Nanotechnology is the creation of functional materials, devices and systems through control of matter on the nanometer length scale, and exploitation of novel phenomena and properties (physical, chemical, biological, mechanical, electrical...) at that length scale. In the area of cosmetics and anti-aging, in particular, as well as in the pharmaceutical arena, nanotechnology has played an important role in delivering active ingredients to the skin, in both patch delivery and timed release application. Nanoparticles/nanospheres, nanospheres sounds like futuristic technology. The revolution they triggered is apparent from the fact that cosmetics are no longer visualized as products that cover up or camouflage imperfections in personal appearance. The latest trend in these products is to combine clinically proven ingredients with patented delivery systems and the aesthetics of fine cosmetics. Cosmeceutical products are those poised on the gap between cosmetic products that simply cleanse and beautify and pharmaceuticals that cure and heal. According to The Freedonia Group Inc. Cleveland Ohio, the demand for formulated appearance-enhancing products is projected to increase by more than 12% per year up to 2007 to reach $2.5bn, making cosmeceuticals one of the most dynamic sectors within the cosmetics and personal care markets. Cosmetic industries rank high among the nanotechnology patent holders in U.S.; LOreal which devotes about $600 million of its annual $17 billion revenues to research is the industry leader on nanopatents. This report directly addresses the science behind the use of nanotechnology for the development of cosmetics. Further, the products launched by various cosmetic giants will be discussed at length.
Keywords: Nanotechnology, cosmetics, cosmeceuticals, nanoparticles, anti-aging, delivery system(s), nanopatents, safety, regulatory aspects
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