Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Improving cosmetics with nanotechnology

A group in Israel has designed and tested a new process that uses nanoparticles to manipulate the physical characteristics of water, enabling bonding with normally hydrophobic molecules.
Improving cosmetics with nanotechnology
Nanotechnology is a new and exciting field whose developments are touching all parts of our daily lives. For instance, while the cosmetics industry may seem far from the world of high-tech, an Israeli firm has successfully applied nanotechnology to improve beauty products.

Traditionally, alcohol has been an ingredient in many skin care products since most of the beneficial essential oils used in these products are not soluble in water. Unfortunately for consumers, the alcohol causes a number of side effects, including skin rush, dryness and a general interference with the human immune system.

The Israeli scientists inserted nanoparticles, namely tiny, inorganic crystals, into water, altering its physical structure and therefore behavior. The result is that the essential oils and other hydrophobic compounds can be incorporated. Additional benefits of the new surfactant solution include reduced surface evaporation and improved phase change (e.g., liquid to solid and vice versa) characteristics.

The Israeli SME has applied for a patent to protect the new technology. In addition to revolutionising skin care and other beauty products, the innovative technique is also relevant to other areas of application.
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