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Cosmetics and Quality of Life

January 24, 2013

For decades, industry folks have insisted that cosmetics improve one’s life. And while that has been hard to prove, a new study published in the Archives of Dermatology (JAMA Network USA) explores how cosmetic products and good physical appearance significantly improve quality of life (QOL). To investigate this topic, the authors of a L’Oréal-funded study developed a new international measuring instrument called “BeautyQol.”

A global total of 3,231 subjects, completed the BeautyQol questionnaire, which included a clinical checklist for the skin, a generic quality of life and health survey, and a list of sociodemographic questions. A retest was performed 8 days later on a smaller subgroup of 652 subjects. BeautyQol provides one overall QOL score, as well as five sub-scores according to five key dimensions of QOL: social life, self confidence, mood, energy and attractiveness.

“The positive impact of cosmetics on self-esteem and well-being has been well-known since the Antique period,but this is the first time we are able to scientifically measure this impact on the key dimensions of Quality of Life. This new instrument will allow numerous comparative research according to populations,products and situations,” explained Dr. Ariel Beresniak, MD, MPH, PhD, CEO of DataMining International, an independent international research agency based in Geneva. Data Mining International specializes in outcome research, advanced simulation modeling for decision-making, risk assessment, health technology assessment and business model innovation.

Pilot application studies have been carried out to assess the QOL impact of pigmentary disorders, camouflage products, oily skin, hair color and makeup, according to Data Mining International.

Study co-author Yolaine de Linares, director of the department of social and innovation prospective research at L’Oréal and moderator of the BeautyQol international scientific committee, added, “This research will allow a growing body of evidence about the value of cosmetic products. This is the reason why the BeautyQol instrument is going to become a gold standard in perceived effectiveness assessment.”

By measuring how much cosmetic products improve QOL, BeautyQol evaluates how much they also improve general health, according to the World Health Organization definition of health: “Health is a state of complete physical,mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
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