It is rare that I write a post in the first person or, for that matter, reference my own convoluted dermatological woes. But given that this is a blog, and blogs are designed for confessional writing, I should probably tell you about my chronic allergies – the kind of sensitivities that trigger eczema, angry flare ups and the occasional rash on my face. Not a strong look. Especially for someone that’s supposed to be a health and grooming editor on glossy magazines.
It is alleged that John Ruskin, the eminent 19th century art critic, had become so conditioned by pube-less sculptures that the sight of his wife’s lady garden rendered him unable to perform on their wedding night. If you possess an unusual amount of disdain for residual fur – especially your own – and have ever wondered how to shave (or wax or, indeed laser) your undercarriage, then my latest contribution to Mr Porter on the highs and lows of manscaping might be what you’re looking for. Click here or on the image above for the full story. I think my journalism career might have just peaked.
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As the health and beauty industries start to merge, it’s no surprise that skincare now comes in pill form. Formally known as ‘nutricosmetics’, these pills and potions play on the idea of beauty from within. Anti-ageing drinks such as Gold Collagen, Fountain and Pure HA have taken the UK by storm.
As part of the ‘Skincare & Dermatology’ report in today’s edition of The Times, I explore the gut-skin connection, the nutricosmetics market and question whether supplementing has any effect on the skin at all. You can read the full article online here.
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In spite of some very convincing greenwashing, many of the larger cosmetic manufacturers don’t have verifiable eco credentials or a long-term corporate responsibility plan.
Last year Unilever’s Indian arm, Hindustan Unilever, was accused of dumping toxic mercury from a now defunct thermometer factory in the forest near Kodaikanal, an act made public by, Kodaikanal Won’t, a youtube video that went viral. Episodes like these, along with an increasing amount of public awareness around carcinogens and toxins in personal care products, are forcing the industry to clean up its act. The most recent industry-wide reform came about when activists campaigned to ban the minute polyethylene microbeads that are found in most big brand face scrubs, toothpastes, body washes and other grooming products.
There is one aesthetic affliction that cuts to the core of all grown men – hair loss that has the power to elicit responses ranging from steadfast denial to a televangelist-style comb-over. But acceptance is increasingly inconceivable in a world where there are so many viable options to tackle follicular shortcomings.
It doesn’t take a psychotherapist to see why hair loss can break a man. For centuries, a full head of hair has been a symbol of masculinity, an expression of youth, strength and virility. For many men, hair loss is emasculating, a brutal blow to their self-esteem, a depressing reminder that time is passing.
Had you picked up a gossip rag in the last three years, chances are you would have read something about intravenous therapy, the celebrity fad that had, quite literally, penetrated every accessible vein Hollywood.
Performers, athletes and movie executives – the kind of alpha personalities who simply couldn’t afford to fall ill – were reported to have gained extra energy and a bulletproof immune system by way of vitamin cocktails drip-fed straight into their blood system. The practice had become something of a fashion statement, a rather extreme but high-tech way of sustaining the super-human levels of energy that their jobs required.