• Núria Estapé, science journalist

    The facts about skin hydration

    19 Jun The facts about skin hydration



    Skin Therapy Letter

    All the cells in our body need water to survive and multiply; the cells in the skin are no exception. Pharmacy, beauty centre and perfumery windows typically display hundreds of different skin moisturizing products. Who doesn’t use a moisturizer? But how does a moisturizer work if the skin is virtually impenetrable? Knowing where and how moisturizers work can help us choose the product that best suits our skin type.


    The skin tends to dry out more and more as the years go by. So moisturizers are high up in the ranking of bestselling dermocosmetic products. Each time we apply a moisturizer to our skin we are helping the outermost layer of the epidermis protect us against environmental aggressions. This protection, in turn, helps the skin cells carry out the metabolic processes that keep the skin alive and healthy. Moisturizers also reinforce homeostasis, that is, maintenance of the body’s internal balance in the face of external changes in humidity and temperature. Read More

  • Núria Estapé, science journalist

    Youthful skin with resveratrol

    Considered to be the molecule of eternal youth, resveratrol is an anti-oxidant with surprising effects: it delays ageing and prevents disease. Its reparative powers have attracted the attention of the cosmetics sector, which is including it in skin care products. However, the lack of objective data about how resveratrol works has raised many doubts. Does it really have potent skin rejuvenating properties or is it just a myth?


    Red wine, grapes, peanuts, walnuts, blackberries and blueberries are just some of the foods that contain resveratrol. Dozens of nutricosmetic supplements and anti-ageing creams and serums based on this ingredient are sold in pharmacies and the Internet. Resveratrol, identified in 1940, has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It became especially popular from 2003, when Harvard University (USA) doctor David Sinclair published studies that reported that mice fed with resveratrol increased their life expectancy by 40%. If these results could be demonstrated for humans, we would live to about the age of 136 years! Read More

  • Núria Estapé, science journalist

    Snail slime: scam or panacea?

    A few years ago a "miraculous” product appeared on the market. This was snail extract which, it was claimed, contained anti-oxidant and regenerating ingredients that delayed skin ageing. It was advertised as a panacea to eliminate wrinkles, scars, stretch marks, burns, acne and sunspots. While it is not the cure-all promised by the ads, we now know why it improves the skin’s appearance.


    Search for “snail slime” on the Internet and you will be offered thousands of snail products that claim to improve the skin. Folk medicine has used snail slime for many centuries. But many claim that such products are the ineffective recipes of healers. Skeptical consumers ask whether snail extract is a scam, whereas staunch defenders claim that it is a truly effective anti-ageing product. The common snail (Cryptomphalus aspersa) secretes a substance which promotes skin regeneration and minimizes the effect of the free radicals responsible for premature ageing of the skin. Read More

  • 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