• Violeta Camarasa, science journalist

    Toxic cosmetics

    10 Nov Toxic cosmetics

     

    Sources:

    The History of Skincare

    Do we have to suffer for vanity’s sake? Since time immemorial humans have used a host of products to beautify the skin. Many of these historical ingredients were toxic and some even lethal. Cosmetics have an ugly side that shows how humans in their vanity are capable of suffering — a lot.

     

    The beautiful Cleopatra eyes that we see in the movies are often achieved with galena (lead sulfide), a neurotoxic chemical. In the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, kohl, a paste made with ground galena, has been used for centuries as mascara. Galena is just one example of the long history of the use of lead in cosmetics. Read More

  • Susana Andújar, chemist

    Allergens in cosmetic products

    We have known of skin allergic reactions associated with cosmetic products for many years. And each year, hundreds of studies add further information about the safety of ingredients. As a result, new regulations and limitations on use are constantly emerging. Which ingredients are the most allergenic?

     

    Health authorities have published numerous lists of ingredients whose allergenic potential is known. But as well as considering an ingredient’s facility for eliciting an immune reaction, we also need to consider its frequency of contact with the skin and mucous membranes. Both these factors – allergenic potential and application frequency – are the triggers for most cases of undesirable reactions produced by the use of cosmetic products. Read More

  • Fede Montagud, editor

    Turmeric: 21st century aloe vera?

    20 May Turmeric: 21st century aloe vera?

     

    Sources:

    Phytomedicine

    Turmeric, which has anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, anti-oxidant, anti-microbial and healing properties, could be an important ingredient in the creams of the future, according to several studies by different universities. Extract of turmeric, used in curry, protects the skin from UV damage and helps regenerate it.

     

    Part of the Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia and used in various Asian public health systems, turmeric is prescribed to treat stomach and joint ailments. It is also used as a coadjuvant treatment in wound healing and in revitalizing the skin. More recently, scientists at Ehime University (Japan) have found that two daily doses of curcumin (the active component in turmeric that gives it its characteristic yellow colour) can counteract the damage caused by prolonged exposure to UV light, improve the elasticity of skin and prevent the formation of wrinkles. 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.

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