• Núria Estapé, science journalist

    Enzymes for skin care

    21 Mar Enzymes for skin care



    The New York Times

    Enzymology is a new research area in dermatology and cosmetics that tries to discover how enzymes can improve skin appearance and prevent skin problems. Pharmaceutical companies study enzymes associated with skin disorders, whereas the cosmetics sector is interested in enzymes that enhance the beauty of the skin. However, including suitable enzymes in the diet is currently the most natural and effective way to achieve a healthy and beautiful skin.


    To remain healthy and vibrant the skin needs to be nourished with fats, proteins and carbohydrates. For these substances to act optimally on skin tissues, they need certain small molecules, called enzymes, to accelerate chemical reactions. Enzymes help food pass from the blood to the skin, develop beneficial fats and repair collagen damaged by ultraviolet rays, just to name a few of their many functions. There are many kinds of enzymes. Those most frequently used in cosmetics, called proteolytic enzymes, break down proteins so that the skin can better absorb their components and so promote cell growth and renewal. Read More

  • Núria Estapé, science journalist

    Modern man: coveted object of desire

    28 Feb Modern man: coveted object of desire




    Increasing numbers of men use cosmetic products and services. This “new” man who unashamedly takes care of his looks, is resurfacing in cities. Caring for his skin is a priority, so he uses all kinds of creams and gels, wears makeup and colognes, exfoliates, shaves all over and sports a carefully cultivated five o’clock shadow. Modern masculinity is embodied in the male who is in touch with his feminine side, yet still desires and is desired by women.


    David Beckham, the British footballer and a man with an impeccable image, is considered to be the pioneer of this trend and its ultimate representative. In an era in which a picture is worth a thousand words, men like Beckham reflect post-industrial urban culture at its height. These men enhance their eyes with mascara, use moisturizers and anti-ageing creams specially formulated for men’s skin, dye their hair, paint their nails and remove their body hair. Their thoroughness outdoes that of even the vainest of women. Why so much sacrifice? Read More

  • Núria Estapé, science journalist

    Nanoparticles for the skin: small is beautiful

    A new technology could revolutionize cosmetics in the very near future. Called nanotechnology, it enables extremely tiny particles to be designed for inclusion in sunscreens and other cosmetics to enhance their effectiveness. On sale already are creams, lotions and lipsticks that contain nanoparticles. However, experts warn that tests are needed to check whether nanocosmetics could have adverse effects on our skin and health.


    Pull out a hair and look at the size of the root. Can you imagine something 80,000 times smaller? That is the achievement of nanotechnology. Nanoparticles as tiny as one million times smaller than a millimetre can be manufactured. Some are between two and 100 times smaller than some of the bacteria that inhabit our body. Nanoparticle-based cosmetics, called nanocosmetics, are rapidly developing their potential. Read More

  • Núria Estapé, science journalist

    Winning the battle against skin dehydration

    30 Sep Winning the battle against skin dehydration



    Dermatologic Therapy

    Our skin contains natural ingredients that protect it and keep it hydrated. These substances form the outermost layer of the skin (the stratum corneum). When the functioning of this outer shell is disrupted, our skin loses water. Dry skin is a common problem that is tricky to resolve. But why does our skin become dry?


    We wash too often, use highly alkaline soaps and expose ourselves to excessively dry air from heating and cooling devices. Often we lead a lifestyle that does not allow the skin to follow its natural regeneration cycles. We know that hydrated skin is essential for the epidermis, most especially its outer protective layer, to retain its structure and function properly. When its barrier function is altered, the skin loses water and shrivels like a leaf, which is when we notice discomfort and even itchiness. In short, the skin dries out. Read More