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> Organic nanomaterials used in Cosmetics Issue: 2014-2 Section: 17-19

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Nano cosmetics is a modern area with a particular interest for researchers because nano materials are offering new advantages compared to bulk materials. World customers are looking for care products that supply multiple benefits with minimal efforts and fewer side effects.

In this article, I have chosen to write and emphasize some organic substances that are often used as nanocosmetics, their ingredients being found nowadays or in the short future in deodorizers, soaps, toothpaste, shampoo, hair conditioner, anti-wrinkle creams, moisturizers, foundation, face powder, lipsticks, blush, eye shadow, nail polish, perfume, after-shave lotion, etc. These types of organic ingredients are liposomes, niosomes and nanoemulsions.

Recent research & results

Cosmetics are products created for body care having the effect of cleansing, beautifying or hiding defects and enhancing beauty features, to balance or intensify the odour of the human body. Reaching the cutaneous cells is one of the main concerns of cosmetics, at the same time limiting the passage into blood vessels. Like cosmetics, cosmeceuticals contain ingredients which contribute to the biological function of the skin and are topically applied.

Mitkare et al. stated that there are two groups of nanoparticles used as active ingredients in cosmetics: labile organic nanoparticles as liposomes, niosomes, nanoemulsions, and insoluble inorganic nanoparticles like titanium dioxide, fullerenes, quantum dots, etc.

Anuradha et al. gave a definition of affordable organic ingredients commonly found in nanocosmetics like liposomes and niosomes. Thus, Niosomes (Fig.1.Niosome) and Liposomes (Fig.2. Liposome) (synthetic variant of liposomes) are globular vesicles and are composed of amphiphilic molecules which enhance the permeation of active ingredients across the skin and act as drug and cosmetics carriers, respectively. Liposomes are vesicular structures made up of a very-aqueous core surrounded by a hydrophobic membrane composed of a lipid bilayer photospholid and cholesterol. Liposomes are generally utilized in aqueous systems. Liposomes are used in the cosmetic industry because of the ease of processing and application. Reshmy Rajan et al. published about a new type of liposomes called, transfersomes which are more elastic than liposomes and have improved efficiency. The niosome is a nanostructure enveloped by layers of nonionic surfactant in lamellar phase. Being non-ionic surfactant vesicles, niosomes can be used to encapsulate aqueous solutes. The hydrophobic parts are shielded from the aqueous solvent while the hydrophilic head groups are in contact with it. The advantages of using niosomes in cosmetics and skin care include stability and low toxicity, as they are used for the delivery of anti-inflammatory and anti-infective agents.

Nanoemulsions (Fig.3. Nanoemulsion) are used in certain cosmetic products such as lotions or conditioners combining such as water, oils and surfactants. Compared with microemulsions, they are very fragile systems. Thus, because of their sensory properties and biophysics, nanoemulsions are easily evaluated in skin care. Nanoemulsion lotions allow milk, crystal clear transparent gels with different rheological behavior, richness and surface features.

Few examples of skin care suppliers worldwide are revealing their interests for nanocosmetics applications: Lancôme Hydra Zen Cream (Fig.4. Lancôme Hydra Zen) is using “nano-encapsulated Triceramide to renew skin’s healthy look”; L’Oreal Revitalift Double Lifting (Fig.5. L’Oreal Revitalift) anti-wrinkle cream is the “first double-action cream that instantly re-tautens the skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles”, and contains Niosomes of Pro-Retinol A.

Nanoemulsions are used in preserving ingredients like vitamins and antioxidants. Solid lipid nanoparticles acts as a UV blocker, thus improving UV protection combined with organic sunscreens such as benzophenone which reduces the concentration of UV absorption.



In conclusion, it has been discovered that organic nanocosmetics produce clear advantages in beauty care or dermatological treatments (Fig.6. Skin cream) of our body when stability, deeper skin access, toxicity, skin permeation, safe guard against UV radiation and biocompatibility of active organic nanoparticles are resolved within research community. Nanotechnology is inevitably present in the cosmetic field and is believed the highest technology available.



  • Patel Anuradha et al.: Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Clinical Research,Vol.1, Issue (2011), 40-55, Review Article: Overview on Application of nanoparticles in cosmetics
  • Reshmy Rajan, Shoma Jose, V. P. Biju Mukund, and Deepa T. Vasudevan, J Adv Pharm Technol Res. 2011 Jul-Sep; 2(3): 138–143 Review on: A Vesicular transdermal delivery system for enhance drug Permeation - Ethosomes and Transferosomes



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We warmly thank the teachers Tamara Slatineanu and Irina Brînză, for their effective support to this article.

This work was supported by A.L.P.H.A.- Pupils Comenius Bilateral Project (2013-1-RO1-COM07-29620 1), Colegiul Tehnic Gheorghe Asachi, Iaşi, Romania, Liceo Statale E.Boggio Lera, Catania, Italy.