Nanotechnology under the microscope at in-cosmetics

At in-cosmetics 2014, a new pre-show workshop in cooperation with the IFSCC provides an update on the latest advances in nanotechnology in cosmetics. Here, moderator Claudie Willemin, Vice President of the IFSCC and President of La Société Française de Cosmétologie (SFC) gives a preview of what attendees can expect.

What are the key benefits and applications of nanomaterials in cosmetics?

Nanomaterials are used in several fields: medicine, construction, energy, automobile, food, electronics…..and cosmetics.

They often exhibit unique properties that are different from those of the same substances in a larger size such as new functionality, new optical and physical properties…… nanomaterials can be considered as a driver for innovation and economic development.

For example, titanium dioxide is a white component; when nano titanium dioxide is introduced in a sun care composition, it is colorless on the skin, and it filters UV rays with a well-known broad band UV scope including UVA protection. Hence it ensures a superior protection against UV damage with very good cosmetic properties compared to non-nano material…. .Its safety profile shows that it respects the skin (no contact allergies).

How have recent changes in regulation of nanotechnology impacted upon the industry in terms of practicality and production? Is the current EU legislation sufficient to regulate nanomaterials?

The cosmetics industry has always considered the safety of consumers, professionals and the environment being of utmost importance and the european cosmetics regulation 1223/2009 was the first european sectorial regulation introducing nano-specific requirements. It defines the nanomaterial as an insoluble or biopersistant and intentionally manufactured material with one or more external dimensions, or an internal structure, in the 1 to 100 nm range. Since 2013 this EU Regulation 1223/2009 requires a specific labelling for nanomaterials in the list of ingredients and a notification to the European Commission of the cosmetic products containing nanomaterials prior to launch. It is a good example of legislation that ensures consumer safety.

These changes involve an industry where these materials have been used for many years and are well-known. Processes needed to be established in order to fulfill all administrative regulation requirements. This is a challenge for manufacturers, however these requirements contribute to consumer safety and to transparency with respect to the use of nanomaterials in cosmetic products. Consumers can continue to trust that the EU cosmetics legislation provides a good basis for the safety of personal care products in the EU. We can expect other sectorial regulations to do the same and, for chemicals management as a whole, REACh should be a very good framework to host nano-specific hazard identification and risk assessment.

Why is it important for producers of cosmetics to be aware of advances in nanotechnology?

Nanotechnology offers a new field of innovations. Cosmetics can make good use of these to improve sensory properties and create new applications. Therefore they have to watch for new nanomaterials, and to be aware of evolving legislations to develop innovative products according the country legislation, answering the consumer need, with high safety profile and performances.

Why is it important for the IFSCC to be involved with in-cosmetics Hamburg 2014?

Among the missions of IFSCC: to encourage fundamental research work for cosmetic science and to communicate on the latest scientific advances in the cosmetic field, to be involve with In-Cosmetics Hamburg allows us to emphasize that behind a raw materials and each cosmetic products : the innovation leads their development, their performances require to create new evaluation tests, a great knowledge on the worldwide cosmetic legislation is needed, the control of environment impact of the product is a major concern.

Each year all of these scientists – industrial, academics…coming from 51 countries- met together and share their new advances during 2 or 3 days at the IFSCC Conference/Congress. During this worldwide scientific event, the federation sponsor international awards for outstanding achievement in research, publication, or other work.

As Dr Jadir Nunes from Brazil- President of IFSCC said “our Federation is an international network of 47 societies with 16 000 members where IFSCC maintains friendly relationships”

Claudie Willemin will be moderating a workshop entitled ‘Recent perspectives in nanotechnology’ on Monday 31 March 2014 before in-cosmetics in Hamburg  from 14:00-18:00.Click here to book your place now!

After 16 years, the IFSCC congress comes back to France- this year La Société Française de Cosmétologie hosts the 28th Congress in Paris – Palais des Congrès: “ Cosmetic Innovation & Performance for Beauty & Well-being”

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