• Josep Orellana, science journalist

    Diabetes and skincare

    10 Dec Diabetes and skincare



    American Diabetes Association

    Diabetes affects some 380 million people worldwide, a number that is steadily increasing. In the near future one in 10 adults will be affected by diabetes. This disease has multiple adverse effects for our health, many of them related to the skin. How can we reduce the risks and protect our skin?


    People with longstanding diabetes (high blood sugar) are more prone to skin problems. One in three people with diabetes is affected by skin disorders, which are often the first warning of the presence of the disease. High blood glucose levels cause biochemical changes in the skin that alter its structure and functions. These changes induce dryness, loss of elasticity and premature skin ageing. Read More

  • Josep Orellana, science journalist

    The skin’s circadian rhythms

    26 May The skin’s circadian rhythms



    Journal of Biological Rhythms

    Humans, without being aware of it, have an internal biological clock that controls many of their bodily functions. The skin also has these circadian rhythms and organizes its activities according to the hours of the day and the night to be more effective. This way we can know when is the optimum moment to apply a cosmetic product on the skin.


    A healthily functioning human body relies on internal biological rhythms and patterns. These circadian rhythms are controlled by an "internal clock", located in the brain, that modulates the metabolism of organs and tissues 24 hours a day. The science that studies these processes is called chronobiology. Scientific studies have demonstrated how our skin cells are governed by circadian rhythms that directly affect cell regeneration in the epidermis. Read More

  • Josep Orellana, science journalist

    Protecting the skin from infrared radiation

    We are well aware of the adverse effects of the sun’s radiation on our skin and blame ultraviolet light (UVA and UVB). To reduce its impact we use sunscreens and limit sunbathing. But the sun's infrared rays can also penetrate to the deeper layers of the skin.


    Sunlight is composed of ultraviolet light (7%) and visible light (38%), but infrared (IR) light, at 54%, represents the most important fraction. Depending on the wavelength, IR radiation is classified into three types: IRA, IRB and IRC. Both UV and visible light are attenuated by melanin, a substance secreted in the top layers of skin. However, IRA rays can pass through to the deeper layers of the skin. Read More

  • Josep Orellana, science journalist

    Seaweed to rejuvenate the skin

    20 Dec Seaweed to rejuvenate the skin



    Cosmetics Design

    Seaweed (alga) is a hit in the anti-ageing skin care market. Many cosmetics are using seaweed as their star ingredient, attributing it with beneficial properties for enhancing our appearance. Creams and lotions of all kinds are prepared from "seaweed extract". How genuine is its anti-ageing properties? Or is this a question of misleading advertising?


    Many companies, especially from France, Canada, the USA and Australia, sell harvested seaweed extract as an ingredient for personal care products. Their advertising usually emphasizes that the extract is a very useful anti-skin-ageing alternative. Algae are organisms that are simpler than land plants. There are thousands of species worldwide, some used since time immemorial for various purposes (in China they have been used since 5,000 years ago). Read More