• Fede Montagud, editor

    A pill for eternal youth?

    10 Oct




    A US company has just launched a new product that could have powerful anti-ageing effects, not only on the skin but also on the body. The surprising effect of this pill lies in how it stimulates growth hormone production by the body.


    We would all like to get rid of wrinkles, reduce fat, increase muscle mass, improve sexual performance and develop a powerful memory, i.e., look and feel young again. Human growth hormone (HGH) is a current favourite treatment of the rich and famous, who pay a small fortune each year for periodic injections of a synthetic form of this hormone (whose use in sports competitions, by the way, is banned). Our pituitary gland (located in the brain) naturally produces HGH, although production gradually decreases from the age of 20. The new oral supplement, which has required 30 years of research, is a mixture of amino acids that stimulate the pituitary gland to increase hormone production sixfold. Is this a "fountain of youth" for our skin? Let’s wait and see if it is certified by the health authorities.

  • Fede Montagud, editor

    Vigorous exercise reduces psoriasis risk

    Psoriasis is a skin disease of immunological origin that causes a great deal of misery. It presents as swelling, itchiness, redness and flaky skin and it is difficult to cure. A recent study has demonstrated that psoriasis incidence is lower among people who exercise vigorously.


    The research was conducted, only on women, in the USA. The fact that the study included no fewer than 86,665 volunteers indicates its thoroughness. For years doctors monitored the subjects’ lifestyles and kept tabs on their health. A total of 1,026 women in the study developed psoriasis. The conclusion was that people who exercise vigorously have almost a 30% lower risk of being affected by psoriasis. We now need equivalent studies in men to verify these data. Note that the authors define vigorous exercise as running at least two hours or swimming at least three hours a week at competition standard. In other words, leisurely walks in the countryside do not count.

  • Lourdes Varadé, chemical engineer

    “Handcrafted” soaps: beware!

    5 Oct



    European Parliament

    Who has not bought “handcrafted” soaps? They are to be found everywhere, whether in specialist shops, in street markets and on the Internet. Naturally, we all want the best for our skin. But we are often driven by irrational impulses when we buy and our choices are not always right.


    It seems that what belongs to the past is always better and, right now, handcrafted goods are chic. In a rushed world where we all wear the same clothes, buy the same food and use cloned cosmetics, handcrafted goods seem to reflect a “slow” culture, with products that are meticulously made, unique, very personal and very “healthy”. And this retro movement in the cosmetic sector is waving the “handcraft” flag for products "free from harmful chemicals.” Beware, however, because this powerful marketing claim is not entirely innocuous and its compliance with legislation on cosmetics is borderline. Read More

  • Fede Montagud, editor

    Tattoo ink

    More and more people are getting tattoos on various parts of the body, with the percentage of tattooed people in the USA increasing from 14% in 2008 to 21% in 2012. By now one in five people has at least one tattoo. But tattoo inks are responsible for specific health problems.


    The US health authority (FDA) is concerned about bacteria called nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM), found in a recent outbreak of infections related to contaminated tattoo inks. One of these mycobacterium species can cause lung disease and joint infections that are difficult to diagnose and that may require treatment for six months or more. The contaminated inks were manufactured in several different states and no source has yet been identified. The FDA is conducting an information campaign among tattoo artists, doctors and consumers to encourage the reporting of incidents to the health authorities. Furthermore, the FDA is also reminding people that specific post-tattoo recommendations are not effective against these organisms.