• Anna Solana, science journalist

    BB, CC, DD, EE creams…

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

     

    Sources:

    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

  • Núria Estapé, science journalist

    Caffeine for the skin

    The beauty industry has appropriated the active ingredient of our most universal breakfast drink. Caffeine, the alkaloid that wakes us up by stimulating the nervous system, also has beneficial properties for the skin. It appears that it reduces cellulite, increases blood circulation in the small blood vessels that nourish the skin, prevents skin cancers and even promotes hair growth in men.

     

    Caffeine is being included in formulas for body creams, hair lotions and other cosmetic preparations. Most of these products contain just 3% of this substance. Its chemical characteristics (it dissolves in water but not in oil) make its application in cosmetics difficult, because, in its free form, it penetrates poorly to the interior of the epidermis. But thanks to modern emulsions and microspheres for delivering substances and facilitating penetration, caffeine is now used as a key skincare ingredient. Read More

  • Anna Solana, science journalist

    Photoprotective pills

    14 Oct  Photoprotective pills

     

    Sources:

    Actas Dermo-Sifiliográficas

    Applying sunscreen is the most common way to protect the skin from the sun’s radiation, but not everyone uses the most suitable product and not everyone remembers to re-apply it after a few hours. For some time now, more convenient alternatives for avoiding UV damage have been investigated. Oral photoprotectors could be one solution.

     

    These products are sold as a method to protect the skin of the entire body evenly and uniformly, with no need to worry about sweat or contact with clothes or water, as happens with sunscreens. Oral sunscreens essentially contain antioxidants (carotenoids, polyphenols, flavonoids, etc.) and vitamins (C, E) that restore damage to DNA caused by UV rays. So far, however, they have not been shown to provide sufficient protection to be able to replace sun creams and, even less, to replace coverup clothing, sunhats and sunglasses. Read More

  • Anna Solana, science journalist

    Diamonds for the skin

    16 Jun Diamonds for the skin

     

    Sources:

    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

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