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With a diameter that measures under 100 nanometers (nm), nanoparticles are manufactured using new technology that involves manipulation of tiny scale atoms and molecules. While invisible to the eye, some individuals are concerned that their tiny size may pose health and environmental risks, wreaking havoc if absorbed through the skin. Once this happens, there is no way to eliminate them from the body. However, as of today, there is no evidence that directly links the presence of nanoparticles to any long-term health impacts.

Nanoparticles And Sunscreens  

Sunscreens containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are used widely throughout the world. These agents, when combined together, offer broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection against the sun's rays. One of the problems with using sunscreens that contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide is that these agents leave a white cast on the skin, making them undesirable for many individuals. Nano technology allows manufacturers to use nano particles of these agents to produce sunscreens that are clear, making them more desirable for use on the body.  

In recent years, this has caused many people to question whether some topical sunscreens are safe to use. The Food and Drug Administration concluded years ago that the presence of nanoparticles within sunscreens that contain titanium dioxide or zinc oxide present no danger. In addition, Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), after reviewing all the scientific literature, has reached the following conclusion:

"There is evidence from isolated cell experiments that zinc oxide and titanium dioxide can induce free radical formation in the presence of light and that this may damage these cells (photo-mutagenicity with zinc oxide). However, this would only be of concern in people using sunscreens if the zinc oxide and titanium dioxide penetrated into viable skin cells. The weight of current evidence is that they remain on the surface of the skin and in the outer dead layer (stratum corneum) of the skin."

Scientists continue to study nanoparticles and their effect on the body. Meanwhile, the consensus among researchers is that these tiny particles carry no inherent health risk. Given the lack of evidence, bodies including the FDA maintain that people should continue to use sunscreens that offer broad spectrum protection from UVA and UVB rays.

Protecting Your Skin From Sun Damage  

The sun can damage your skin quickly without your realizing that it's happening. Together, the sun's UVA and UVB rays can lead to sunburns, deep lines and wrinkles, signs of premature aging, and even skin cancer. To prevent sun damage, you should be using an effective sunscreen that offers wide-range anti-UV protection. If you are worried about the use of nanoparticles, here are 2 formulations that effectively block UVA and UVB rays without the use of nanoparticles:

[Link Removed] Formulated with highly effective UVA/UVB blocking sun filters, this solution incorporates Mexoryl SX and Mexoryl XL.

[Link Removed] - A solution that offers broad spectrum UVA/UVB blocking ability in a convenient package. It can be carried anywhere and applied instantly, and is formulated for areas of the face that are extremely sensitive to the sun.

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti aging skin care. She owns and operates an online skin care store at [Link Removed] 

Pharmagirl, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.


Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Leeann wrote Dec 3, 2008
    • I put lotion on everyday that has sunscreen built in it, do I  need to worry!

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Doreen XoXo wrote Dec 3, 2008
    • I am a melonoma survivor!!!  I use sunscreen every day in the summer and not so much in the winter since I am rarely exposed to the sun.  I am much more worried a reoccurance of skin cancer than I am of nanoparticles.  Just my opinion.

            Report  Reply

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Pharmagirl wrote Dec 4, 2008
    • Doreen and Leeann

      There’s always someone out there trying to scare us about something. And you‘re probably both aware of the great debate raging about whether sunscreens are safe. I’ve done my research and after weighing risks vs benefits, the benefits of wearing sunscreen far outweigh the risks associated with their use. This is particularly true for individuals who are fair skinned, have a family history of skin cancer or face excessive exposure to UV rays.  

      The one thing I do advise when using sunscreen is to ensure adequate Vitamin D intake. UVB rays are responsible for the production of this very important hormone. Recent research has shown that a deficiency may lead to health problems including an increased risk of some types of cancers. You can read the full article posted on my site [Link Removed] 

      Pharmagirl, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

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