It seems to be a simple notion, yet is deceptively so. Since our skin has no receptors to alert us to dampness, how can we know we’re touching a wet surface? How do we know that the rain has soaked our clothes? In fact, we infer rather than feel wetness: our brain remembers wetness because of a combination of stimuli recorded in memory.
The mystery is this: the skin lacks specific receptors for the sensation of wetness, yet we sense dampness when we touch something wet. Researchers at the University of Loughborough (UK) report that the perception of wetness comes from our ability to feel cold and tactile sensations such as pressure and texture. This combination of stimuli is, in short, what tells us that we are touching something wet. Read More
You have probably heard of the wonders of laser skin treatments and so may be asking if laser could help overcome some of the effects of ageing that start to become increasingly visible as you grow older. Be guided by a reputable dermatologist who will advise you regarding the treatment best suited for your skin type and condition — and also for your pocket.
Laser advances are most especially being made at the cosmetic end of the spectrum, which means they are less invasive than traditional treatments like chemicals peels and dermabrasion. However, if you are considering some kind of laser or light-based treatment for your skin, it is extremely important that you consult a dermatologist or specialist centre. Be sure to ask about side effects, recovery times, number and frequency of treatments, any pre- and post-treatment skincare requirements. Read More
Microneedling, which can be performed on all skin types, is starting to overtake laser, as there is no burn risk. Also called skin needling or collagen induction therapy, it is a minimally invasive treatment that improves the appearance of the skin and can even treat problems like acne, cellulite and stretch marks. The technique, based on thousands of pinpricks that activate skin regeneration, is the latest in rejuvenation.
Microneedling consists of passing a roller with very short, fine needles over the skin. The resulting tiny wounds open microchannels that cause the body to naturally produce more reparative collagen and elastin. The procedure improves the texture and firmness of the skin and so attenuates scars, stretch marks and even the size of pores. These tiny wounds can facilitate the absorption of other substances that fight the signs of ageing, such as vitamin C, retinol and hyaluronic acid. Read More
The concept of personal hygiene has always been associated with issues as diverse as health, morality and beauty. Maybe that's why the history of the toilette is full of surprising advances and retreats. Understanding how hygiene evolved gives us insights into humanity and our current personal care practices.
1. Cleanliness is (next to) godliness. The ancient Egyptians attached great importance to bathing — and also to natural body odours, which were accentuated with special perfumes for the genitals. The first bathtub on record dates from around 1700 BCE in Ancient Greece, while the invention of the steam bath is attributed to refined sybarites of the 8th century BCE. The fact that the word “hygiene” comes from the Greek goddess Hygeia is hardly surprising, as this goddess — of healing and cleansing — was especially popular during the plagues that devastated Athens in the 5th century BCE and Rome in the 3rd century BCE. Read More