You may have thick or thin, flaccid or firm skin, and be more or less sensitive to the sun’s radiation. But the cosmetics industry and most of the population refer to people as having normal, dry, oily, combination or sensitive skin, without really understanding where to draw the line between each category. What’s normal skin? What makes complexion more or less greasy? How can we decide what skin type we have and what products to use?
We are born with our skin type – what physicians call a phototype. It’s our type for life, although it’s also true that the environment, stress, diet and hormonal changes at different life stages (adolescence, pregnancy or menopause) can change the skin. However, skin types are mostly classified on the basis of the nature of the hydrolipid film coating the skin’s surface (made up of water and fat) that helps to maintain the skin’s barrier function. What makes this film, also referred to as the skin’s mantle or emulsion, vary? Read More
Caring for the skin without washing improves its appearance. Or so claims an AOBiome study, presented in early October in Washington, that points to the beneficial effects of spraying the skin with Nitrosomonas eutropha, a bacterium that metabolizes ammonia in sweat to eliminate body odour.
A company called AOBiome has launched a bacterial spray in the market that theoretically could save water and improve the appearance of the skin. The invention, called AO+ Refreshing Cosmetic Mist, is not exactly cheap: 99 euros for a month’s supply and 249 euros for three months’ supply. But apparently it’s worth it. In fact, its creator, David Whitlock, who says he hasn’t showered in 12 years (!!), argues fervently that Nitrosomonas may be a solution for acne and for chronic skin wounds. Read More
Everyone has open pores, but they are more noticeable in some skins than in others. The blame may lie with genetics, as is often the case, but only partly. Temperature and relative humidity, exposure to the sun, skin type, hormonal changes and age also enlarge the pores and make the skin look rough. The question is, however, what’s the solution?
We have about two million pores, which are absolutely necessary for the proper functioning of the skin, as they eliminate toxins, regulate temperature and hydrate the skin. But it's hard to appreciate all this when you can’t help but see them – because they are dilated or dirty from an accumulation of dead cells and other impurities, making your skin look unhealthy and aged. And this is not necessarily for lack of care. Read More
A few years ago the European Union banned use of the term “total block" in sunscreen labels because it led to confusion. There is, in fact, no photoprotection that is 100% effective against UV radiation. A study published recently in Nature confirms that sunscreens do not protect fully against melanoma – but this does not mean we should stop using them.
The research – conducted by scientists from the Institute of Cancer Research in London and Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute – demonstrates that even a sun protection factor (SPF) of 50 allows some DNA-damaging radiation to penetrate the skin, possibly causing melanoma. This, the most aggressive form of skin cancer, affects every year about 160,000 people worldwide, according to WHO, with the number of cases in Spain increasing by 38% in the last four years. Read More