Nanomaterials in cosmetics and toiletries – an update

15-Jul-2015

Nano level particles boast enhanced properties, but remain contentious

Will consumers ever accept nano-sized ingredients?

Nanomaterials have been heralded by some sections of the cosmetics industry as the gateway to the pursuit of the fountain of youth. And it’s true, to a certain extent, that nanotechnology has in the past few years moved from an area of enormous potential to delivering products – and profits – for the large cosmetics brands.

Key to this are ingredients characterised as nanomaterials, each with an average particle size of less than 100nm, 80,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. As the size of the particles decreases, their surface area increases, leading to an increase in their reactivity. In turn, this reveals enhanced properties attained by the particles at the nano level, including colour, transparency and solubility, which have proved to be of great interest to the personal care sector.

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