604, 2017
  • The Chemistry of Nail Polish

The Chemistry of Nail Polish – Polymers, Plasticisers and Pigments

By |April 6th, 2017|

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Painting your nails with nail polish might not seem like a particularly complex chemical process, but there’s much more to it than meets the eye. Polymerisation, thixotropic agents, solvents and thermochromism are all terms you might expect to hear more frequently in a lab than in a nail salon, but they can all crop up in relation to nail polish. In this graphic and article, we take a look at the different chemistry that comes together to colour your nails.


603, 2017
  • C&EN AntiAging Preview

The Science Behind Anti-Aging Creams – Do They Really Work? In C&EN

By |March 6th, 2017|

Click to view full graphic on the C&EN site

This month’s edition of Periodic Graphics in C&EN takes a look at the science behind anti-aging creams – what compounds are found in them, and is there any proof that they can reverse the ravages of time on your skin? Click through the C&EN site to see the full graphic!


2109, 2015
  • Deodorants vs. Antiperspirants

The Chemistry of Deodorants vs. Antiperspirants

By |September 21st, 2015|

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Deodorants and antiperspirants are products that the majority of us make use of everyday. The two terms aren’t interchangeable, however; there is a difference in the manner in which they act to reduce body odour. Today’s graphic is a collaboration with ACS Reactions looking at the chemical compounds that allow each to do their job; check out the ACS Reactions video here, then read on below for a more detailed look at some of the health discussions surrounding the chemical entities found in these products.


2107, 2015
  • Cosmetic Chemistry – The Chemistry of Moisturisers

The Chemistry of Moisturisers

By |July 21st, 2015|

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It’s the middle of summer, and hopefully, if you’re heading out in the sun, you’re taking the precaution of applying sun cream beforehand. Sometimes, however, you can end up with sunburn despite your best efforts to prevent it. After sun and moisturisers can help to soothe the burn – here, we take a look at the chemicals that allow them to do their jobs. […]

1808, 2014
  • The Chemistry of Lipstick

Cosmetic Chemistry – The Compounds in Red Lipstick

By |August 18th, 2014|

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Lipstick is one of the most commonly used cosmetic products – and a range of chemicals are required for its production. The choice of these ingredients is carefully considered to provide the desired colour, glossiness, and indelibility. A single stick of lipstick will contain several hundred different chemical compounds, but there are a few substances and compounds whose inclusion is essential.


708, 2014

How Do Tanning Lotions Work? – The Chemistry of Fake Tan

By |August 7th, 2014|

We’re all well versed in the dangers of spending too much time in the sun. A golden tan after a few weeks away in the sun is everyone’s aspiration, but no-one wants to come back from a holiday red as a cooked lobster, hence the need for sunscreen (which we looked at in a previous post). However, if you’re unlucky enough not to have the time for a couple of weeks on the beach, you might be tempted to resort to tanning lotions to achieve a tanned look. These can induce the appearance of a tan, through the action of the chemicals they contain.


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