Say no to wrinkles!


In this series of articles, we will evaluate some of the chemicals that increase our attractiveness, protect the skin and hide its defects.

Few of us have bodies as perfect as the people we see in advertisements, magazines and movies. And although everyone knows that this perfection is mostly the result of computer processing or the efforts of make-up artists, and not a gift of nature, we stubbornly continue to achieve the same appearance. In real life, we have to improve what our parents gave us, and here chemistry comes to the rescue.

Cosmetics and wrinkles

By its structure, the skin is a very dense tissue, so a relatively small number of natural substances can penetrate through it. The skin is made up of several layers. The outer layer, the epidermis, is formed by the superficial stratum corneum and the deep basal layer, in which cell division occurs. Cells from the basal layer are pushed to the surface to the stratum corneum, where they die, and subsequently they are washed off when bathing or desquamated on their own, turning into house dust. The lifespan of skin cells from birth to death is approximately 20 days. When our skin begins to show signs of aging, we must constantly fight for a youthful appearance. And with the help of chemistry, we can at least partially reduce the destructive effect of time, or at least hide it.

Many different chemicals are used in cosmetics and skin care products. Those unthinkable effects that they say in their advertisements only bring a wry smile to your faces, because they promise too much. But can these substances really smooth out wrinkles and make us look young again? The answer is “no”, but no with one caveat: those ingredients that are now used in cosmetics, although they are not able to completely eliminate wrinkles, still help to significantly reduce them.

Already in the twenties of the last century, good results were achieved in the fight against wrinkles. Subsequently, chemistry has changed the possibilities of cosmetics and skin care in an amazing way, for example, lipsticks have become almost indelible, and various creams are now able to give the skin a silky feel. More importantly, there are now products that can protect the skin from the damaging effects of the sun, help get a tan or even make dark skin lighter.

Molecules that do such wonders include alpha-hydroxy organoacids (AHAs), ricinoleic acid, eosin, dihydroxyacetone (DHA), hydroquinone, ethylhexylmethoxycinnamate, titanium dioxide, boric acid, and liposomes. It is these ingredients that help us fight the relentless time.

The price of cosmetics is not an indicator of quality

In 2001, British consumer magazine Which? conducted an independent study of moisturizers, which evaluated their ability to improve skin texture. Thirty-two women between the ages of twenty-five and fifty-four participated in this study, each of the women tested on her skin twelve selected products, each test lasted for 5 days. At the conclusion of this not-quite-scientific experiment, it was concluded that moisturizers generally improve skin condition, but the relationship between the price of the product and its effectiveness was minimal. The standard pack contains 50 ml of moisturizer and the price ranges from £3 to £26.

As a result of the voting, the best brands were selected, they were: Boots No. 7 (price — 3 pounds 15 pence — the lowest price category), in the middle price category — Synergie Wrinkle Lift (7 pounds 99 pence) and in the upper price category — Oil of Olay, its cost is 18 pounds and 50 pence. Needless to say, most of the ingredients of all these products are not expensive, but the extensive advertising campaign and beautiful packaging cost a lot of money.

Popular misconception

There are people who blaspheme all artificially produced substances as dangerous, and praise so-called natural products, by which they mean everything that is obtained from biological sources, such as plants. From the point of view of chemistry, there is no difference between the first and second. Your skin doesn’t care what ingredients the creams and lotions you use to rejuvenate or protect it are made from. For some reason, ingredients that come from a chemical plant are even better, as they go through strict quality controls and don’t contain contaminants that can make you allergic. For example, natural rubber contains enzymes to which some people are highly sensitive, which is why surgical gloves today are made from artificial latex. However, the current fashion calls to choose cosmetics, the label of which says about their natural origin, and such products are more expensive. But in fact, when talking about the natural origin of a drug, it usually means that its ingredients were found in nature, and not that they were obtained from natural raw materials. Most of these substances are a product of the chemical industry.

Source: based on the book by John Emsley «On the benefits and harms of the products we love to buy»

Article protected by copyright and related rights. When using and reprinting the material, an active link to the healthy lifestyle portal is required!


Добавить комментарий

Ваш адрес email не будет опубликован. Обязательные поля помечены *