What is the Difference between Shampoo and Conditioner

As far back as most can remember, our hair has been washed with shampoo first and conditioner second, but it seems many of us don’t really know why, or even understand the differences between the two. The washing process of hair can be understood when looking at the composition of hair (figure 1A). Within hair … Continue reading What is the Difference between Shampoo and Conditioner

How do Fireworks Work?

Fireworks can be characterised as self-contained explosive devices which contain a mixture of many components such as oxidising agents, fuels and metal salts. We often associate fireworks with celebration, but the first fireworks were used to warn off evil spirits. Simple firecrackers are thought to have been developed around 1000 years ago by Chinese monk … Continue reading How do Fireworks Work?

The Chemistry of Fake Tan

photo from: https://www.superdrug.com/blog/beauty-manuals/the-ultimate-guide-to-applying-fake-tan As discussed in a previous blog post (https://glamsci.blog/2019/04/23/how-does-sunscreen-protect-our-skin/), prolonged exposure to harmful UV rays can be very dangerous, but even with this knowledge, many people still desire sun-kissed skin. A safer alternative to sunbathing or using a sunbed is fake tan, a cosmetic product that uses chemicals to temporarily darken the skin, … Continue reading The Chemistry of Fake Tan

Why do Some People Think Coriander Tastes Like Soap?

Coriander, often referred to as cilantro in North America, is a herb native to southern Europe, northern Africa and southwestern Asia. Coriander is thought to be capable of lowering cholesterol,1 as well as treating fevers, nausea and stomach disorders,2 and is a popular herb of choice in both Indian and Spanish cuisines. It is also … Continue reading Why do Some People Think Coriander Tastes Like Soap?

How does Hair Removal Cream Work

Removing body hair is a practise that has been traced back as far as ancient Egypt and India,1,2 where copper razors were used by women to shave their body hair as well as the hair on their head. Hair removal is still just as popular and desirable for many people today, although the methods we … Continue reading How does Hair Removal Cream Work

What Causes Rusting and is it Limited to Iron

The word rust is a common name for the specific compound Fe2O3, also known as iron oxide. The iron in this compound is iron(III), meaning it has lost three of its electrons when binding to the oxygen. Iron and alloys which contain iron are abundant materials that are found in cars, bikes, chains, and many … Continue reading What Causes Rusting and is it Limited to Iron

Why we Need Soap to Clean Dirty Dishes

It is well known that cleaning your dirty dishes with water alone is just not sufficient and so, we employ soaps like fairy liquid and use dishwasher tablets to help us get rid of the dirt, but why do we need these? Soap is a generic term for fatty acid salts, with the general formula … Continue reading Why we Need Soap to Clean Dirty Dishes

Why Pineapple Irritates the Tongue

If you like eating pineapple, then you’re well aware of the stinging feeling you get in your mouth after eating it. This uncomfortable sensation can last for hours and there isn’t really anything we can do but wait for it to subside. Eating a lot of pineapple often results in particularly the tongue becoming sore … Continue reading Why Pineapple Irritates the Tongue

How Does Sunscreen Protect our Skin

Even though the sun is almost 150 million kilometres away from us, its UV rays are still able to cause significant damage to humans here on Earth. Whilst UV radiation is able to mutate your DNA and promote the formation and growth of tumours, it is also beneficial to us as it facilitates the natural … Continue reading How Does Sunscreen Protect our Skin

Nettle Stings and the Dock Leaf Remedy

Most of us have childhood memories of running through patches of tall grass and suddenly feeling a sharp pain as we scrape past a patch of nettles. The next few minutes would be spent frantically searching for a dock leaf to stop the pain, and for many of us this would still be our first … Continue reading Nettle Stings and the Dock Leaf Remedy