The face is a window to the soul. As social animals, humans are very adept at reading moods and even signs of illness or well-being just by the look on someone's face. Eyes play a big part, but so does the skin. Flushed or pale, vibrant or dull – how we feel is almost instantly expressed in our complexion. The existence of such a brain-to-skin axis is backed up by science and even helps explain why some skin conditions can have mental origins. As studies show, however, this also works in reverse: healthy skin can positively affect our mood. This led Clariant to develop its holistic concept dubbed »The Joyologist.«. It involves skin care formulations and entire beauty routines that soothe the skin and the mind.

»Self-care is hugely important, especially in a world full of troubling news that affect our mental well-being,« says Amandine Werle, a marketing specialist for Clariant Actives & Natural Origins and one of the minds behind The Joyologist. »Consumers look for ways to take better care of themselves, and beauty rituals are big part of that. Treating your skin with products that provide sensations of comfort can help improve the mood by stimulating the release of feel-good molecules such as serotonin and melatonin. This, in turn, positively impacts the skin and starts a virtuous cycle. 

 Roots and sunshine 

Rootness® Mood+ is one recent innovation by Clariant that takes full advantage of this effect. It is based on a natural active ingredient obtained from the roots of Sanguisorba officinalis using patented Plant Milking technology. The plant, more commonly known as the great burnet, is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for its hemostatic, astringent properties and to help promote healing. (»Sanguisorba« literally means »blood stauncher« in Latin.) However, Rootness Mood+ makes use of a different effect: as studies trials have shown, root extracts from Sanguisorba officinalis help trigger the skin's photoreceptors and promote the uptake of vitamin D. 

Vitamin D plays a key role in the production of certain hormones. Around 90% of the human daily requirement in vitamin D is produced in the skin and triggered by exposure to sunlight. That is why natural light provides essential health benefits, from warding off seasonal affective disorder (SAD) to improving sleep. However, with modern lifestyles tending towards ever more time spent indoors, it is estimated that around 75% of the world's population is already deficient in vitamin D. 

Proof in the lab 

The idea behind Rootness Mood+ is to use root extracts from Sanguisorba officinalis to enhance the beneficial effects of sunlight on human skin. To test this idea, Clariant's research team, based in Toulouse, France, first treated skin explants in the lab with Rootness Mood+ under artificial sunlight. They found that specific photoreceptors and transporters for vitamin D within the cells were activated, and that it also led to an increase in serotonin and melatonin by 55% and 120%, respectively. 

A subsequent clinical study enrolled 36 female participants between ages 30 and 50, all reporting low mood and presenting a dull facial complexion. »The trial was conducted as a double-blind study by a contract research lab as an independent third party using two randomized groups,« explains Adam Buso, formulation specialist for Clariant Actives and Natural Origins. Twice daily, one group of participants applied a product containing 1% Rootness Mood+ to their entire face, while the other group used a placebo. Over the course of about a month, the researchers documented skin and mood effects using questionnaires, visual assessments, lab tests, and even an electroencephalography (EEG) device that measures certain brainwaves related to relaxation. 

A boost on the go 

The effects were astounding: relaxation levels, as recorded by the EEG device, increased by 279% for the study group, while there was no change observed among the control group. »This mood-boosting effect is equal to that of a yoga session,« Buso explains. 73% of volunteers reported feeling refueled after using the product containing Rootness Mood+ compared with 50% using the placebo. There were visible improvements to the skin complexion and a significant decrease in carbonylated proteins, a group of stress-related compounds found in the outermost layer of the skin that are known to cause a dull complexion. 

Based on these findings, Clariant has developed the »Feel-Good Magic Stick.« This aqueous gel stick makes it particularly easy to apply Rootness Mood+ whenever you feel the need for a boost in well-being. The stick contains additional actives such as B-Circadin, which helps re-synchronize the skin cell's biological clock, and HerbEx Curcuma Extract, which increases the skin's stress resilience. 

Going deeper 

»While our stick is something you can use any time and on the go, we also have solutions that target the need to relax more deeply, for example, after a long and busy day,« says Bruna Aline Da Silva Merigiolli, formulation specialist for Clariant Actives and Natural Origins. She was involved in developing what Clariant calls the »Forget-It-All Relaxing Mask.« The main active ingredient here is Clariant's Beracare CBA a unique blend of copaiba oil and passion fruit seed oil. 

Copaiba oil is extracted from the resin of the copaiba tree native to Brazil. »It is particularly rich in β-caryophyllene, a phytocannabinoid known to interact with the skin's endocannabinoid system,« Merigiolli explains. This allows it to modulate cellular signals to reduce irritation and calm the skin. According to recent trials, it does so even more effectively than cannabidiol or CBD-based products, which have recently grown in popularity but are derived from actual cannabis plants and are increasingly scrutinized by regulators. Plus, the actives found in Beraca CBA also help to rebalance the sensitive skin microbiome by down-regulating certain bacteria linked to inflammation. »The Joyologist,« with its holistic approach to skincare and mood-boosting science, proves that beauty really is more than skin deep. 

Sanguisorba officinalis - sustainably sourced from the root 

In the wild, Sanguisorba officinalis is found on grasslands, its distinctive deep red flowers blooming throughout June and July. However, the sought-after tormentic acid derivatives are only present in the roots. That is why Clariant’s partner Plant Advanced Technology cultivates the plant under aeroponic conditions, which leave the roots exposed. Using the patented Plant Milking technology, we can stimulate the roots and produce concentrated extracts much more sustainably. Plant Milking requires less land and reduces water consumption by about 90% compared to traditional cultures. The greenhouses, located in France, constitute a controlled environment and eliminate the need for pesticides Plus, Plant Milking allows for three harvests per year without destroying the plant to get access to the roots. 

Zrzut ekranu 2023 06 14 o 12.29.52


Clariant Actives & Natural Origins created two formulations under the concept »The Joyologist«: The »Forget-It-All Relaxing Mask« and the »Feel-Good Magic Stick«. (Photo: Clariant)

Clariant is a focused and innovative specialty chemical company based in Muttenz, near Basel/Switzerland. On 31 December 2022, Clariant totaled a staff number of 11 148 and recorded sales of CHF 5.198 billion in the fiscal year for its continuing businesses. As of January 2023, the Group conducts its business through the three newly formed Business Units Care Chemicals, Catalysts, and Adsorbents & Additives and will report accordingly. Clariant’s corporate strategy is led by the overarching purpose of ‘Greater chemistry – between people and planet,’ and reflects the importance of connecting customer focus, innovation, sustainability, and people. 

Clariant Actives & Natural Origins 

Clariant Actives and Natural Origins is on a mission to make a change from the beginning, with the plant all the way to the ingredient that we provide, ultimately impacting the whole Personal Care value chain positively. Under the motto “The Science of Sustainable Beauty”, the new portfolio offers responsibly collected and extracted naturally derived ingredients with traceability, proven efficacy, and science-backed claims for skin, hair, and body care to support the creation of more sustainable and efficient products addressing consumer care needs. Discover natural plant extracts, actives, oils & butters, clays & exfoliants and more at

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