Sunday, November 14, 2010

Aesthetics of cosmetic products

The first impression we get of a cosmetic product is with our eyes (especially on-line!). As Mr. Burns says, "You see with your eyes, not with your hands," so a pretty product is one to which we're attracted. I know consumers say they want green, organic, preservative free, and fragrance free products, but the main reasons we buy cosmetic products are threefold - packaging, scent, and what the product says about us.

Which would you rather have? The one on the left or the one on the right? As you've no doubt guessed, the one on the left is the unpackaged finished product, but they are the same thing. It's all about presentation and perception.

Think about the language we use to describe our products. "Whipped cupcake scented shea butter" versus "Shea butter with cupcake fragrance". The word "whipped" always sounds so lovely. (I think it's the same with words like "wild" or "roasted" in food - don't those make you think of something hearty and yummy?)

Compare the two hand soaps I made a little while ago. One of them just screams, "I am moisturizing and emollient and lovely for your hands," and the other one says, "I am a hand cleanser." Using a pearlizer conveys a real sense of being more moisturizing. Think about any dry hair shampoo or moisturizing body wash you've used - odds are pretty good it contained a pearlizer. Just 2% glycol distearate in a product can increase the moisturizing and increase our perception that it moisturizes!

We don't really need thickeners in our surfactant based products - they're there to make the product flow better and make it stay on our hands or poofy scrubby things when we're bathing - but they add to the aesthetics of the product. A thin product would make us think it's not working well, whereas a thick, viscous product makes us think of

I asked my husband this question and he said that a thin product would make him think it had fallen apart whereas a thick product would make him think it was more moisturizing. If he couldn't get it out of the container because it was so viscous, he wouldn't think "well, that's not going to work because I can't get it out of the container", he'd think "that must be the most moisturizing product ever! I must use it now!"

Just a few thoughts for a day when my brain isn't working well thanks to the wonders of decongestants and painkillers! (Avoid this flu! It is pure evil!)

1 comment:

Kuldip said...

The purpose of thickners is also to stablize a product, fragrances , preservatives , herbal extracts ( fairy dust) all of these can cause a wonderful product to lose viscosity, hence thickeners act as key to hold everything in place and secondly it is also used as viscosity builders.
Would i like a watery shampoo or product no , my first preception would be is there even anything in here or just water :)