It is not true that the more you shower, the cleaner your skin is. On the contrary, showering too frequently may lead to irritated, dry and cracked skin. Furthermore, each person has different skin chemistry. No two skins are alike. Each of us has our own cocktail of skin bacteria. Some people sweat a lot, some have greasy skin, etc.
Until the use of hot running water (and hence the ability to take a shower) became widespread, bathing required heating water in basins and transferring it to the bathtub. It was common to use the same water for the different members of the family to bathe in. It was important to try not to be the last... Doubtless, the shower has improved personal hygiene (at least in developed countries). A shower a day, in the morning or in the evening, seems to be the most common average. But in order not to damage the external layer of skin cells (the stratum corneum) and the lipids (fats) that keep the skin hydrated, we should not use very hot water. In order not to alter the pH of the skin, we should use a gel or soap with a pH between 4.7 and 5.5. Another important detail is not to dry oneself with towels that are too harsh and may scratch. And, finally, it is a good idea to use a moisturizing cream.
This summer, my sun cream (like almost all of them) contained coenzyme Q10, even though it appears that the skin cannot absorb it effectively. Its beneficial effects as a food supplement are more than questionable. So why has the use of coenzyme Q10 become so widespread in recent years?
Coenzyme Q10 is a similar substance to vitamin E that was discovered in 1957. It occurs naturally in our bodies. The body’s cells need CoQ10 to obtain energy. It is also a potent cellular antioxidant. In fact, the body synthesizes CoQ10 when we eat fish, shellfish, spinach or nuts. It is used as a food supplement both in its natural and more active form, called ubiquinol (CoQ10-trans), and in its synthetic form. Product labels do not always specify clearly which form is being used. Read More
Exposure to sunlight causes damage to our DNA and generates free radicals that can cause different diseases of the skin. A recent study by three Spanish universities and an Italian university concluded that strawberries could play a major role in protecting the skin against UVA damage.
Strawberries contain several polyphenols - potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. These include anthocyanins, pigments that give them their red colour. Using strawberries, scientists produced an extract with five of these pigments and mixed them in the laboratory with cultures of skin cells (fibroblasts). They irradiated the samples with the equivalent radiation received by spending “90 minutes in the summer sun on the French Riviera”. The strawberry extract showed potent photoprotective effects and reduced damage to cellular DNA compare to the control samples. The authors of the study believe that it would be possible to manufacture sunscreens using strawberries. Now, they want to examine whether the effect is more potent through using creams or by taking the extract orally.
The cosmetic industry is evolving at a startling rate. Month after month new ingredients and highly advanced processes appear on the market, aimed at improving the appearance of our skin. But the authorities in the United States have warned that manufacturers must choose between producing cosmetics or active drugs.
The whole world knows that authorization for a drug involves a long and expensive process of testing before the drug can reach the market, but this is not the case with cosmetics. Today, however, there are cosmetics with advertising stating that they have effects “on embryonic stem cells”, that they “stimulate gene activity and protein production”, or that they “rebuild a denser skin”. If this is true, then these are drugs with major actions on the body and, therefore, should be tested before being authorized as such. Faced with the avalanche of technical advances being marketed by the cosmetic industry, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States has decided to send out a warning in order to guarantee the health of consumers.