Nanotechnology in Cosmetics: A Review

Apr 1, 2012 | Contact Author | By: Xiao Wu, PhD, College of Pharmacy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
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Title: Nanotechnology in Cosmetics: A Review
metal oxidesx nanocapsulesx fullerenesx nanocrystalsx SLNsx NLCsx
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Keywords: metal oxides | nanocapsules | fullerenes | nanocrystals | SLNs | NLCs

Abstract: As the commercial applications of nanotechnology have increased in the past decade, a number of nanoparticles are now being used in cosmetic products with optimized sensory attributes and consumer-perceivable benefits. This article reviews various forms of nanoparticles used in the cosmetic industry, discussing their properties, interactions with the skin and potential health effects.

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X Wu, Nanotechnology in cosmetics: A review, Cosm & Toil 127(6) 266-272 (Apr 2012)

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In 1986, the Christian Dior brand first incorporated liposomes in cosmetics as part of its Capture line. Since that time, many cosmetic manufacturers followed suit by incorporating nanotechnology into their formulations. Nanoparticles are defined as particles ranging from 1 to 100 nm, although this definition may be altered to account for particles larger than 100 nm. Some researchers also call particles between 100 nm and 1 µm nanoparticles because they exhibit size-related properties that differ significantly from those observed in bulk materials. A number of nanoparticles such as metal oxide nanoparticles, polymeric nanocapsules, fullerenes, nanocrystals, solid lipid nanoparticles and nanostructured lipid carriers have been investigated for cosmetic applications.

Nanoparticles in cosmetic preparations are found to: improve the stability of various cosmetic ingredients such as unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins or antioxidants by encapsulating them; increase the efficacy and tolerance of UV filters on the skin surface; make the product more aesthetically pleasing; and enhance the penetration of certain active ingredients to the epidermis. This article reviews various forms of nanoparticles used in the cosmetics industry and discusses their properties, mechanisms of action and possible health effects.

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This content is adapted from an article in GCI Magazine. The original version can be found here.

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Footnotes [Wu 127(4)]

a Optisol (INCI: Titanium Dioxide) is a product manufactured by Oxonica, Haddenham, UK.

b NanoRepair Q10 Cream and NanoRepair Q10 Serum were launched by Dr. Rimpler GmbH.

c Miglyol oils (INCI: Varies) are products of Sasol Olefins & Surfactants.

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