Skin IQ (33 of 60) – What’s the Debate About Nano-Technology?

November 1, 2011

Nano materials are manufactured to typically be between 1nm and 100nm in size1 and are used in a wide range of industries, including cosmetics, sunscreens and medicines.

The most common use for nano materials in skin care is in sunscreens where they help protect us from both UVA and UVB radiation. These nano particles of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide allow sunscreen manufacturers to achieve higher levels of protection while improving the way the sunscreen applies to the skin. Nano forms of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide allow sunscreens to be highly protective while avoiding the white look that can come with some sunscreens2.

While there has been some concern expressed about using nano particles on the skin, reviews of the research has indicated that nano particulate titanium dioxide and zinc oxide does not penetrate the skin but rather remains on the surface of the skin1,3 and there is ‘no reason for concern for users of personal care and cosmetic products2.

1NICNAS. Nano titanium dioxide technical information sheet [online].  [cited 23/07/2013]. Available from URL:
2 ASCC. Position Papers: Nanoparticles [online]. [cited 15/07/2013]. Available from URL:
3 TGA. A review of the scientific literature on the safety of nanoparticulate titanium dioxide or zinc oxide in sunscreens. [online]. [cited 30/07/2013]. Available from



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