by Alexandra Matkevich
There has been a growing concern about many different substances used in consumable products such as skincare, medicines and food. Nanoparticles are a fairly new concern as technology has only recently advanced and developed such small actives. The development of nanoparticles has been in response to a growing need for better absorption, efficacy and product texture.
What is a nanoparticle?
A nanoparticle is a particle between 1 and 100 nanometres in size. This is roughly the size of a virus. 1 water molecule is 1/10th of a nanometre in size.
The benefits of nanoparticles
Nanoparticles are great in skincare products because they improve the texture of products, and improve the absorption and efficacy of cosmeceuticals. High SPF physical sunscreens are commonly thought to be too thick to use well, but nanoparticle zinc has vastly improved the texture of these products. As nanoparticles are smaller, very technologically advanced anti-aging and pigment correcting particles can be delivered directly to where they are needed.
Should you be concerned about nanoparticles?
There are some concerns that nanoparticles are able to penetrate the skin and build up to toxic levels in the blood. Some research suggests that common nanoparticles used in sunscreens can be absorbed into the bloodstream but only when applied of areas of eczema or broken skin. Using any skincare products on broken or irritated skin are likely to cause a reaction.
Why can’t nanoparticles get absorbed into the bloodstream?
The skin is a highly evolved, multi-layer epithelium that is designed to keep minute particles from penetrating very deep within the skin. Consider this; a nanoparticle is roughly the same size as a virus and up to 1000 times bigger than a water molecule, and intact is skin waterproof and impervious to viruses. Unless you have broken skin, the likelihood of a nanoparticle entering your bloodstream is very low.
The TGA and NICNAS
In Australia, the Therapeutic Goods Administration [TGA] and the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme [NICNAS] are both involved in ensuring that therapeutic and cosmetic goods, respectively, are safe for human use. Always purchase products available in Australia that meet the high standards of the TGA and NICNAS.
Chelation therapy and detoxes
There are many products and therapies that offer chelation therapy (removal of heavy metals) and detoxes from the multitude of harmful chemicals we are exposed to every day. These are often expensive and do not have any benefit— the body naturally detoxifies itself everyday via the liver, sweat and kidneys. Unless you have liver or renal failure, you do not need to ‘detox’.
For more information
Our skincare and dermatology team offer skincare solutions to meet your skin’s unique needs. If you are interested in effective, evidence-based skincare solutions, contact us today on 1300 123 368. Contact us today!