• Anna Solana, science journalist

    One in two Europeans has ‘sensitive skin’

    11 Jan

    Sensitive skin is experienced by millions of people as terse, reddened and flaky skin. The cause may be hereditary or psychosomatic or may be a reaction to external factors (cold, dryness and certain products). Sensitive skin can be treated, but it requires patience.


    The concept of ‘sensitive skin’ does not appear in traditional dermatology manuals. Increasingly, however, more products are available for protecting sensitive skin and alleviating reactions to different stimuli. But how do we distinguish it from a skin that is temporarily reactive or from allergic skin? Read More

  • Anna Solana, science journalist

    Skin types: phototypes

    2 Jan

    Medicine currently classifies human skin in six phototype groups (I to VI), based on sensitivity to the sun and covering people as different as platinum blondes and redheads to people with dark brown or black skin. It is important to know our skin type to care for it properly.


    Smooth, firm, flawless and glowing skin, or oily with open pores and imperfections? For the cosmetics industry, the physiology of skin —which depends on age, hormones and external factors like the climate, pollution and lifestyle— is linked to the external appearance of the mantle that envelopes our body: dry, oily, mixed or sensitive. For medicine, however, skin type is determined by its capacity to assimilate solar radiation. Read More

  • Anna Solana, science journalist

    Wrinkles, the imprint of time on the skin

    3 Dec

    Wrinkles are a universal sign of ageing. Nonetheless, even though they are inevitable, their appearance can be delayed by caring for the skin and using techniques and products that have given rise to a huge market worldwide.


    Simone de Beauvoir described wrinkles as “something indescribable that comes from the soul", yet few people welcome the wrinkles that appear on their face. Wrinkles, the most visible sign of cell ageing, represent a challenge to cosmetic researchers investigating new ways to retain and increase the skin’s hydration and regeneration capacities. Read More

  • Anna Solana, science journalist

    Are parabens dangerous?

    26 Nov

    Although many scientists deny the health risks and consider parabens to be irreplaceable, the alarm has sounded. France even wants to ban parabens by law. The cosmetics industry is beginning to develop paraben-free formulations.


    The alarm was raised in 2004 when the Journal of Applied Toxicology published a study by Dr. Philippa Darbre and co-workers from the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Reading (United Kingdom). The study pointed to the high paraben levels in tissue samples from 18 breast tumours, indicating the possible influence on oestrogen activity of parabens, chemicals used as preservatives in the food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics industries. Read More