• Fede Montagud, editor

    Lead in lipstick: so what?

    20 Apr Lead in lipstick: so what?



    Cosmetics Design Europe

    The communicative power of the Internet is also the power of disinformation. Sometimes a hoax begins to do the rounds and ends up being true for the public.  One of the latest is the "dangerous" lead in lipsticks that could affect your mental health.


    A controversy has recently emerged in the Internet, originating in the USA, regarding the possibility that lipsticks may affect the brain and even alter a person’s intelligence quotient (IQ). The origin was a warning by the Boston Lead Poisoning Prevention Program that small traces of lead in some lipsticks could seriously affect the brain. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted an investigation of 400 lipsticks available in the market and concluded that lead content was on average 1.11 parts per million. It also studied 360 women who intensively used lipstick, implying a daily lead ingestion of 111 nanograms. But it turns out that a glass of drinking water contains about 10 000 nanograms of lead. Therefore, the hoax has failed and the rumour has been scratched. If you use lipstick, there’s no need to worry about your IQ.

  • Elisabet Salmerón, science journalist

    Don’t forget your feet!

    Be they Greek, Egyptian or square, feet support the human body. Aesthetically inconspicuous, they often go uncared for. However, hygiene and daily care of the skin of the feet (washing, moisturizing, etc) are essential for their wellbeing.


    Ever wondered how much attention you pay to your feet? Even though they are hidden away for much of the year, the feet are fundamental for our body as they support our weight and help us retain our balance and move. Thus, foot care is essential to avoid possible injuries, infections and other problems that could harm our skin. Read More

  • Fede Montagud, editor

    Who hasn’t got body odour?

    Our genes determine what our skin secretes in sweat and, consequently, how we smell. No two body odours are alike as we all have our own unique “cocktail” of bacteria that break down sweat to release volatile substances. But there are people who do not smell ... and they even use deodorant.


    Our body odour develops when skin bacteria degrade certain substances produced by the sweat glands: steroid hormones, fatty acids and sulphur compounds. Our genetic characteristics determine the amount and proportion of each such substance secreted and, consequently, differences in how we smell. However, in a recent UK study of 6 500 women it was found that 2% had virtually no smell because of their particular version of the ABCC11 gene. However, over 75% of these women used underarm deodorant – out of habit. Identifying this genetic trait could lead to odourless people both saving money and reducing their exposure to chemicals. Such studies also open the way for the future application of genetics to the field of personal hygiene.

  • Núria Estapé, science journalist

    Skin bleaching: when skin has to be white

    The whimsical dictates of fashion have led to the proliferation of creams and other cosmetics to bleach dark skin, as people who use these products believe that lighter skin is more attractive. Are such products effective? Can skin be bleached safely?


    The law of the pendulum dictates that fashions swing between extremes, in this case, from the magnetism of tanned skin to the purity of alabaster skin. Controversy has recently arisen in countries like India, where advertisements encouraginge women to use skin bleaching products convey negative messages of social rejection for women with dark complexions. Read More