Why Avoid Nanoparticles in Your Cosmetics?


First, what are nanoparticles? Nanoparticles are substances that are between one and one hundred nanometers, or roughly 1,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. Very common uses of nanoparticles, or also called micronized particles, are in sunscreens and mineral makeup, in the form of Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide that are pulvarized down to nanoparticle size. These particles are small enough to pass through the skin wall and even enter into the bodies cells.

According to Friends Of The Earth, a group of Japanese researchers have found the transfer of nanoparticles from pregnant mice to their offspring, with related brain damage, nerve system damage, and reduced sperm production in male offspring. It is still unknown to what extent nanoparticles will penetrate healthy, intact adult skin and gain access to the blood stream. However, nanoparticles are widely used by the cosmetics industry, because of little regulation by the FDA on ingredients used in cosmetics. Friends of The Earth also reported that of the 10 foundations that were randomly selected, all 10 contained nanoparticles, and only 1 brand actually declared the presence of nanoparticles on it’s labeling.

Because the cosmetics industry is not required to list the use of nanoparticles in it’s ingredients, it is very hard to know what cosmetics contain them and which do not. A product containing nanoparticles in the form of Titanium Dioxide, will simply read Titanium Dioxide on the label. So how do you avoid using nanoparticles? Your best bet is to choose products that state they do not use them in their products.