Cosmetic sociology

Published on Editorials  

The role sociology plays in cosmetics is not solely linked to problems regarding marketing, design and social impact. The aim of sociology is to study man and his relations with society (i.e. with others besides himself). Cosmetics or the culture of beauty plays a strong role in this field, even when it deals with human interaction in the sensorial area. A great deal of importance is placed on non-verbal communication in human relationships. Sight and sound are of main importance as receptors of non verbal communication signals, as well as of countless mimic, gestual and postural indications and signs. The importance of personal odour in non verbal communication is a more recent but fully ascertained conquest (Vevy Europe dealt with this subject since 1978). The olfactory component is essential both for guiding social relations and for helping us relate to our own body. From a biological viewpoint, pheromones (belonging to the group we have identified as copulines) are the chemicals secreted by the human body which can cause hormone based behavioural modifications in a person of the opposite sex. Copulinic pheromones should be considered as the true regulators of the external environment. Thus, cosmetics plays a social role, for instance in the development of a deodorant which does not cover natural odours by its scent, but rather induces osmoregulation through Osmopherone and Osmopherine. We will come back to this matter during our next XIII Vevy Europe Seminar which will be held in Genoa on November 17, 1999.

Valeria Rialdi