Nowadays, nanotechnology is frequently used in many cosmetic products, such as moisturisers, hair care products, make up and sunscreen. According to the report revealed by ObservatoryNano that looked into the use of nanotechnology in the cosmetic industry there are two primary uses for nanotechnology in cosmetics. First, nanoparticles are used as UV filters. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are the main ingredients as organic alternatives have not been developed yes. Then nanotechnology is used for delivery particular components. Solid lipid nanoparticles and nanostructured lipid carriers, which are used in cosmetic industry for delivery, can replace liposomes and niosomes. With the help of encapsulation techniques, newer structures can provide better hydration of skin, stability of the agent, bioavailability and controlled occlusion. Also, nanocrystals, nanoemulsions and dendrimers are being investigated for further application in the cosmetic industry.
The safety assessment of nanomaterials in cosmetic products is currently being discussed. As long as standard safety tests for cosmetics haven't been modified in order to ensure safety of using nanomaterials, such cosmetics must be properly labeled.
Some examples of personal care products, which apply nanotechnology, are mentioned in the list below:
Penetration enhancer - increases penetration of key ingredients into the skin, using so-called nanoemulsions or nanospheres:
L'Oreal has managed to deliver active ingredients into the deeper layers of skin with the use of polymer nanocapsules. An anti-wrinkle cream Plentitude Revitalift, which used nanoparticles, was released in 1998.
Freeze 24/7, a new skincare line against wrinkles is planning to use nanotechnology in future products.
La Prairie's product, the Dollars 500 Skin Caviar Intensive Ampoule Treatment, has been designed to minimize the look of uneven skin pigmentation, wrinkles and lines in six weeks using nanotechnology.
The nanoemulsions in the product deliver the functional ingredients to the site of action quicker and more effective.
In 2005 Procter & Gamble's Olay brand was developed with nanoemulsion technology.
There are some other companies using nanotechnology in their skin products as of 2005: Neutrogena, from Johnson & Johnson; Mary Kay and Clinique from Lauder; Avon; and the Estee Lauder brand.
Hair products –carry active ingredients deeper into hair shafts with the help of nanoemulsions.
PureOlogy have been working with nanoemulsions since 2000, when the founder of the company started developing a product line for color treated hair.
Sunscreens – "micronizing" of zinc and titanium in sunscreens made them transparent, less smelly, less greasy and boosted their ability to be absorbed into the skin.
DDF planned more anti-aging products using nanotechnology as of 2004.
Colorescience sells a powder named Sunforgettable, which contains titanium dioxide nanoparticles.
In the U.S. in 2003 Paris-based Caudalie released its sunscreen Vinosun Anti-Aging Suncare, an anti-aging treatment, which applies "nanomized" UV filters and antioxidants.
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