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The Trials and Triumphs of Nanoparticles in Sunscreens

SpecialChem / Amanda FoxonHill – Jul 6, 2011

For many formulators the arrival of invisible physical SPF protection was somewhat of a watershed moment. No more white streaks, no more thick creams, no more clogging and dragging. However, the move towards a nano future has often been a rocky one as the public grapple with information surrounding their safety both in terms of the consumer and the environment. We take a look at the world of nano to see if this is a path worth taking. There is no doubt that the area of cosmetic nanotechnology is fraught with emotion and intrigue as the public and scientists around the world try to get to grips with a potentially powerful and valuable new branch of chemistry (or is it physics?). Man-made zinc oxide nanoparticles are a relatively new kid on the cosmetic chemistry block – a new kid that has become, alongside its micronized sisters very popular and that is what causes some of the problem. This nano-technology has blasted onto the cosmetics scene too quickly for some raising questions about its safety both for the individual applying the products and the environment that the product eventually gets washed into.

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