The applications of nanotechnology in cosmetic products – growth potential or potential hazard?


  • Zh. N. Polova
  • I. S. Chekman



nanomaterials, cosmetics, toxicity, safety



Introduction. Nanotechnology is the science of manipulating atoms and molecules in the nanoscale. Applications of nanotechnology are widely used in electronics and medicine and now are founded in the field of cosmetics (nanocosmetics). Nowadays cosmetology became science. Progress in the study of the physiology of the skin, the mechanisms of aging and skin diseases pathogenesis, allowed developers to create cosmetic products consciously based on the needs of the skin and the mechanisms of action of active components. However, there are debates over their toxicity.

     The aim. The aim of our study was to analyze scientific literature about types of nanomaterials used in cosmetics and the potential risks of nanoparticles.

    Materials and methods. Informational search about: different types of nanomaterials in cosmetics including nanosomes, liposomes, fullerenes, solid lipid nanoparticles and also toxicity and safety; in scientific editions, medical and pharmaceutical databases, and other web-resources was carried out.

    Results. There are currently exist two main uses for nanotechnology in cosmetics. First of all - use of nanoparticles as UV filters. Titanium dioxide  and zinc oxide are the main compounds used in these applications. The second use is nanotechnology for delivery. Liposomes and nanosomes are used in the cosmetic industry as delivery vehicles.

   Scientists currently believe that these nanomaterials are unlikely to have a toxic effect on humans or ecosystems that differ them from the effect of the larger particles of other substances. However, these carrier systems can change the bioavailability and the toxicological behaviour of the agents that they transport.

     For several years, many studies assess the health risks of the nanomaterials. Toxicologists’ thoughts about approach to the safety assessment of nanomaterials vary greatly: some scientists suggest that nanomaterials should be considered as new substances and therefore careful study of their safety should be done. It is necessary to take into account shape of the particles, and the degree of miniaturization (size of particles and their size distribution), the ratio of surface area and weight. Other toxicologists consider that nanomaterials may exhibit increased systemic toxicity and cytotoxicity and altered toxicokinetics.

Conclusion. The number of applications of nanomaterials in cosmetics in Ukraine is still relatively small and the absolute safety is not proven. Therefore, market participants cosmetics is important to follow the information on the safety of nanomaterials and new laws in this area.


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How to Cite

Polova ZN, Chekman IS. The applications of nanotechnology in cosmetic products – growth potential or potential hazard?. Zaporozhye Medical Journal [Internet]. 2013Nov.13 [cited 2024Jul.17];15(5). Available from:



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