Inorganic nanoparticles in dermopharmaceutical and cosmetic products: Properties, formulation development, toxicity, and regulatory issues
The use of nanotechnology strategies is a current hot topic, and research in this field has been growing significantly in the cosmetics industry. Inorganic nanoparticles stand out in this context for their distinctive physicochemical properties, leading in particular to an increased refractive index and absorption capacity giving them a broad potential for cutaneous applications and making them of special interest in research for dermopharmaceutical and cosmetic purposes. This performance is responsible for its heavy inclusion in the manufacture of skin health products such as sunscreens, lotions, beauty creams, skin ointments, makeup, and others. In particular, their suitable bandgap energy characteristics allow them to be used as photocatalytic semiconductors. They provide excellent UV absorption, commonly known as UV filters, and are responsible for their wide worldwide use in sunscreen formulations without the undesirable white residue after consumer application. In addition, cosmetics based on inorganic nanoparticles have several additional characteristics relevant to formulation development, such as being less expensive compared to other nanomaterials, having greater stability, and ensuring less irritation, itching, and propensity for skin allergies. This review will address in detail the main inorganic nanoparticles used in dermopharmaceutical and cosmetic products, such as titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, silicon dioxide, silver, gold, copper, and aluminum nanoparticles, nanocrystals, and quantum dots, reporting their physicochemical characteristics, but also their additional intrinsic properties that contribute to their use in this type of formulations. Safety issues regarding inorganic nanoparticles, based on toxicity studies, both to humans and the environment, as well as regulatory affairs associated with their use in dermopharmaceuticals and cosmetics, will be addressed.
PublicationEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, 2023, 192, pp. 25-40
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