Enlarging the regulation of shrinking cosmetics and sunscreens

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Although one is hard-pressed to name an industry that has not jumped on the nanotechnology bandwagon, the makers of cosmetics and sunscreens have capitalized on nanotechnology more aggressively than any other. Already by 2006, 5% of all cosmetic products contained nanoparticles (NPs), whereas more than 300 sunscreens contained nano-sized zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. The appeal of using NPs in sunscreens and cosmetics rather than their conventional counterparts (called here super-sized particles, or SSPs) comes from their small size. Unlike SSPs, NPs in sunscreens can provide ultraviolet (UV) protection while remaining transparent, avoiding the pasty white appearance of conventional sunscreens. With cosmetics, NPs hold the promise to provide deep, targeted delivery of moisturizers to the living layers of skin. Makers of nano-cosmetics and nano-sunscreens not only acknowledge that NPs will penetrate the skin more deeply, but tout their health effects as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Nanotechnology Challenge
Subtitle of host publicationCreating Legal Institutions for Uncertain Risks
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages59
ISBN (Electronic)9780511988554
ISBN (Print)9780521767385
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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