Nano in Cosmetics
Cosmetics and personal care items are among the first consumer products to contain nanoscale ingredients. These are high-exposure products as people tend to use at least one every day and they are applied to the skin. Nano-sized titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are used widely as UV filters in both sunscreens and moisturizers. Other cosmetic ingredients increasingly used in cosmetics include aluminium oxide, gold, carbon black and fullerenes.
There is still significant uncertainty about whether nanoscale ingredients will penetrate the skin and what health risk this might pose.
Since 2010, the Council has sought proper regulation of nanoscale cosmetic ingredients. This means:
- mandatory labelling and traceability so that consumers and regulators know which products contain nanoscale ingredients
- mandatory risk assessment, and
- definitions that cover the full nano risk zone.