The role of La Cosmétothèque does not consist in making forecasts. But we can put forward the emergence of new facts or trends that might make history and to which we might make reference later, depending on the evolution of the issues at stake. Now, let’s talk about one of today’s main themes, meta, in particular metavers, through techniques that could be of importance to us: haptics. “Meta-sensoriality”: this word association may well represent a future cosmetic trend.
What is this all about?
Meta is a prefix which comes from the Greek word μετά (meta) (after, beyond, with). It expresses everything and anything: reflection, change, succession, the notion of going beyond something, next to, between, or with something. And it is now making the headlines with the emergence of what is called metaverse, a contraction between “meta” and “universe”. A metaverse is a virtual world. Some people think it is an inevitable evolution of the digital world in general and of the Internet in particular. Facebook was renamed “meta” accordingly.
How not to imagine that the formulators will rush on this idea! The formulation is often a virtual universe!
As for sensoriality, it is also making the front pages, mainly because it is a universal dimension and it is easy to use this claim, but also because the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physiology was awarded to a group of researchers who worked on this process.
How not to be tempted to make a parallel? In this rather complex galaxy, other new facts contribute to inventing strategies for which only the future will tell whether they were relevant or not, in particular haptics techniques. This term from the Greek word ἅπτομαι (haptomai), which means « I touch », refers to the subject area which explores and uses the sense of touch and kinaesthetic phenomena, i.e. the perception of the body in the environment. These techniques are not new, but they do not get much publicity. And yet, there are regular advances, as can be seen with haptic gloves. Haptic gloves create the sensation of touching shapes and textures in virtual reality applications. They can help determine parameters like rigidity, resistance, and force of impact.
A development was presented in the same vein at the last Cosmetic 360 show: the Touchy Finger, a ring fitted with sensors which helps digitalize the sensorial aspect of a material, makes it easier to choose packaging or the sensorial efficacy and modes of application of a product.
A recent episode in the series “La méthode scientifique” (on French radio France Culture) dealt with these subject matters. For example, they addressed questions like “How to give the illusion of a sensation of touch in virtual reality?
The latest announcement regarding this type of technology concerned the haptic glove developed by the Meta group, formerly known as Facebook, which should make it possible to touch, weigh, well, actually feel the objects present in virtual spaces like the metaverse – virtual touch within easy finger reach!!!! Lastly, the interesting book published by the Cosmetic Valley under the supervision of Michel Grisel was also an attempt to make an update on the notion of sensorial ingredients. This researcher was recently rewarded for developing a synthetic skin model with properties very close to human skin.
So, of course, a few insane people like me imagine all this could definitely be combined. But there are still a few pitfalls: for example, skin sensoriality should not be mistaken for the notion of sensitive skin. The notion of sensitive skin refers to a particular skin condition which led to a cosmetic complaint: “sensitive skin”. If its origin was long ignored, it was eventually described in the 1990s. Now, it is widely recognized that it is a multifactorial, complex, mainly neurogenic phenomenon.
Be it as it may, this notion is often mixed up with that of sensoriality. But skin sensoriality refers to all tactile perception processes. It is covered by many publications, and in the cosmetics world, it was mainly dealt with from the angle of sensorial analysis. This technique is designed to investigate various dimensions related to senses. We have already evoked that several times.
These techniques were much developed in the cosmetics world in the 1990s. After this buzz, people started partially losing interest in them, as sensorial analysis units went scarce. According to certain experts, recent advances in haptics should help renew interest in this field. The Touchy Finger rewarded by the Cosmetic Valley is a good example. At a recent meeting held by the French Society of Cosmetology (SFC, Société Française de Cosmétologie), these themes were discussed with experts. But many people are still mistaken.
La Cosmétothèque could not but put forward this subject, as it could make tomorrow’s headlines. This way, it will be easier to date things and measure the progress made. As it is widely covered right now, it seemed interesting to me to engage all the people concerned and make a new update on these different notions, since they open up new particularly interesting possibilities.
Forgive this excess of creativity, but it’s much more tempting than hunting for naturalness!!!
Thanks for taking the time to read all of this.