Gain Valuable Consumer Insight through Sensorial Testing


 December 12, 2019

 Gaining Valuable Consumer Insight through Sensorial Testing

Discover how sensorial testing impacts consumer purchasing decisions and how brands can harness the senses in their cosmetics and personal care formulations.

For consumers, product performance is clearly a primary determining factor when purchasing cosmetics and personal care products. However, it is not the only factor. Consumers also choose their personal care products and cosmetics based on how the product feels. Therefore, brands in the personal care and cosmetic sector must ensure that their formulations consistently match consumer expectations, both in performance and sensation. Sensorial testing can be helpful to assess and evaluate these textural properties for beauty brands.

What is Sensorial Testing?

Sensorial testing for cosmetics examines how the product engages the consumer’s senses of smell, taste, sound and touch. This can include the use of the fingers, lips, nose and tongue. Sensorial testing is a measure of quality for cosmetics and personal care products, based on appearance, odor and texture characteristics.

Brands use data collected from sensorial testing to evaluate consumer acceptance of the product and make formulation and marketing decisions. This data provides valuable insight about what consumers really want, which brands leverage when reformulating existing products, launching new products or incorporating new cosmetic ingredients. 

Assessment techniques vary depending on the consistency of the product being tested: 

  • Solid product sensorial testing evaluates the product’s rigidity, as well as the break resistance. For example, lipsticks, bar soaps and natural deodorants are expected to maintain their structural integrity without breaking apart or losing shape.
  • Flowable product testing examines firmness, consistency, stickiness and viscosity. For example, creams, lotions and gels are expected to have a certain consistency that allows for easy spread in addition to being non-greasy.
  • Powder-based product testing involves a visual inspection of how the product spreads upon final applicaiton. For example, loose foundation and eyeshadow formulations are expected to flow on application without clumping or caking.


Why is Sensorial Testing Important?

Through testing, evaluation of sensory characteristics can be used to help formulators gain a clear insight into why consumers buy their product and what they may experience when using it. How does the product make them feel? How does it affect their mood? Does it have the power to create brand loyalty?

Input from sensorial testing can give brands the direction they need to answer these questions, refine current and future cosmetic product formulations and stand out from the competition.

Read more: Why is Customer Perception Important for Beauty Brands?

What is Sensory Marketing?

Consumers are surrounded by endless products in their day-to-day lives. To stand out from the rest, savvy brands are taking action through sensory marketing. Sensory marketing is a form of psychological marketing.that engages consumers’ senses in an effort to influence their experience and behavior. The idea is to engage embodied cognition, or the unconscious reliance on bodily sensations to drive everyday decisions. 

When it comes to triggering consumer’s repeat purchasing behavior, activating the senses is key. 

Read More: Creating a Sensory Experience: Cosmetic Sensory and Texture Enhancers


Innovative Solutions for Cosmetics Brands on Sensorial Testing

At Kinetik, we are immersed in the natural beauty market, with expert knowledge of formulation components and their sensory impact. We provide in-depth consultative support and innovative solutions for clients looking to trigger brand loyalty by adding or altering sensory experiences in their formulations. 


Explore Sensory Ingredients at Kinetik:



See what sets us apart from the rest.

Contact us at (732) 335-5775 for more information. We are headquartered in the USA, but we work with clients and represent suppliers worldwide.