• Fede Montagud, editor

    The skin: better understood

    31 May

    A team of researchers from the Karolinska Institutet (Sweden) has succeeded in accurately describing the molecular structure of the outermost layer of skin.  This breakthrough paves the way not only for drug delivery via the skin, but also for a deeper understanding of skin diseases.


    The outermost layer of our skin, the stratum corneum, acts as a watertight barrier that shields us from the external environment and protects us.  It consists of layers of corneal cells, interspersed with lipids (fats), basically ceramides and cholesterol molecules.  This recent research will enable scientists to find out which substances can breach this barrier and so be used to administer antibiotics, insulin or other drugs via the skin.



    Karolinska Institutet

    Journal of Investigative Dermatology

  • Josep Orellana, science journalist

    My cosmetic product contains probiotics and prebiotics!

    29 May

    Probiotics and prebiotics in special kinds of yoghurts have long been shown to have beneficial effects on health. The cosmetics industry has jumped on the bandwagon, launching nutricosmetics and various cosmetic lines with probiotics to improve the appearance of the skin. Are they effective? Is there a future for these products?


    Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms for our body that are incorporated in certain foods. Most are similar to microbiota (or flora), the bacteria that naturally occur in the intestine. Prebiotics, meanwhile, are substances that nourish these beneficial probiotics and help them grow. Read More

  • Fede Montagud, editor

    Treating acne with thyme

    28 May

    Thyme may be more effective for the treatment of acne than commonly prescribed preparations containing benzoyl peroxide, a product that frequently irritates the skin. This is the conclusion of recent research by the Leeds Metropolitan University (United Kingdom), reported some weeks ago.


    Researchers studied the effectiveness of thyme to combat the Propionibacterium acnes bacteria that causes acne by infecting pores and creating whiteheads and pus-filled pimples. The tests were carried out with herbal tinctures obtained by steeping plants in alcohol for days or weeks. Thyme was demonstrated to have a lethal effect on bacteria, probably more so even than chemical products. The way is open for new, more natural treatments for acne, especially for people with sensitive skin.



    Society for General Microbiology

  • Andrés Martínez, science journalist

    Detoxing the skin: a myth

    26 May

    Detoxing is all the rage and detox products number in their dozens on shop shelves. Countless diets propose eliminating toxins from the body by all possible means. It may well be that many of these means are healthy, but the skin does not accumulate toxins and neither can toxins be easily eliminated through the skin.


    Today, detoxifying the body and its organs is an obsession. We are offered diets, exercises and treatments aimed at purifying our bodies from within. We are also told that certain products applied to our skin will not only remove toxins, but will also cleanse our insides. Read More