Objective: Many people want to have healthy facial skin. They tend to check their skin’s condition by touching their face with their hands. In the cosmetic industry, we need to understand what consumers are perceiving in a tactile sense when touching their own facial skin. The purpose of this study was to investigate these observation methods in order to systematically understand people’s haptic exploratory procedures (HEPs). Methods: Thirty-four participants living in the United States and twenty-two participants living in Japan freely explored their faces and answered which side felt more closely related to the six tactile adjectives. A new analysis was applied to classify the observed HEPs into six classifications within two categories and three sizes of contact area by experts. Result: It was confirmed that the new task was useful to observe the HEPs for participants from United States and Japan. The US participants’ HEPs for ‘moisturized’ were mainly a middle-sized contact area using a stroking motion. On the other hand, Japanese participants’ HEPs for ‘moisturized’ (‘shittori’ in Japanese) mainly used a pushing movement. Moreover, the US participants’ HEPs for ‘soft’ included both pushing and stroking, but Japanese participants HEPs for ‘soft’ (‘yawarakai’ in Japanese) were again mainly pushing. Conclusion: This study suggests that the proposed analysis method enables the systematic understanding of HEPs when checking the skin, along with the cross-cultural differences affecting those procedures. These systematic findings could allow cosmetic formulators to have a better understanding of the tactile sensations consumers themselves are feeling in a variety of different global markets.
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