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.
Our bodies are engaged in a continual battle against oxygen. Oxygen breaks down anything complex. It makes fats go rancid. It cleaves and disorders proteins. It wrecks DNA. So basically our bodies are targets of oxygen molecules. We need to defend against them, and the workhorse of that defence is vitamin E. A third of the body’s vitamin E is located in the skin – which makes sense because that is where most of the oxygen is. Continue reading →
I was musing this morning that even though blogs in general (and my blog in particular) are not always that well written and have no kind of quality control and are generally a bit rough round the edges nonetheless they are quite compelling things to read. I think the reason for this is that they can be very immediate. You just fire up your laptop and away you go. The result can be online really quickly. In fact, I thought, I think I can probably get one up in an hour. So on a whim I posted an offer on Twitter to do a blog post on any topic in an hour. Continue reading →
The excitable chaps who cover beauty over at the Daily Mail have gone even more effervescent than usual over the latest expensive skin serum. And when I say expensive I mean expensive – a four week course costs £600 (€750, $940). That is well over half the amount a full time worker on the minimum wage would earn in a week. You’d also have to factor in the cost of a trip to Bond Street to get your DNA tested. This is the first cosmetic application of gene therapy and gets the full hype treatment under the headline ‘Is This The Most Advanced Anti-Ageing Cream Ever?’ Continue reading →
Nobody knows exactly why we age. One popular theory is that staying alive is simply too hard to keep it up for long. We have large and complicated bodies full of intricate chemicals, all of which are under constant attack from oxygen in the atmosphere. It is a bit like a ship in the middle of the ocean. Holes keep springing in the hull. We can patch them up, but eventually the whole thing gets beyond repair and the ship sinks. Continue reading →
The pace of scientific advance over the last couple of centuries has been astonishing. Innovations have poured out of laboratories and workshops transforming our lives forever. Many of these new ideas that have shaped the modern world have also at some stage been used as marketing stories by the cosmetic industry. A great example is Q10. Continue reading →
Retinol is one of a number of vitamin A derivatives that is used in pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. When I wrote about it last time I glossed over one of its drawbacks. Along with the rest of the vitamin A family overdosing can have some very serious health issues. Vitamin A is fat soluble and as such it is possible for it to build up in the body’s fat deposits. In extreme cases this can lead to birth defects. Continue reading →
A question from my first Twitter chum, Musicalhouses.
Dear Colin, How can we guess how much retinol there is in a skincare product? It’s quite hard to get a percentage ge since companies don’t disclose this. In particular, I’m looking at the Hada Labo Retinol Lifting and Firming Lotion (Ingredients: water, butylene glycol, glycerine, PEG-20 sorbitan isostearate, caprylic/capric triglyceride, methylparaben, PPG-10 methyl glucose, ether, sodium Hyaluronate, triethanolamine, Carbomer, hydroxyethylcellulose, tocopherol, BHT, disodium EDTA, hydrolyzed collagen, hydrolyzed soy protein, limnanthes alba (meadowfoam) seed oil, retinyl palmitate, helianthus annus (sunflower) seed oil, sodium Everglades Hyaluronate, zea mays (corn oil) thioctic acid, beta carotene), since retinol appears all the way down there in the ingredients list and it doesn’t have the characteristic smell or colour (white to off-white yellow) of most retinol-containing products I’ve used in the past. Also, I’d be interested in knowing any rules of thumb you have for guessing the % of a skincare ingredient given how far up or down the ingredients list it is. Thanks!
Matrixyl has been in the news. There have been a couple of stories this week in the Mail and the Mirror. The effectiveness of an anti-wrinkle ingredient has been scientifically proven. Journalists have been onto me asking for comments, so it seems to have struck a chord at least in the media. Let’s unpack it and see if we can work out what is really going on. Continue reading →
UVA Protection is wise if you are going to be exposed to the sun
Stasya has put me on the spot.
Hi Colin, I have a question that’s been at the back my mind for some time now, and after having made my way back to your blog after some time and read your post on titanium dioxide, I figured I’d ask you. I’m sure you might agree with me that it is quite frustrating how as of date there is no universally-agreed method of categorising levels of protection against UVA radiation. I was wondering if you might be able to do a cross-comparison between the East-Asian PA (+ to +++) system based on PPD, and the Boots star rating system based on absorbance of UVA? For instance, what would PA++ be roughly equivalent to, using the Boots star rating system? Thank you for your help Stasya