• Susana Andújar, chemist

    How Is the Efficacy of Cosmetics Measured?

    15 May How Is the Efficacy of Cosmetics Measured?

    Cosmetic products packaging and advertising can sometimes promise the moon. After watching certain TV commercials, you get the impression some creams will work wonders on your skin: wrinkles will disappear and the skin will become soft and silky, just like the model in the ad. But is it true? How do they check the real effects of cosmetics?

     

    Legislation on cosmetic products requires that proof be provided for each claim made. For this reason, before a new formula is launched on the market, the manufacturing company's R&D department performs different tests, depending on the product properties they want to focus on. The "claims" that appear on the label and in ads must be backed by scientific studies. These tests are done in vitro (in an artificial or natural laboratory environment), in vivo (on people, never on animals) or using both methods. Finally, the results are always checked by applying the product on volunteers. Read More

  • Anna Solana, science journalist

    Is your beauty biodynamic?

    10 May Is your beauty biodynamic?

     

    Sources:

    Cosmetics Design USA

    Cosmetics made with ingredients grown in sustainable production systems and in harmony with the cycles of nature are acquiring new devotees. And not only among pregnant women and new mothers seeking products without preservatives, colourants or other allergens. Natural cosmetics are beginning to prevail. With quality certification.

     

    Around 7,000 different substances are used in the preparation of cosmetic and personal care products. Many of these ingredients have received bad press, as they can trigger allergic reactions, are irritants or may be carcinogenic. Therefore, growing numbers of consumers are seeking more environmentally friendly and skin-friendly alternatives. However, a natural cosmetic is not necessarily safe. This is why the market is demanding certain guarantees, like that offered by the international Demeter quality seal, known to be difficult to obtain. This certificate guarantees that all components of products claimed to be biodynamic have followed standard procedures for biodynamic agriculture (use of compost, prohibition of genetically modified plants, prohibition of pesticides, etc) and meet European regulations regarding organic products.

  • Anna Solana, science journalist

    How are hair dye ingredients controlled?

    6 May How are hair dye ingredients controlled?

     

    Sources:

    European Union

    Since hair dyes do indeed include components that can cause allergies or irritate the scalp, many brands are developing versions of their products that are less aggressive with the hair’s structure and the skin. But European legislation regulates hair dyes and is a guarantee for users. What does it say?

     

    The EU’s Regulation on Cosmetic Products, which has been in force since 11 July 2013, oversees the composition and labelling of hair dyes, evaluates their safety and prohibits their testing on animals. The standard certifies that hair dyes – used by 70% of Europeans – are safe, thus refuting the numerous articles published online that insist they are hazardous for pregnant women. Hair dyes include ingredients such as ammonia, resorcinol, parabens and paraphenylenediamine (PPD); it is the colour from PPD which is, in fact, primarily responsible for possible allergic reactions, so this component is banned in Germany, France and Sweden. Read More

  • Elisabet Salmerón, science journalist

    The home, a threat to the skin of the hands

    How many times a day do homemakers risk their skin? Dozens of times. Direct and repeated contact with detergents, soaps and other cleaning products, time spent cooking and exposure to high temperatures all mean that homemakers experience frequent problems, especially with their hands and arms. What can be done to alleviate these problems?

     

    Homemakers have an important role to play, but at a very high price for their skin. Laundry detergents, fabric softeners, soaps, washing-up liquids, bleaches, disinfectants, solvents, etc: daily exposure to these chemicals means that home upkeep and care implies ongoing risk, especially for the hands. Most household products contain substances that irritate the tissues, strip oil from the skin and damage its protective barrier. Read More

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