Category Archives: Science

Hard core science straight from the journals.

Antibiotic Resistant Superbugs Will Kill Us All

Antibiotic Resistant Superbugs Will Kill Us All

Doctors in arms race with antibiotic resistant superbugs

As I write this, this news isn’t being widely reported.  A bacteria has been found in the United States that is resistant to the last antibiotic left in the arsenal.   There is now no longer any antibiotic available that bacteria can’t survive.  This is certainly bad news – though not unexpected bad news.  Resistance to antibiotics has been a problem since antibiotics came into use.  The more widely antibiotics are used, the bigger the problem becomes.  While this is an unpleasant milestone to pass, it doesn’t actually mean that the problem is suddenly bigger than it was. The laws of natural selection are hard to dodge, and bacteria have many tricks up their sleeves to defend themselves. Continue reading

Who Does The Research On Cosmetic Safety?

who does the research on cosmetic safety who does the research on cosmetic safety

I get a steady stream of enquiries from journalists. Their questions are usually fairly similar.  They ask about the safety of cosmetics, and lose interest quite rapidly when I tell them that they are.  “Stuff you’ve never worried about before is still nothing to worry about” is not really the makings of a great headline.  But I did get one that was a bit more interesting than most the other day.  Who does the research on cosmetic safety?  Obviously, there might be a story if all the research on cosmetic ingredients is carried out by cosmetic companies, or paid for by them, then maybe something sinister is being hidden.  Who doesn’t love a good conspiracy? Continue reading

What Is Healthy To Eat?

It's tasty, but is it healthy?

It’s tasty, but is it healthy?

A pair of groups of whom I have never heard before called the the National Obesity Forum and the Public Health Collaboration have made a bit of a stir in today’s newspapers by attacking government health advice. The official line is that obesity is caused by eating too much fat, so we should avoid it and go for low fat options.  These activists claim that it is the other way around.  We should eat plenty of fat and avoid processed carbohydrates.  Who is right? Continue reading

Four Influential Female Cosmetic Scientists

influential-female-cosmetic-scientists

Elizabeth Arden

The world is changing all the time, and one of the big changes is that technology is removing many of the barriers to doing things that used to exist.  Had you wanted to start a cosmetic company thirty years ago you would have had to have had a pretty big slice of capital just to get into the game.  But now things are available in much smaller quantities so you can launch a product with much less actual cash.  This is already having an effect.  The business is now much more about niche products than it used to be. Continue reading

Free From Claims On Cosmetics

 

Free From Claims On Cosmetics

My good friend Dene Godfrey wrote an article for personal care truth denouncing the practice of free from the claims on cosmetics. This is very much the kind of thing Dene does, and he did it very well. Normally he beats all oppostion into instant submission, but this time there was a riposte to it from a blog called Skin Matters, which although I wouldn’t call them great friends is a blog I read from time to time and generally appreciate. This response was also very well-written and made some good points. To sum up the debate, Dene asserted that free from claims were not based on scientific evidence and had the effect of alarming consumers about non-existent risks. Skin Matters replied by saying that some people have genuine problems, and there was a need for products to address this. In fact Skin Matters are so convinced of the general goodness of free from claims that they have instigated an award for free from products. Continue reading

Vitiligo Treatment?

Vitiligo Treatment

Around one 1% of all people on the planet suffer from vitiligo. It affects all races and ages equally, but loss of pigment is obviously more noticeable a the darker your skin is. So it is more noticeable when someone like Michael Jackson suffers from it.  Although it doesn’t exhibit any other symptoms, having unusual skin pigmentation is a distressing condition –  most of us really want to look as normal as possible.  I worked on a project to develop a product that would cure vitiligo some years ago. It was a really exciting time. It is rare that an incurable disease is beaten, and we thought we had. Unfortunately, as is the way of these things, it didn’t get through the clinical stage. Continue reading

How Soap And Shower Gel Dry Your Skin

How Soap And Shower Gel Dry Your SkinI think I can claim to be something of an expert about skincare, but the trouble with getting really immersed in a subject is that you begin to forget that not everybody knows what you know.  I spend a lot of time talking to people in the beauty industry who know a great deal about cosmetic products.  And when I am not talking to them I am often talking to beauty bloggers who know even more.  So when I gave a talk the other day to some people with no particular connection to the business I was struck that the questions they asked were ones that I would have thought everybody already knew the answer to.  Here’s one interesting one. Continue reading