The cosmetic industry is evolving at a startling rate. Month after month new ingredients and highly advanced processes appear on the market, aimed at improving the appearance of our skin. But the authorities in the United States have warned that manufacturers must choose between producing cosmetics or active drugs.
The whole world knows that authorization for a drug involves a long and expensive process of testing before the drug can reach the market, but this is not the case with cosmetics. Today, however, there are cosmetics with advertising stating that they have effects “on embryonic stem cells”, that they “stimulate gene activity and protein production”, or that they “rebuild a denser skin”. If this is true, then these are drugs with major actions on the body and, therefore, should be tested before being authorized as such. Faced with the avalanche of technical advances being marketed by the cosmetic industry, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States has decided to send out a warning in order to guarantee the health of consumers.
Intense pulsed light (IPL) is becoming popular among aestheticians and dermatologists as the method of choice for permanently removing facial and body hair. As a hair removal method, it is safe, effective and comfortable. It also has applications for treating abnormal hair growth, vascular skin damage and sunspots. Can IPL affect the skin’s health?
In the coming years we may well see a rise in the use of IPL, an improved laser system. The laser emits broad-spectrum wavelength radiation (between 550 and 1200 nanometers) that reaches the skin at different rates. Very rapid light pulses (around 2,600 rays per second) project the particles (photons) onto the skin. The hair root (follicle) becomes so hot that the melanin content is damaged. After a few sessions the hair growth cycle is permanently altered. Read More
Bisphenol A (BPA), a compound used in making plastics, has been controversial for years because excessive accumulation in the body can have negative effects on health, especially for the foetus. Cash-register receipts contain BPA, which has been demonstrated to penetrate our skin.
Supermarket cashiers have almost twice as much BPA in their blood as someone who does not spend the entire workday touching receipts. The reason for this is that BPA is in one of the layers of the “thermal paper” that is widely used in cash registers and credit card terminals. When we touch that layer, the compound penetrates our skin and enters the bloodstream. We all have BPA in our blood, but opinions about the potential hazards are conflicting. Some countries have already scheduled a progressive ban on BPA. But the fact remains that, to date, no health authority has banned its use in industry other than in the manufacture of baby bottles.
Nobody doubts that sport is healthy, but we should take certain precautions to ensure that our skin does not pay the price. Paying attention to clothing, understanding how ambient conditions affect us, and following some basic guidelines will help us to maintain the good appearance and health of our skin.
The sun shines through the window. Carmen says to herself, “today’s the day”. She has decided to start running in order to lose a few pounds. She is wearing new runners (naturally!) and decides to go out in a T-shirt, due to the warm winter sun. Her first jogging session ends with sore feet, blisters and red skin. Read More