A growing number of cosmetic products are incorporating nanoparticles, which result from nanotechnology. While this technology shows tremendous promise in a number of areas, some have voiced concern about it being applied to cosmetics as an alternative to natural ingredients, and for good reason.

What Are Nanoparticles?

Nanoparticles are microscopic particulates which are invisible to the human eye. They are a byproduct of nanotechnology, a branch of science that has existed for decades but due to its complexity has taken time to utilize cost effectively. The basic idea behind nanotechnology is that if you can construct something from a microscopic scale, it will be sturdier, more durable, well designed and long lasting. This would mean for instance makeup which doesn’t fade lipstick which lasts longer or moisturizer which will maintain the smoothness of your skin for a week.

This all sounds great in theory, and many prominent cosmetic companies are already incorporating nanoparticles into eye shadow, aftershave, nail polish, perfume and creams, but there is a catch to it. The catch is that sufficient tests have not been performed to determine the long term consequences of using these products, and the main reason why cosmetics manufacturers are using them instead of natural ingredients such as essential oils blends or butters is because nanoparticles are cheaper.

The Two Most Common Nanoparticles Are Toxic

Zinc and titanium dioxide are two nanoparticles that you’ll find frequently in contemporary cosmetics. Each is a type of metal and due to their small size they are readily absorbed by the bloodstream and travel throughout the body. However, a growing body of research suggests that these two metals can have adverse effects on your skin, damaging the function of both your cells and DNA while promoting free radicals whenever given access to UV light, which everyone gets when they go outdoors. Most people would not want to eat metal, so why would they choose to use products which will absorb it into their bodies?

Planning on having children in the future? Then consider this. Research has shown that mice which were exposed to titanium dioxide transferred it to their offspring, which caused them to sustain damage to their nerves and brain. Furthermore, the ability of male mice to produce sperm as they age was adversely impacted. While humans are clearly different from mice, both are mammals, and is this a risk you really want to take with regard to your fertility and the health of your children? It should also be emphasized that the current laws in many countries do not require cosmetic manufacturers to place information on their labels indicating that they are using nanoparticles.

The solution to this problem is simple. First, begin reading the labels of cosmetics to find out exactly what ingredients are present, and if you see something that seems strange or out of place, research it. Second, begin acquiring products which are all natural and made from ingredients that are not synthetic or manmade. While these products may cost more, the consequences of continuing to use products packed with nanoparticles can be more so.