Category Archives: Science

Hard core science straight from the journals.

Skin pH – Should You Worry About It?

Skin pH - should you be worried?

You’ve seen skin pH on packs and adverts. Should you be worried about it?

Skincare is a crowded and busy market where you have to shout loud to make yourself heard. So it isn’t surprising that just about anything you can think of has been used to sell products at some point. I don’t think there is an idea so ridiculous that somebody won’t base a skincare range on it.

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Breakthrough Skincare Active – Nature Identical Collagen

Nature identical collagen
A new form of collagen might prove to be a breakthrough

What is Nature Identical Collagen?

I have blogged before about collagen, and how it is one of the keys to understanding skin ageing. I’ve also pointed out that this hasn’t so far translated into effective skin care products. Basically collagen, and its cousin elastin, are the proteins that give your skin its lithe springy behaviour. The collagen content is the biggest determinant of how old your skin looks and feels.

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by A.S.Barwich

Smellosophy - What the Nose Tells the Mind

Boy is this a hard book. In the Middle Ages scholars everywhere in Europe wrote in Latin. This meant they could be understood everywhere, but not by everybody. There is a lingering effect of this in that academic language relies heavily on words of Latin origin. This makes it difficult to read if you are not used to it. It does have a good reason for this of course – everyday language varies across the English speaking world and words have associations that can cloud their use and their meanings are continually changing. So you can see why that is how scientific papers are written. But it is still heavy going to plough through a whole bookful of it.

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Intermittent Fasting

Carrying More Pounds Than I Have To

I’m at that age where I need to be careful about a lot of things I never used to give a second thought to. Well into my forties I had little to worry about with my weight. But since then I have found that left to itself, my stomach indulges in what used to be called middle aged spread. This bothers me mainly because my self image is someone who is thin. And indeed most of the rest of me is indeed thin. If my stomach expands it is all the more noticeable.

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Learning Cosmetic Science for Non-Cosmetic Scientists

learning about the science behind cosmetics

A question from Emma

Dear Colin
I started reading your blog a few months ago, and find it a fascinating and useful resource. I am in the process of setting up a small business selling soaps and bath products that I make myself by hand. I started this as a hobby about 4 years ago, but found that I loved the process and the huge learning curve, and wanted to devote more and more time to it…
I am very keen to learn more about basic chemistry, but I have no idea where to start as I have no science background (if you were arty in my day, the sciences were another world!). If you are able to suggest any reading or learning material to get me started I would be very grateful.
Yours
Emma

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Egg and Yoghurt As A Hair Conditioner

I was talking to someone who grew up on the Indian subcontinent and he asked me about something his mother and sister do.  They make their own hair conditioner using yoghurt and egg.  It’s quite an interesting idea.  As a cosmetic chemist I can draw on raw materials from several hundred suppliers and use all sorts of equipment to develop and make highly effective hair treatments.  But what if I had to work with only the materials that were to hand in the average country kitchen? Continue reading

Grey Hair Gene

Grey Hair Gene

Grey hair may not be inevitable in the future

Grey hair is something we can all look forward to.  That the genes have something to do with it is pretty clear.  Some people go grey in their twenties – a few put it off until their fifties or even later.  And it is very rare that someone goes grey and then turns back again.  So it is a pretty safe bet that this is not strongly an environmental thing.   Continue reading

Antibiotic Free Rosacea Treatments – Dermalex

antibiotic free rosacea treatments

Rosacea is bad – though generally not this bad

A question from Lucy

Exciting to find your site… thank you for interesting articles.

Do you know anything about Dermalex Rosacea Cream? It sounds tempting in so far as being antibiotic free and reducing redness but the scary-sounding ingredients are unfamiliar. Is it genuinely safe?
I’d be grateful for your opinion Continue reading

Hair Care Secrets – Horizon BBC2 23rd January 2017

Hair Care Secrets BBC HorizonSo how much hair care can you cover in an hour?  Quite a lot, but maybe not as much as the producers tried to cram into this one.  We had the biology of hair, a run down of the chemistry of both shampoos and conditioners, restorative hair surgery, a new hair strengthening agent, hair evaluation technology, how to shoot hair for adverts, greying hair and the latest gene research.  I am out of breath just typing it all. Continue reading

Is Standing Healthier Than Sitting?

Is Standing Healthier Than Sitting?

Is standing up a lot a good idea? The claimed health benefits for standing rather than sitting are quite impressive. According to juststand.org excessive sitting is causing “obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, depression and the cascade of health ills and everyday malaise that come from what scientists have named sitting disease. ” Continue reading