• Anna Solana, science journalist

    Glycans: is this the sugar the skin needs?

    28 Feb Glycans: is this the sugar the skin needs?



    American Academy of Dermatology

    These complex carbohydrates are not related to the sugars we ingest through food. Glycans, found on the cell surface, play an important role in intercellular communication, metabolism and skin structuring. Maybe that's why they have become the new promise of youth in the world of cosmetics.


    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) noted the importance of glycans in an article titled “Glycomics”, published in 2001, but for over a decade scientific advances in this field were timid. However, for some years now, the cosmetics industry has been flirting with the benefits of this line of research for improving the appearance of the skin. In fact, some brands already have creams in the market whose labels include the term "glycans", conjugated with the term "eternal youth". Read More

  • Fede Montagud, editor

    Aircraft cabins and UVA rays

    25 Feb Aircraft cabins and UVA rays



    JAMA Dermatology

    UVB rays are partially filtered by glass in windows and windscreens, but not UVA rays — and likewise with the glass in airplanes. Except that the altitude at which most commercial aircraft fly (30,000 feet) aggravates this problem further. Cabin crew, most especially pilots, are therefore at a high risk of developing skin cancer.


    Martina Sanlorenzo, a researcher at the University of California, recently authored a study that compared radiation in aircraft cabins with that in tanning beds. She found that about 55 minutes flying at over 30,000 feet was equivalent to 20 minutes in a tanning bed. Contrasting her data with other studies, Sanlorenzo and her team calculated that pilots and cabin crew were up to 2.22 times more likely to develop skin cancer. Read More

  • Anna Solana, science journalist

    Why does scratching an itch make it worse?

    16 Feb Why does scratching an itch make it worse?




    Our grandmothers and our mothers said it before us and we unthinkingly say the same to our children: “Don’t scratch, you’ll just make it worse." And it's true. Everyone knows that if you scratch, it gets itchier. And we now know the scientific basis for this phenomenon common to all cultures.


    The reason the itch doesn’t go away when we scratch is serotonin, probably the most notorious neurotransmitter of modern times, as it plays an important role in hunger, sleep, sexual desire, mood and body temperature. Zhou-Feng Chen’s team at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis (USA) recently published new findings on itching. Scratching disables nerve endings that send the itch signal to the spinal cord but also causes local swelling and pain. Serotonin levels increase to soothe this pain and this, in turn, increases the itching sensation. Read More

  • Susana Andújar, chemist

    Daily care of oily skin

    11 Feb Daily care of oily skin

    Our choice of cosmetics should be based on knowledge of our skin and its needs. Products exist that are specifically formulated for the care and protection of each skin type and each life stage. The daily care information and tips below are aimed at people who have very oily skin.


    We usually develop oily skin in adolescence due to age-related hormonal changes (with androgens playing a very important role), which lead to increased sebum secretion and, frequently, acne. Over time the excess oil production will slow down and the skin's appearance will improve. Sometimes the problem arises from the use of very comedogenic (favouring acne) cosmetics or products that are not suitable for oily skin. The prevalence of acne in adolescence is very high; some 70%-80% of teenagers affected, with little difference between boys and girls. Read More