• Violeta Camarasa, science journalist

    10 key questions regarding mineral oils

    Mineral oils have been used in cosmetics for the last hundred years. In recent decades they are among the components that most confuse consumers. The myths and misconceptions are many. How do mineral oils affect the health of the skin? Are they carcinogenic? Do they cause acne? Are they “natural”? Are vegetable oils safer?


    1. Which cosmetics contain mineral oils? We can answer this question more quickly by formulating the question in reverse, as these oils are the most common components in cosmetics. Paraffin oil, petroleum oil, liquid paraffin, white liquid petrolatum, white oil, petrolatum (vaseline), mineral oil, silicone quaternium, methylsilanol, microcrystalline wax – they go by many names. If any of these ingredients are featured on a label, it means that you are applying mineral oil to your skin. Read More

  • Fede Montagud, editor

    The wrinkle filler crisis

    24 Mar The wrinkle filler crisis



    BBC News Health

    Rejuvenating skin treatments in the form of injections of various kinds have averted the need for cosmetic surgery for many women (and men). But side effects have proliferated, because the products are not always of high quality and the people who administer them do not necessarily have suitable qualifications.


    Would you get a botox or collagen injection at a hairdressing salon or a beauty party? Well, it happens a lot and, in view of the complications, has raised the alarm among doctors. The UK Royal College of Surgeons, for instance, has launched an initiative to ensure that only doctors, qualified nurses and dentists can inject botox, which is actually a powerful neurotoxin. In addition, charlatans offer misleadingly cheap offers and inject diluted hyaluronic acid – and logically the effect lasts half as long. In the USA, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only approved five substances, along with botox, as wrinkle fillers, and all are considered medicines. In Europe, however, almost 50 substances are allowed. If you are thinking about removing years from your face using collagen, hyaluronic acid or botox injections, consult a specialist medical centre. Do not put your skin or body at risk.

  • Núria Estapé, science journalist

    Enzymes for skin care

    21 Mar Enzymes for skin care



    The New York Times

    Enzymology is a new research area in dermatology and cosmetics that tries to discover how enzymes can improve skin appearance and prevent skin problems. Pharmaceutical companies study enzymes associated with skin disorders, whereas the cosmetics sector is interested in enzymes that enhance the beauty of the skin. However, including suitable enzymes in the diet is currently the most natural and effective way to achieve a healthy and beautiful skin.


    To remain healthy and vibrant the skin needs to be nourished with fats, proteins and carbohydrates. For these substances to act optimally on skin tissues, they need certain small molecules, called enzymes, to accelerate chemical reactions. Enzymes help food pass from the blood to the skin, develop beneficial fats and repair collagen damaged by ultraviolet rays, just to name a few of their many functions. There are many kinds of enzymes. Those most frequently used in cosmetics, called proteolytic enzymes, break down proteins so that the skin can better absorb their components and so promote cell growth and renewal. Read More

  • Anna Solana, science journalist

    Winning the war against wrinkles

    10 Mar Winning the war against wrinkles



    University of Maryland

    "Wrinkles are beautiful," said Adolfo Dominguez, who coined this slogan, famous in the Spanish fashion trade of the 1980s. This is not true, however. According to different sources, the market for dealing with the wrinkles that etch the years onto our skin will be worth 290,000 million dollars by 2015. Youth is purchased at exorbitant prices. And techniques are increasingly sophisticated. But what are these techniques? And more importantly, do they work?


    The options are many. And new seemingly impossible combinations are offered, with succulent promises. Basically, however, the techniques can be reduced to either applying something to the skin or removing something from the skin. Applying products to the skin make it appear fresher, whereas removing layers and stretching the skin renews it. This may seem a gross simplification, but it helps understand the panoply of treatments that promise to take years off you. Read More