• Fede Montagud, editor

    More attractive to women?

    20 Nov More attractive to women?



    Cosmetics & Toiletries

    Androstadienone is a pheromone derived from the male hormone, testosterone. Apparently, its presence on the skin produces a certain natural attraction of men on women. A supplier in the cosmetic industry is selling an ingredient that contains this substance.


    The root of Markandi (Coleus forskohlii), a tropical plant used in Ayurvedic medicine, stimulates the synthesis of androstadienone. It is the essential element of the cocktail that could make men more attractive. But the mixture also contains polyphenols from the leaves of black tea (Camellia sinensis), which prevents androstadienone from breaking down, causing it to accumulate and thus increasing its effect. Although there are no independent studies that confirm it, the manufacturers assure that the ingredient is effective if included in after-shave, deodorants, gels and body milks.

  • Fede Montagud, editor

    A Daily Shower: Too Much or Too Little?

    18 Nov A Daily Shower: Too Much or Too Little?



    Fit & Health

    It is not true that the more you shower, the cleaner your skin is. On the contrary, showering too frequently may lead to irritated, dry and cracked skin. Furthermore, each person has different skin chemistry. No two skins are alike. Each of us has our own cocktail of skin bacteria. Some people sweat a lot, some have greasy skin, etc.


    Until the use of hot running water (and hence the ability to take a shower) became widespread, bathing required heating water in basins and transferring it to the bathtub. It was common to use the same water for the different members of the family to bathe in. It was important to try not to be the last... Doubtless, the shower has improved personal hygiene (at least in developed countries). A shower a day, in the morning or in the evening, seems to be the most common average. But in order not to damage the external layer of skin cells (the stratum corneum) and the lipids (fats) that keep the skin hydrated, we should not use very hot water. In order not to alter the pH of the skin, we should use a gel or soap with a pH between 4.7 and 5.5. Another important detail is not to dry oneself with towels that are too harsh and may scratch. And, finally, it is a good idea to use a moisturizing cream.

  • Josep Orellana, science journalist

    Use and Abuse of Coenzyme Q10

    15 Nov Use and Abuse of Coenzyme Q10




    EFSA Report

    This summer, my sun cream (like almost all of them) contained coenzyme Q10, even though it appears that the skin cannot absorb it effectively. Its beneficial effects as a food supplement are more than questionable. So why has the use of coenzyme Q10 become so widespread in recent years?


    Coenzyme Q10 is a similar substance to vitamin E that was discovered in 1957. It occurs naturally in our bodies. The body’s cells need CoQ10 to obtain energy. It is also a potent cellular antioxidant. In fact, the body synthesizes CoQ10 when we eat fish, shellfish, spinach or nuts. It is used as a food supplement both in its natural and more active form, called ubiquinol (CoQ10-trans), and in its synthetic form. Product labels do not always specify clearly which form is being used. Read More

  • Fede Montagud, editor

    Photoprotective Strawberries

    Exposure to sunlight causes damage to our DNA and generates free radicals that can cause different diseases of the skin. A recent study by three Spanish universities and an Italian university concluded that strawberries could play a major role in protecting the skin against UVA damage.


    Strawberries contain several polyphenols - potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. These include anthocyanins, pigments that give them their red colour. Using strawberries, scientists produced an extract with five of these pigments and mixed them in the laboratory with cultures of skin cells (fibroblasts). They irradiated the samples with the equivalent radiation received by spending “90 minutes in the summer sun on the French Riviera”. The strawberry extract showed potent photoprotective effects and reduced damage to cellular DNA compare to the control samples. The authors of the study believe that it would be possible to manufacture sunscreens using strawberries. Now, they want to examine whether the effect is more potent through using creams or by taking the extract orally.