BILBAO, Spain, July 22 (UPI) -- For beauty products to provide a positive emotional experience they must relieve buyers of negative feelings about themselves, researchers in Spain say.
Vanessa Apaolaza of the University of the Basque Country says the study shows people who use facial creams, anti-wrinkle creams and anti-cellulite creams buy them primarily for emotional reasons.
Some of the main positive emotions aroused by beauty products include "the sensation of well-being gained from eliminating or reducing feelings of worry and guilt, which is the factor with the greatest impact," Apaolaza says.
The scientists surveyed 355 women ages 18-50, who were asked to evaluate various aspects of their perceptions of the functional and emotional factors of the beauty products they used.
The study, published in the African Journal of Business Management, showed consumer satisfaction is greatest when the cosmetics brand helps strengthen positive emotions through the perception of "caring for oneself" and removing feelings of worry and guilt about not taking care of one's appearance.
Paradoxically, for the brand to provide this positive emotional experience, it must first cause consumers to have negative feelings about themselves, such as concern about and dissatisfaction with their appearance, the study says.
"One way of achieving this is by subtly telling them they are ugly -- something that many cosmetics advertisements achieve implicitly and very effectively by showing images of unusually beautiful women," Apaolaza says in a statement.