Nanoparticles are used more and more in everyday products and are regarded as a key technology of the future.
However, although the area has in recent years become an increasingly important focus of research due to their undoubted advantages for use in sunscreens and cosmetics, there are still studies questioning their safety.
Nano still an issue
Earlier in the year, Cosmetics Design sat down with Cosmetics Europe’s president Fabio Franchina and general director Bertil Heerink at its Brussels headquarters who told us that whilst nanotechnology is important in the industry’s future, there is still work to be done.
“The nano issue is still an issue, and we are fully aware that the nano will be important for the future.”
Despite the growth in application, Cosmetics Europe says there is still a lot of uncertainty about the potential risks of nanotechnology and that a major problem remains in finding a definition of what nano is, however the progression in science will aid future definitions and safety regulation of nanotechnology.
“Nanotechnologies are one of the most active, and probably in the future will be one of the most successful elements that can allow cosmetics to be absolutely effective,” says Franchina.
According to market analyst Mintel, moisturising or hydrating has been the number one claim made about new nanotechnology cosmetics product launches this year.
Botanical / herbal came a very close second, followed by claims made about long-lasting effects and vitamin/ mineral fortified, while nanotechnology and nano sized ingredients came to the forefront in key beauty and personal care categories such as skin and hair care.
One in five nano launches were said to be of anti-ageing or antioxidant claims, followed by brightening/ illuminating and UV protection, according to the market researcher.
Mid year another research study revealed that shrimp shell nanoparticles can provide anti-ageing properties in skin cream.
US scientists at Fairleigh Dickinson University demonstrated that nanoparticles containing chitosan could be used as an effective ingredient due to its antimicrobial and skin regeneration properties.
Chitosan is a natural, non-toxic and biodegradable, polysaccharide readily obtained from chitin, the main component of the shells of shrimp, lobster and the beak of the octopus and squid.
It is well known for its antimicrobial activity and was studied by scientists in New Jersey for its potential in preventing infection in wounds as well as enhancing the wound-healing process itself by stimulating skin cell growth.