Dove leveraged the placebo effect to help women feel more beautiful

Dove has conducted a new awesome psychological experiment themed around how women perceive their natural beauty. The effort that follows the award-winning piece Beauty Sketches was inspired by a study, which showed that 80% of women feel anxious about their appearance. The Dove: Patches groundbreaking experiment is demonstrating that the beauty is already within us, and it can be “activated” with just one thing—our desire to feel beautiful.

Dove tapped psychologist and New York Times best-selling author, Dr. Ann Kearney-Cooke (Ph.D., Counseling Psychology) to conduct the experiment. As part of the effort, several women were invited to wear a custom-made “beauty patch” for 14 days, and report in their video diaries how this piece influences their self-esteem and changes their personal lives. All of them confessed that the patch helped them feel much better about their looks—they noticed the changes already in the fist stage of the experiment.

When the testing period was over, the women came to Dr. Ann Kearney-Cooke to share the life-changing experiences and discover the patch’s magic component, which made them more beautiful. As it turned out, it contained… nothing—it was the placebo effect, the powerful tool was their mind, not the artificial beauty enhancer. The experiment illustrates how improved self-esteem transforms our life—we actually don’t need anything from the outer world to activate the process of positive changes.

“When a woman feels beautiful, she radiates happiness and confidence, which inspires her life in a significant way,” said Dr. Kearney-Cooke. “These women, like so many others, struggle to recognize their own beauty and it severely affects their daily lives. This ground-breaking experiment was designed to illustrate that beauty is a state of mind and that the power to feel beautiful comes from within.”