• Violeta Camarasa, science journalist

    Personal hygiene: an amazing story

    10 Jan Personal hygiene: an amazing story



    The Economist


    The concept of personal hygiene has always been associated with issues as diverse as health, morality and beauty. Maybe that's why the history of the toilette is full of surprising advances and retreats. Understanding how hygiene evolved gives us insights into humanity and our current personal care practices.


    1. Cleanliness is (next to) godliness. The ancient Egyptians attached great importance to bathing — and also to natural body odours, which were accentuated with special perfumes for the genitals. The first bathtub on record dates from around 1700 BCE in Ancient Greece, while the invention of the steam bath is attributed to refined sybarites of the 8th century BCE. The fact that the word “hygiene” comes from the Greek goddess Hygeia is hardly surprising, as this goddess — of healing and cleansing — was especially popular during the plagues that devastated Athens in the 5th century BCE and Rome in the 3rd century BCE. Read More

  • Anna Solana, science journalist

    Natural beauty products are winning people over

    5 Jan Natural beauty products are winning people over




    The ingredients in a skin care product are equally or more important for the consumer than its actual effectiveness. This point was made in a recent study by the consultancy Kline, which also highlights the unstoppable rise of “natural” beauty products.


    This is probably because natural products are preferred for the skin, because consumers are more aware of the safety of certain ingredients and are increasingly concerned about the environment. But the fact remains that the market for so-called “natural” cosmetics continues to grow, with the sector already turning over around 30,000 million dollars worldwide. The European market, which accounts for 25% of sales of natural products, grew by 6% in 2013 – double the growth rate in the world as a whole – thanks to ingredients such as argan oil, açaí berries, pomegranate, calendula, etc. Read More

  • Fede Montagud, editor

    Coral powder as a replacement for polluting microbeads

    30 Dec Coral powder as a replacement for polluting microbeads



    Cosmetics & Toiletries

    Plastic microparticles used in many cosmetic products end up in the seas and oceans, posing a major environmental problem. Fossilized coral powder, to date used mainly in nutritional products, could solve this problem, because its properties mean it is as beneficial for the skin as it is harmless to the ecosystem.


    It contains calcium, magnesium and traces of over 70 minerals, so it is primarily sold as a nutritional supplement. However, some researchers are beginning to consider it as a possible sustainable ingredient in personal hygiene formulations. Fossilized coral powder is a novel material with useful chemical and physical properties that can help maintain the barrier function of the skin and improve its ability to regenerate. Furthermore, it does not harm the environment and it respects the fragility of coral reefs, since it is extracted from onshore deposits that lay under the sea millions of years ago. Read More

  • Susana Andújar, chemist

    Daily care of dry skin

    24 Dec Daily care of dry skin

    Understanding our skin and its needs should be the basis for our choice of cosmetics, so if you have very dry skin, you need to use products that are specifically formulated to treat dry skin and that also take into account your life stage. Below we provided some basic guidance for people with very dry skin.


    Dry skin has various causes, among them, genetics, aggressive drugs, overexposure to cold or sun, natural ageing, etc. But dryness is always the result of two factors: lack or excess loss of water (dehydration) and deficient sebum secretion by the sebaceous glands. A healthy, elastic, comfortable-feeling skin requires an optimal level of water in the stratum corneum. Certain components in dry skin are altered, but can be restored by suitable cosmetics. Hydration is the best way to maintain youthful skin and delay the onset of signs of ageing. Read More