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.
Of all the dermatological woes that plague adults, the one that is most misunderstood – and consequently mistreated – is acne. Most of us experienced chronic breakouts as teens, but some 25% of male adults continue to battle with zits well into their 20s, 30s and even 40s.
There are three guaranteed causes for acne: overactive oil glands, blockages in the hair follicle (dead skin cells, sebum) and a growth of bacteria in the follicle itself. It stands to reason, then, that curing acne is largely a case of learning how to manage that dastardly oil production.
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.
My latest contribution to Mr Porter is now live! For the full article click here.
“For many of us, winter creates a sensory blindfold. When it comes to smell – the intangible sense that silently shapes our emotional world – everything is muffled. For starters, olfaction is compromised when ambient air is cool (granted, that unshakable case of flu doesn’t help either) and odour molecules (the very things that carry scent) move much more slowly in winter than they do in hotter months.
The veil of winter is so heavy, in fact, that we invariably turn to punchier and warmer fragrances – orientals, chypres, gourmands – to get us through the freeze. Fragrances need to be powerful enough to make up for the lack of obvious aromatics in the immediate environment. Cue unintentional over-spraying of that leathery eau de parfum.