Why Do Faces Feel “Tight” After Being Washed?

Young Woman Washing Face

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Scientists from Stanford University checked out the systems behind feelings like “tightness” from cleansers and “softness” from moisturizers. Their findings, which associate neural activity with user feedback from countless females, provide a clear structure to comprehend the biomechanical neural procedures behind the experiences of skin treatments.

New research study deciphers the science behind skin feelings from cleansers and moisturizers. By studying skin layers, neural paths, and user feedback, researchers offer a detailed understanding of the biomechanical procedures that result in these subjective experiences.

Many have actually experienced the feeling of “tightness” from particular cleansers and “softness” from moisturizers. Reinhold H. Dauskardt, the Ruth G. and William K. Bowes Professor in Stanford’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and his group looked for to discover the science behind these feelings. They utilized in-vitro biomechanical screening, computational neural stimulation modeling, and collected self-assessments from countless individuals to discover the complexities.

Understanding the Neural Pathways

When a topical treatment is used, it customizes particular skin layers. This, in turn, activates cutaneous mechanoreceptors, which send out information to gradually adjusting type I (SAI) nerve cells and consequently, to the main nerve system. Factors prompting such neural reactions consist of the contracting impact of drying cleansers on the stratum corneum, the outer skin layer. Similarly, the application of creams or creams can trigger swelling of this layer.

Key Findings and Implications

The research study exposed a considerable link in between the physical tension observed in the stratum corneum, whether from post-cleansing drying or hydrating, and the activity of nerve cells situated much deeper in the skin near the dermal-epidermal junction. Their neural stimulation design even more strengthened this connection. Predictions from the design relating to SAI nerve cell shooting rates completely density skin remained in line with feedback about “tightness” from studies of 2,000 females in France and 720 females inChina Notably, these feelings were reported even 12 hours post-application sometimes.

According to the authors, this research study offers a detailed structure to fathom the biomechanical neural activation system that drives the subjective experiences of topical skin treatments.

For more on this research study, see Sensational Science: Why Our Skin Feels “Tight” After Using a Facial Cleanser.

Reference: “Sensory neuron activation from topical treatments modulates the sensorial perception of human skin” by Ross Bennett-Kennett, Joseph Pace, Barbara Lynch, Yegor Domanov, Gustavo S Luengo, Anne Potter and Reinhold H Dauskardt, 26 September 2023, PNAS Nexus
DOI: 10.1093/ pnasnexus/pgad292