When we talk of nano, we talk about size. Nano is a billionth of a meter; a thousand times smaller than micro. Nanotechnology is the manipulation of matter on atomic and molecular scale. The concept and the potential applications can be very exciting.
Hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent on its research by the governments in Europe, USA and Japan. Applications have been found in the field of electronics, energy production, biomaterials and medicine.
With the development of nano sized active ingredients, skin care formulations have leaped to new levels of advancement. Many major skin care companies launched new nano skin care products with enhanced effectiveness. Skin absorption has vastly improved with the smaller particle size of nano active ingredients.
Ordinarily, skin care actives would only lay on the surface of the skin accomplishing nothing beyond improving feel. For anti-aging and lightening products, the active ingredients must work inside the skin to have any effect at all. Nanotechnology has made it possible for actives to go beyond the barriers much more easily.
Then there was the report alleging the potential of nano sized physical sunscreens getting into the body’s bloodstream. Although the clinical basis for such a claim is largely insufficient, the alarm created such a bad press, and stunted the popularity of nanotechnology in skin care. Suddenly, the major brands deleted all reference to nano in their marketing. However, they continue to use nanotechnology in their formulations, as they hide behind terminology like “micro” to avoid any controversy.
Behind the headlines in mainstream media, the research and development in nanotechnology continues. Encapsulating nano particles is one recent major advance.
Why not encapsulate nano actives which are highly reactive and unstable? Encapsulation will protect the degradation of ingredients, keeping them as fresh as when they were first added in the blend.
Why not use encapsulation technology that will slowly release nano ingredients to impart time-release benefit?
And why not use encapsulation technology that will bring the actives to specific epidermal or dermal layer where they will be needed most?
Such incredible nano-encapsulation concepts are real and are available now at SkinStation. We have embraced nanoencapsulation technology in our DERMAX Professional skin care line. We know it is safe. We are convinced that this is the future of skin care. We not only openly declare this. We proudly incorporated “NANO” in our brand name.
(In July 2012, the author spoke before the members of Philippine Society for Cosmetic Science (PSCS) on the same topic, with the title, "Nano+Encapsulation Technology in Personal Care Products". The updated and modified version of that presentation before the PSCS can be accessed here: https://app.box.com/s/7igjxmfyh5olyz6ktlv7.)
Skin Smart seeks to clarify facts and myths on skin care. It will also share innovative developments in skin care industry. This column was published in the Manila Bulletin Lifestyle Section on June 25, 2013. The author received the 2011 Outstanding Chemist Award from Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) for his achievements in the field of cosmetic chemistry. He is the CEO of SkinStation and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.