Dopamine Beauty

Dopamine Beauty

Fashion is a perfect reflection of the present moment and in this post-pandemic reality that includes new variants of the coronavirus, the war in Ukraine, inflation and recessionary winds, we need to fill ourselves with optimism and nothing better than colours to achieve it. The effects of colours have been studied for decades and their power to influence our mood has been proven.

Pablo Picasso once said that: “Colours, with their characteristics, follow the changes of emotions” and it really is so. In fact, colour psychology studies how colours affect moods, feelings, behaviours, and certain physiological reactions. There is extensive literature on the matter and to mention a few examples, we can say that the colour red is associated with passion, emotion and love, pink is soft and reserved, blue communicates hope, reason and peace, green is related to nature, growth and freshness, yellow communicates hope, joy and danger and orange relates to warmth, kindness and joy.

An interesting article published in Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts in 2022, indicates that the perception and judgment of beauty are related to the perception and influence of colours, after analyzing different black and white photographs and also their original colour versions. The study involved 245 volunteers and 233 photographs were evaluated. In literature we also find many articles on the application of colour psychology in fashion design.

One of the many reasons why colours affect emotions is related to the action of dopamine, known as one of the happiness molecules. This neurotransmitter plays an important role in the development of pleasant sensations and relaxation. Dopamine participates in our motor functions, emotions, sensation of pleasure, motivation, ability to learn and in our mood.

Science has determined that dopamine is naturally increased when we exercise, meditate, do yoga, and eat right. The interesting thing is that we can also find scientific literature on the effect of colours on dopamine. In a February 2022 publication in the Journal of People Plants Environment of Korea, it is indicated that: “Creative expression through colours helps activate the frontal lobes of the brain, releases dopamine and activates the right brain, thus relaxing repressed emotions and allowing emotional stability.” Next we are going to review some of the most interesting trends.

Dopamine dressing: In fashion we are witnessing this trend, in which bright colours opt for more casual, extroverted and fun looks. Marie Claire magazine indicates that it is the natural result of dressing with what you like, that makes you feel good, whether they are solid colours or patterned fabrics. On the other hand, the portal indicates that dopamine fashion has become one of the great phenomena since 2021 as a response to the neutral and simple fashion that was the norm during confinements. Now the turn is for optimism through colours and patterns. The goal of this new trend is to make us feel better. Rainbow is the new black.

Magentaverso: In cosmetics, this trend is also beginning to be the protagonist. The Pantone Institute has presented the colour for the year 2023 and it is Viva Magenta (18-1750), which, it says, vibrates with energy and vigour. Next year we will enter the era of the Magentaverse, in which this colour will be the cosmetic protagonist since it descends from the red colour family, expresses a new sign of strength, is brave, intrepid and promotes a joyful and optimistic celebration. Magenta is obtained from a mixture of two primary colours and because of this, it can also enhance the production of dopamine.

Colours & Mood: The magazine indicates that this trend is related to colours that make you feel good and is all the rage in fashion and packaging with conceptual proposals around the vivacity of colours. On the other hand, the portal indicates that it is the new trend that raises the mood and from which you will not want to leave. This is a trend that improves your mood and was born precisely in a post-pandemic world as a need to flee from neutral colours. After confinement, neon, powerful and vitaminized colours began to invade the fashion and cosmetics industry, which is dressed in more lively palettes.

Dopamine glam: In a June publication, the portal indicates that the dopamine trend is beginning to be more present in new make-up launches and the goal is to inject joy and colour into our routines. The publication indicates that Beyoncé’s make-up artist created the term Dopamine glam to refer to the new finishes that go against what we are experiencing in the pandemic.

Dopamine-gram: Dopamine beauty is already flooding Instagram with finishes and examples that are addictive. The portals indicate that colours such as lemon yellow, pink, blue and orange increase dopamine levels and improve mood, for this reason, there is colour therapy and the new proposals and concepts that we see on Instagram are amazing.

We also see very original proposals in new nail proposals and styles. In hair we are also beginning to see how this trend generates new concepts. For this reason, we are seeing a boom in make-up, nail and hair products with fun colours that are inspiring a whole new sensory world and applications. Brands are transferring this entire universe of colours to social networks and platforms, communicating vitality and energy.

Rainbow packaging: A trend that some brands internalize from the aesthetic design of their packaging, to generate a positive emotion at first sight that drives the consumer to purchase.

Rainbow claims: Another important point is how this trend migrates to cosmetic claims. Now we live a relevance in claims such as glow, comfort, healthy skin… always speaking positively because it is what this neurotransmitter awakens, energizing emotions!

Dopamine beauty is the trend that instantly lifts your mood. The new formulas, colours and packaging are loaded with fun. The objective is that we achieve more positive and happy attitudes with specific colour strategies. Smiles and happiness are the new innovation target and represent a great opportunity for the industry. We are about to face a period of recession, crisis and war, which is why the new cosmetics allow us to create a universe where emotions stand out.

Enjoyed this article? Get more by subscribing to our newsletter!

Feeling inspired to see ingredients and trends in action?

Then why not visit one of the in-cosmetics events around the world?


Tagged , , , .

John Jiménez is a pharmacist from National University of Colombia with a master's in sustainable development and specialization studies in marketing, cosmetic science and neuromarketing. He has 30 publications in scientific journals and a book chapter in cosmetic formulation. He has been the recipient of the Maison G. de Navarre Prize (IFSCC USA 2004), Henry Maso Award (IFSCC USA 2016) and best scientific papers at Colamiqc Ecuador 2009, Colamiqc Brazil 2013 and Farmacosmética Colombia 2014. He also has been a speaker at various international conferences in Europe and Latin America. Since 2019, he has written a trends column for In-Cosmetics connect, Since 2013 a trends column for Cosmetics & Toiletries Brazil and since 2020, a column on neuromarketing for Eurocosmetics. He also has authored and co-authored articles and served on the Scientific Advisory Board for Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine. Jiménez additionally served as president of Accytec Bogotá (2017-2019). He joined Belcorp in 2005 and currently is Senior Researcher for skin care, suncare and personal care categories. Before joining Belcorp, he worked in Laboratorios Esko, Whitehall AH Robins and Fresenius Medical Care in Colombia.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *