• Núria Estapé, science journalist

    Is showering without soap better for the skin?

    21 Feb Is showering without soap better for the skin?



    The New York Times

    A morning shower wakes us up and a shower at night relaxes us. Some of us cannot imagine life without a warm, soapy daily dose of water, the source of life itself. In the last century personal hygiene has dramatically improved health. But overuse of soaps and of excessively alkaline products have repercussions for of our skin. New minority fashions are making radical proposals.


    We rarely examine in detail the composition of the soaps we buy. If the soap we use doesn’t moisturize our skin, we use a moisturizing cream after the shower. If our shampoo promises miracles but leaves our hair looking like a frizzy mop, we apply conditioners and treatments. All this seems excessive, but could we imagine our bathroom without its arsenal of personal hygiene items? Would the appearance and health of our skin improve if we used fewer products? Absolutely. That’s the response of the pioneers of a new trend of showering without soap or shampoo. Read More

  • Anna Solana, science journalist

    Why does scratching an itch make it worse?

    16 Feb Why does scratching an itch make it worse?




    Our grandmothers and our mothers said it before us and we unthinkingly say the same to our children: “Don’t scratch, you’ll just make it worse." And it's true. Everyone knows that if you scratch, it gets itchier. And we now know the scientific basis for this phenomenon common to all cultures.


    The reason the itch doesn’t go away when we scratch is serotonin, probably the most notorious neurotransmitter of modern times, as it plays an important role in hunger, sleep, sexual desire, mood and body temperature. Zhou-Feng Chen’s team at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis (USA) recently published new findings on itching. Scratching disables nerve endings that send the itch signal to the spinal cord but also causes local swelling and pain. Serotonin levels increase to soothe this pain and this, in turn, increases the itching sensation. Read More

  • Susana Andújar, chemist

    Daily care of oily skin

    11 Feb Daily care of oily skin

    Our choice of cosmetics should be based on knowledge of our skin and its needs. Products exist that are specifically formulated for the care and protection of each skin type and each life stage. The daily care information and tips below are aimed at people who have very oily skin.


    We usually develop oily skin in adolescence due to age-related hormonal changes (with androgens playing a very important role), which lead to increased sebum secretion and, frequently, acne. Over time the excess oil production will slow down and the skin's appearance will improve. Sometimes the problem arises from the use of very comedogenic (favouring acne) cosmetics or products that are not suitable for oily skin. The prevalence of acne in adolescence is very high; some 70%-80% of teenagers affected, with little difference between boys and girls. Read More

  • Anna Solana, science journalist

    The first mother-baby contact: beneficial for both

    5 Feb The first mother-baby contact: beneficial for both



    Science Daily

    A baby entering the world suddenly stops feeling its mother’s heartbeat and the warmth of the space where it had floated like a fish in water for nine months. Delivery protocols therefore recommend immediately placing the newborn on the mother's stomach. A recent study confirms that this skin-to-skin contact is highly beneficial for both.


    The first mother-baby contact in the minute after birth is immeasurably comforting, wet and strange, all at the same time. If there are no complications that prevent it, this skin-to-skin contact is crucial. It has a powerful calming effect on both the baby and the mother and it helps create emotional bonds and mutual recognition, while preventing heat loss and contributing to successful breastfeeding. Read More