Fullerene Nanoparticles: Power Skin Penetration, Antioxidant Defense

Nanotechnology-based formulas can improve the behavior release of ingredients and their skin penetration. Fullerene nanoparticles, in particular, are useful for ROS scavenging. This review summarizes recent trends in fullerene-containing skin care.
Nanotechnology-based formulas can improve the behavior release of ingredients and their skin penetration. Fullerene nanoparticles, in particular, are useful for ROS scavenging. This review summarizes recent trends in fullerene-containing skin care.

Read the full article in the April 2022 digital edition. . .

Nanotechnology, a rapidly growing field of research, can be defined as any nanoscale particle with a size range of 1 nm to 100  nm. Nano-based strategies are focused on the reinforcement of various areas of science, including for the development of cosmetic product formulations.1, 2 Such technologies can improve the efficacy and characteristics of cosmetic carriers, such as solubility, transparency, color and durability.3

In dermatology, one of their main applications is to increase product efficacy by increasing skin penetration. Nanoparticles (NPs) such as solid lipid NPs, liposomes, nanoemulsions, nanosomes, carbon nanotubes, fullerene NPs and others have been used to create various cosmetic nanocarriers. Among them, fullerene and its derivatives are gaining interest in the formulation of sunscreens, makeup, anti-aging care and hair care products.4 In fact, the global market for fullerene was valued at US $474.8 million in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.4% to $641.7 million by 2027.5

Functionalized fullerenes have actually been used in cosmetics for more than a decade; fullerene NPs have been marketed since 2005 as cosmetic ingredients.6 C60 is the most popular type of fullerene, with 60 carbon atoms in a “soccer ball” configuration and distinguished by its highly conjugated structure of 30 carbon double bonds. C60 can be used in biomedicine due to its antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties, as well as enzyme inhibition, cyto- and neuroprotective effects, diagnostic and targeted drug delivery.7 Recently, a sustainable, environmentally friendly and naturally derived fullerene also was developeda that has attracted attention due to its excellent penetration properties and moisturizing effects.8

Although their clinical effects have yet to be thoroughly studied,9 fullerene NPs have been found to lower morphological changes in cells, melanogenesis and apoptosis,10 and can also act as skin protectants by inhibiting keratinocyte development. They also effectively penetrate the epidermis and can be employed as a carrier—especially for acne therapy, as they reduce sebum production while imparting antibacterial properties against Propionibacterium acnes.11

Furthermore, fullerene NPs demonstrate antioxidant activity that is thirty orders of magnitude greater than vitamin C; and in cases where oxidative stress is the cause of hair loss, fullerene antioxidant activity may be useful to promote hair growth.12, 13 In relation, the present work briefly summarizes the history and current applications of fullerenes in cosmetics.

. . .Read more in the April 2022 digital edition. . .


  1. Dhawan, S., Sharma, P. and Nanda, S. (2020). Cosmetic nanoformulations and their intended use. In Nanocosmetics. https://doi.org/10.1016/b978-0-12-822286-7.00017-6
  2. Santos, A.C., Morais, F., ... Ribeiro, A., et al. (2019). Nanotechnology for the development of new cosmetic formulations. In Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery 16(4); https://doi.org/10.1080/17425247.2019.1585426
  3. Hooshyar, S., Nafisi, S., Mohseni, M. and Mehravi, B. (2021). Design and synthesis of potential nano-carrier for delivery of diphencyprone to hair follicle. J Pharmaceutical Inves 51(2); https://doi.org/10.1007/s40005-020-00501-z
  4. Mousavi, S.Z., Nafisi, S. and Maibach, H.I. (2017). Fullerene nanoparticle in dermatological and cosmetic applications. In Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine 13(3); https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nano.2016.10.002
  5. Rahimi, M., Shahhosseini, S., Sobati, M.A., Movahedirad, S., Khodaei, B. and Hassanzadeh, H. (2019). A novel multi-probe continuous flow ultrasound assisted oxidative desulfurization reactor; Experimental investigation and simulation. Ultrasonics Sonochemistry 56; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ultsonch.2019.04.024
  6. Halford, B. (2006). Fullerene for the face. In Chemical and Engineering News 84(13); https://doi.org/10.1021/cen-v084n013.p047
  7. Benn, T.M., Westerhoff, P. and Herckes, P. (2011). Detection of fullerenes (C60 and C70) in commercial cosmetics. Environmental Pollution 159(5); https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2011.01.018
  8. Carmona, F. and Pereira, A.M.S. (2013). Herbal medicines: Old and new concepts, truths and misunderstandings. In Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia 23(2). https://doi.org/10.1590/S0102-695X2013005000018
  9. Rondags, A., Yuen, W.Y., Jonkman, M.F. and Horváth, B. (2017). Fullerene C60 with cytoprotective and cytotoxic potential: Prospects as a novel treatment agent in dermatology? Exp Derm 26(3); https://doi.org/10.1111/exd.13172
  10. Sergeeva, V., Kraevaya, O., ... Kostyuk, S., et al. (2019). Antioxidant properties of fullerene derivatives depend on their chemical structure: A study of two fullerene derivatives on helfs. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity; https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/4398695
  11. Ghabdian, Y., Taheri, A. and Jahanian-Najafabadi, A. (2020). Development of novel topical formulation from fullerene with antibacterial activity against Propionibacterium acnes. Fullerenes Nanotubes and Carbon Nanostructures 29(2); https://doi.org/10.1080/1536383X.2020.1825388
  12. 장병수. (2014). Hair clearing effect of fullerene in shampoo. Journal of Investigative Cosmetology 10(4); https://doi.org/10.15810/jic.2014.10.4.010
  13. Zhou, Z., Lenk, R., ... Kepley, C.L., et al. (2009). Fullerene nanomaterials potentiate hair growth. Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine 5(2); https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nano.2008.09.005

a LipoFullerene (INCI: Squalane (and) Fullerenes), Vitamin C60 BioResearch Corp.

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