This is intended to foster further collaboration and innovation within the Cluster.”

Maria: "Can you elaborate further on the insights gained from the Spring event?"

Dr Katerina: “As part of the event we looked at 'Touch Benefits and Self-Esteem'. The insights here have emphasised the interconnectedness of skin physical and mental health, challenging the separation that has historically existed between the two. The perspective of the CCUK experts is that well-being and physical health cannot be divorced from each other. The research indicates that a lack of well-being can itself become an illness. Touch benefits, such as those experienced through skincare and personal grooming routines, play a pivotal role in promoting self-esteem and positive mental states. The insights from all presentations and discussion afterwards underscore the potential for well-being to be a transformative tool, turning negatives into positives, and posits that feeling good is closely linked with looking good.

We also reviewed trends in personal care and have identified the emergence of a paradigm shift within the cosmetics industry; towards holistic well-being management. This shift is characterised by a focus on integrating self-care, resilience-building, and mental well-being into daily routines. The COVID-19 pandemic has played a significant role in amplifying awareness of the importance of well-being, leading to a surge in consumer demand for products that contribute to both physical and mental health.

CCUK has established a platform of knowledge and expertise in this space, serving as a springboard for knowledge sharing, networking and innovative projects that are of interest to our members. For CCUK, working on a project in 2022 led to a publication with NBIC (https://www.cosmeticsandtoiletries.com/magazine/article/22512495/cosmetics-toiletries-magazine-skin-health-mental-wellness-underpinning-the-science-an-exploration) that illustrated the diverse avenues and technologies through which the cosmetics industry can contribute to holistic well-being. The CCUK Spring event brought us the opportunity to reflect on lead themes from 2022.

We spent some time looking into the future direction at the event and the goal of CCUK in this instance is to outline a roadmap for the future, encompassing individual projects, conferences, writing and collaborative sandpits. For example, I am due to present on the topic of Psychodermatology: Compassion and Care at a US Symposium in November this year.”

Maria: "What are the next steps for the project?"

Dr Katerina: ”We have a vision regarding the future trajectory of CCUK's efforts in promoting well-being through skincare. We acknowledge that the ideas from the Spring meeting require development: its purpose was to initiate discussion and open new avenues of exploration.

In 2024, our focus should shift towards bridging the gap between consumer insights and scientific research. We want to ‘open up psychodermatology to the cosmetics sector and align mental wellbeing with personal 'care' in the cosmetics industry sense’. The next event in November 2024 will aim to bring together diverse disciplines to discuss well-being in the context of personal care, work and society, and subsequently influence policies for better mental and skin health outcomes. Our goal is to establish a multidisciplinary forum that meets on an annual basis under the CCUK umbrella, working with this challenge question”.

Please express your interest in joining us in this initiative!


Key Points

  • CCUK Initiatives: There is a potential for the cosmetics industry to play a pivotal role in advancing mental well-being through holistic approaches, informed by scientific research and consumer insights. The role of CCUK is to hold space for this initiative and support its members in fruitful dialogue, idea generation and networking.

  • Interdisciplinary Collaborations: We will lead to encourage collaborations among psychologists, sociologists, biologists, and chemists to better understand the holistic concept of well-being to inform R&D and brand communication. Establishing a multidisciplinary group to meet at the Roundtable Event is the first step.

  • Influencing Policy: We will link to influential committees and policy platforms e.g. British Beauty Council, psycho-dermatologists, who have the influence to shape policy to advocate for the integration of beauty and well-being to enhance overall health and wellbeing in the society, etc.

  • Advancing Research: We will support ongoing research to establish a link between beauty products and well-being. We will participate in international symposiums and conferences to share expertise and promote a comprehensive approach to well-being.

  • Annual Roundtable Event: CCUK will organise an annual event (for CCUK members and other industry players) to brainstorm and collaborate on innovative projects that open up psychodermatology to the cosmetics sector.


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