• Elisabet Salmerón, science journalist

    The home, a threat to the skin of the hands

    How many times a day do homemakers risk their skin? Dozens of times. Direct and repeated contact with detergents, soaps and other cleaning products, time spent cooking and exposure to high temperatures all mean that homemakers experience frequent problems, especially with their hands and arms. What can be done to alleviate these problems?


    Homemakers have an important role to play, but at a very high price for their skin. Laundry detergents, fabric softeners, soaps, washing-up liquids, bleaches, disinfectants, solvents, etc: daily exposure to these chemicals means that home upkeep and care implies ongoing risk, especially for the hands. Most household products contain substances that irritate the tissues, strip oil from the skin and damage its protective barrier. Read More

  • Elisabet Salmerón, science journalist

    How does my work affect my skin?

    Your work may represent a hazard for your skin. Contact with harmful substances and agents, the lack of humidity in enclosed spaces and high levels of stress may causes skin problems and disorders. What can be done to prevent this damage and keep the skin healthy?


    It is popularly said that work is health. But sometimes work has a pernicious impact on the body, especially the skin. According to reliable reports for Spain, for instance, skin disorders are second in the ranking of occupational diseases. The same is true for many other countries. Some skin problems cause chronic lesions that may incapacitate a person for life or oblige them to change jobs, yet these data receive little publicity. Read More

  • Susana Andújar, chemist

    To what extent are cosmetics safe?

    To try and guarantee that the gels, creams and other cosmetics we apply to our skin every day are not harmful to health, individual ingredients undergo strict controls. Once combined with others in product formulas, they are tested on volunteers before commercial launch to ensure that negative impact on the skin is minimal or non-existent. How are these controls implemented?


    Our readers are aware of the fact that European cosmetics legislation prohibits animal testing or the purchase of raw materials from countries where animals are used for safety tests. The testing system currently in use tries to ensure that each individual ingredient is safe. However, ingredients may interact when combined in a product, resulting in new components that might modify the safety of the final product. Current regulations do not state which tests are mandatory, but do indicate that manufacturers are responsible for the safety of their products. The cosmetics industry applies a wide range of tests, depending on how the cosmetic is applied and used (no animals are used, naturally). Read More

  • Josep Orellana, science journalist

    Contact dermatitis: substances to avoid

    11 Nov Contact dermatitis: substances to avoid




    Clinical Key

    Contact dermatitis is one of the ten main reasons for primary care consultations. More than 3,000 substances may cause contact dermatitis on different people’s skins. Certain cosmetics, hair dyes and shampoos contain potentially irritating components. Identifying the causative agent is crucial.


    Contact dermatitis is an inflammatory reaction of the skin due to exposure to certain substances. Irritant contact dermatitis is when a product first produces a local toxic effect in the skin cells, whereas allergic contact dermatitis is when a substance causes an allergic reaction due to skin sensitization from repeated contact. Read More