The Next Big Beauty Buzzword: Nanotechnology

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Nanotechnology, while relatively new in cosmetics and skin care, has been around for years. This branch of science deals with the manipulation of atoms and molecules with dimensions of less than 100 nanometers (about 800 times smaller that the diameter of a human hair)-particles too tiny to be seen or otherwise handled. For years, scientists have been working with these specks in a variety of ways, including the production of ink, car bumpers and more.

In terms of beauty, companies are hoping to use nanotechnology to get ingredients deeper into the skin, and even the hair. For example, it can be used to break down important active ingredients into nanoparticles. While there are some published studies that suggest that solid lipid nanoparticles penetrate the skin better than conventional creams, it’s still difficult to find studies that prove nano-engineered products are more effective than others, or that they are effective at all. Because of method-disclosure requirements, companies are reluctant to publish test results for proprietary technology.

Bottom line: Nano-engineered beauty products may work well, but we don’t have definitive and easily-available proof that they do because large-scale studies have not been made public yet.

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