Do we have to suffer for vanity’s sake? Since time immemorial humans have used a host of products to beautify the skin. Many of these historical ingredients were toxic and some even lethal. Cosmetics have an ugly side that shows how humans in their vanity are capable of suffering — a lot.
The beautiful Cleopatra eyes that we see in the movies are often achieved with galena (lead sulfide), a neurotoxic chemical. In the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, kohl, a paste made with ground galena, has been used for centuries as mascara. Galena is just one example of the long history of the use of lead in cosmetics. Read More
Applying sunscreen is the most common way to protect the skin from the sun’s radiation, but not everyone uses the most suitable product and not everyone remembers to re-apply it after a few hours. For some time now, more convenient alternatives for avoiding UV damage have been investigated. Oral photoprotectors could be one solution.
These products are sold as a method to protect the skin of the entire body evenly and uniformly, with no need to worry about sweat or contact with clothes or water, as happens with sunscreens. Oral sunscreens essentially contain antioxidants (carotenoids, polyphenols, flavonoids, etc.) and vitamins (C, E) that restore damage to DNA caused by UV rays. So far, however, they have not been shown to provide sufficient protection to be able to replace sun creams and, even less, to replace coverup clothing, sunhats and sunglasses. Read More
For several years diamond-dust creams have been sold as an outrageously expensive treatment used by celebrities to ensure they walk the red carpet with a fabulous complexion. Now, Asian scientists say they have managed to produce diamonds inexpensively in their laboratory — making this luxury skin care fad potentially more affordable.
The labels of creams containing diamond dust promise a smoother, younger skin from the first application, claiming that this gem has exfoliating properties that stimulate collagen production and help conceal wrinkles and blemishes. Marketing makes these texts not very different from those for other creams based on less exclusive ingredients. What is different, however, is the price of these exclusive creams, clearly aimed at the pockets of those who can afford the luxury. Read More
Deodorants and antiperspirants may reduce or hide the smell emanating from the armpits after a hard day's work or a workout, but no product can completely eliminate body odour. However, a recent discovery could help improve the products currently available in the market.
A few years ago, Chris Callewaert, a researcher at the University of Ghent (Belgium), suggested that, since body odour is not always a matter of hygiene, it had to stop being a taboo subject. There are more bacteria in our armpits, remember, than there are humans on the planet. And some people simply accumulate more of the microorganisms responsible for the decomposition of sweat molecules, and so they smell worse. Callewaert referred mainly to bacteria from the genus Corynebacterium, at that time considered to be primarily responsible for body odour. Read More