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It's All About Sex: Hormones and Skin Moisture

By: Johann W. Wiechers, PhD
Posted: August 20, 2008

From E-newsletter

Really, it is all about sex!

With these opening words, a marketing colleague once opened his speech to senior management and he was right in two aspects—it is all about sex, and he had grabbed their attention in the same way that I now have yours. Actually, to correctly quote my marketing colleague, the personal care industry “is all working in the sex industry.”

Although I hate to admit this, my collegue was right. The cosmetic industry is an industry that helps people look good. From an evolutionary point of view, the human purpose in life is to produce offspring. Although it can be done clinically via in-vitro fertilization, just like today's cosmetic consumers, most people prefer the natural but not necessarily safer way of creating offspring.

Again, speaking in evolutionary terms, before a man would decide to procreate, he will carefully evaluate whether his offspring will flourish with his potential mate. Although the modern man could ask for a genetic footprint of his potential mate before making up his mind, the early hominid hunters that once inhabited the plains of what is now Northern Kenya around Lake Turkana had neither the time nor the technology. Today, Northern Kenya is a perfect breeding ground for the Nile crocodile, the hippopotamus and a variety of venomous snakes—and the situation probably was not much better 1.8 million years ago.

All that our hominid hunters could rely on was their instinct and that simply had to be good. If a woman had a symmetrical face and had the right proportions, she should be able to carry a child, survive childbirth, feed the child and raise it. So beauty was simply essential for staying alive. My point here is that bodily beauty is linked to sex hormones but beware, there are surprising distrubances related to this link.