• Andrés Martínez, science journalist

    Chemophobia and naturephilia

    30 Jun

    Nowadays people are fanatical about so-called natural products and skin treatments. This is a logical reaction after a decades-long synthetics boom. But natural does not always mean healthy. Artificial products are, in many cases, irreplaceable and have positive effects that were unknown before their discovery.


    The word “chemistry” provokes suspicion in many minds and, in some, outright rejection. The adjective “natural”, meanwhile, embodies the notions of safety and health and generates confidence and unconditional approval. Overlooked is the fact that we ourselves and our environment are the result of chemistry and also that nature is an enormous raw material factory and a source of inspiration for synthetic man-made chemicals. Our natural skin is pure chemistry. Read More

  • Fede Montagud, editor

    How to choose a sunscreen

    28 Jun

    Ultraviolet rays cause sunburn and skin cancer, so sunscreens are essential for sunbathing. But why doesn’t an SPF of 60 provide double the protection of an SPF of 30?

    Summer is here and sunscreen products in their hundreds are back on the shelves of supermarkets and pharmacies. The vast global sunscreen market, however, continues to be affected by controversies over the usefulness and correct use of sunscreens and regulatory differences. Everyone wants the golden tan dictated by fashion. But leaving aside the aesthetic issues, sunlight in small quantities stimulates vitamin D synthesis, reduces blood pressure and improves peripheral blood circulation. The sun is also good for skin ailments such as psoriasis. Read More

  • Fede Montagud, editor

    Mosquitoes: first they smell, then they bite

    22 Jun

    Why do mosquitoes attack some people and are not attracted by others? The answer lies in different microbiota (flora) compositions of skins, according to a recent study of the malaria mosquito.


    The sweat from our skin would be odourless if it were not processed by the many different resident bacteria. The combined action of dozens of species of bacteria is what creates the personal odour of each individual. Anopheles gambiae is the mosquito responsible for transmitting malaria, which causes thousands of deaths each year. Researchers have demonstrated that this mosquito is more attracted to skins with more abundant bacteria but with low species diversity. This line of research, which explains why mosquitoes bite some people and not others, could be the key to the manufacture of anti-mosquito traps or drugs.



    Scientific American


  • Lourdes Varadé, chemical engineer

    To exfoliate or not to exfoliate?

    17 Jun

    Since ancient times it seems to have been accepted that a healthy, flawless skin, free of dead cells, needs regular exfoliation. This body care ritual can be performed using products containing abrasive particles, layers of gomage which are then peeled off or creams with specific ingredients. Peeling, dermabrasion, scrubbing ... is exfoliation a necessity or an aberration?


    The outside layer of the skin is the epidermis, whose cells originate in the basal layer (which separates the epidermis from the dermis). These cells gradually migrate to the surface and then die. Healthy skin is renewed every 30 days. Aged skin has a longer renewal cycle. Read More