Brazil on board with Nanotechnology*

The cosmetics sector is one of today’s most dynamic sectors. It demands continual innovation and constant investment in the development of new projects and processes, able to satisfy a wide range of consumers who are eager for novelty. 

As such, cosmetics industry researchers and formulators constantly search for new raw materials and technologies to develop cosmetics formulas that are increasingly more effective and compatible with different skin types and products. 

The majority of raw materials used in cosmetics products is obtained by modifying substances of natural origin, mainly vegetables, to obtain multipurpose products which are safer and more efficacious. These new raw materials are called multipurpose as they have differentiated properties to answer products’ pre-established concepts such as improved hydration, better absorption by the skin, a differential in the moisturizer, water resistance, and a modified sensorial effect, among others. One way to obtain multifunctional raw materials is via the use of nanotechnology in the encapsulation of the cosmetics’ active ingredients. 

Nanotechnology is a science widely used worldwide in the fabrication of innovatory raw materials in several areas of industrial application. In the cosmetics area, the particles that encapsulate active ingredients stand out due to the differentiated way in which they penetrate and act on the skin and hair. They are tiny particles, on the nanometer scale (1 nanometer equals 1 billionth of a meter), and when used in the manufacture of cosmetics, confer new benefits and reduce undesired effects. 

The advantages of using nanotechnology in the manufacture of raw materials are numerous, making it promising for application in cosmetics. It’s possible to modulate and fabricate new active ingredients using nanotechnology. It’s also possible to use only biocompatible and biodegradable raw materials in the manufacture of these raw materials, meaning no problem with allergenicity or accumulation in the organism occurs. In addition to these advantages, others that stand out are stability in relation to light, air and other components in the formulations of encapsulated active ingredients, the increased skin hydration due to skin occlusion, the slow, gradual release with heightened permeation. 

Interest in the use of nanotechnology applied to cosmetics is recent in Brazil and growing, bringing in more and more researchers at the leading Brazilian universities. In addition, there are already national companies producing raw materials with nanotechnology. This is an advantage for the Brazilian cosmetics markets as today the manufacturers can acquire these raw materials with innovatory technology right here, with no import problems, payment in foreign currency and far-off delivery dates. 

The benefits of this technology are also seen by consumers who recognize the technology as innovatory and perceive its different effectiveness. With the benefits of this new technology communicated to the public, along with proof of the products’ efficacy and safety, nanotechnology shows that it’s here to stay and will increasingly be a part of Brazilian innovation in the cosmetics area. 

(*): In collaboration with Cândice Filipe – MSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences

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