1208, 2019

The chemistry of henna

August 12th, 2019|

The Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha started on Sunday evening and runs through until Thursday. As part of the celebrations, some create impressively intricate art on their hands using henna. Here we take a look at the molecules in henna that allow it to be used as a dye, and how this process works.


1405, 2018
  • C&EN - Soap vs body wash

Soaps versus body wash – in C&EN

May 14th, 2018|

Soap and body wash both clean in the same way – but us different substances to do it. This graphic takes a look at the chemical similarities and differences. View the full graphic on the C&EN site. Also, check out the article the graphic accompanies, which looks at the chemistry of solid body washes!


604, 2017
  • The Chemistry of Nail Polish

The Chemistry of Nail Polish – Polymers, Plasticisers and Pigments

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

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

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

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. […]