Get a whiff of this scientific breakthrough. According to a new study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, some of the same scent receptors that give your nose its sense of smell can be found in your skin. Even more intriguing, these same receptors appear to help repair damaged skin.
A team of researchers at Germany’s Ruhr-University Bochum isolated different scent receptors in human skin and cloned one of them. Next they tested different scents to see how the cloned cells reacted. It turns out that skin perked up to the smell of Sandalore, synthetic sandalwood oil used in perfumes and aromatherapy.
When human cells were mixed with Sandalore for five days in a test tube, cell reproduction increased by 32% and cell migration increased by nearly half. Instead of triggering emotion in our brain as nose receptors do, the skin receptors prompted cells to generate new, healthy cells and send them to where they were needed—a process characteristic of wound healing.
Don’t rush to stock up on Sandalore-containing products just yet. Researchers said the concentration of Sandalore needed to trigger cell regeneration was one-thousand times the amount your nose needs to detect the fragrance. And just as people’s noses have different sensitivities to odors, the skin’s scent detector capability will likely differ from person to person. Still, this is an intriguing finding—one that could be used in the development of new treatments for repairing sun-damaged skin.
Skin’s abilities never cease to amaze. This is one more reason to keep this very precious asset healthy by using the right combination of effective skincare products and incorporating positive lifestyle habits into your daily routine.