• Anna Solana, science journalist

    BB, CC, DD, EE creams…

    20 Dec BB, CC, DD, EE creams...



    The Guardian

    The Huffington Post

    These pairs of letters are not codenames for operating systems, usually identified with letters of the alphabet. They rather describe multifunction or all-in-one creams that, for years, have promised countless benefits for the skin. But what are the differences between the BB, CC, DD and EE versions? Do they actually work or are they merely effective marketing strategies?


    BB creams have been on the Western market for some five years, although the name has existed for far longer. In fact, the German dermatologist and allergist Christine Schrammek claims to have developed the first Blemish Balm (BB) cream in 1967 to treat the skin after peeling treatments. The original formula contained zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, licorice root and panthenol — an anti-inflammatory, protective, soothing and moisturizing cocktail that gave the product considerable appeal. Read More

  • Violeta Camarasa, science journalist

    Toxic cosmetics

    10 Nov Toxic cosmetics



    The History of Skincare

    Do we have to suffer for vanity’s sake? Since time immemorial humans have used a host of products to beautify the skin. Many of these historical ingredients were toxic and some even lethal. Cosmetics have an ugly side that shows how humans in their vanity are capable of suffering — a lot.


    The beautiful Cleopatra eyes that we see in the movies are often achieved with galena (lead sulfide), a neurotoxic chemical. In the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, kohl, a paste made with ground galena, has been used for centuries as mascara. Galena is just one example of the long history of the use of lead in cosmetics. Read More

  • Anna Solana, science journalist

    Diamonds for the skin

    16 Jun Diamonds for the skin



    Cosmetics Design

    For several years diamond-dust creams have been sold as an outrageously expensive treatment used by celebrities to ensure they walk the red carpet with a fabulous complexion. Now, Asian scientists say they have managed to produce diamonds inexpensively in their laboratory — making this luxury skin care fad potentially more affordable.


    The labels of creams containing diamond dust promise a smoother, younger skin from the first application, claiming that this gem has exfoliating properties that stimulate collagen production and help conceal wrinkles and blemishes. Marketing makes these texts not very different from those for other creams based on less exclusive ingredients. What is different, however, is the price of these exclusive creams, clearly aimed at the pockets of those who can afford the luxury. Read More

  • Fede Montagud, editor

    Cosmetic surgery: think twice…

    21 May Cosmetic surgery: think twice...



    The Guardian

    Cosmetic or plastic surgery is no trivial matter. And not just because a person may become unrecognizable or lose something of their character, as has recently happened with celebrities. Misinformation and the tendency to make light of cosmetic surgery lead us to overlook the fact that it is still surgery, with all the associated risks. An Australian initiative recommends a mandatory cooling-off period of at least a week.


    The Medical Board of Australia, which regulates medical practice in this country, wishes to remedy the current situation with its publication of a guide that recommends a cooling-off period before any operation. The aim is for the patient to consider all aspects of their decision to undergo a surgical procedure for purely cosmetic reasons. Caution is crucial, especially in light of complaints and cases of malpractice by unqualified personnel operating in ill-equipped clinics. Read More