Recently there has been growing concern over nano particulate Titanium Dioxide in sunscreens and mineral make up. Nanoparticle ingredients are super small compounds measured in nanometers or billionths of a meter. As a comparison, a typical nanoparticle is approximately 10,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. The size of nanoparticles is their greatest asset and their greatest health risk. The human body is equipped with defenses designed to keep toxic substances out as they come into contact with our skin, lungs, and intestinal tract, but nanoparticles are so small they can acutally move between the cells our body, entering the skin, and giving the toxins free access to our entire system.
Even non-toxic nanoparticles can cause problems, getting into our systems where they aren’t meant to be. For example they can get into our lungs but are so small they are not easily cleared by normal mechanisms. They get caught!
Two common sources of nanoparticles today are sunscreens and mineral make up.
Ironically, nanoparticles used in sunscreen came about because of an effort to avoid toxic materials. Reports of the dangerous effects of benzophenone, homosalate and octyl-methoxycinnamate that some sunscreens use caused many consumers to return to the old-school products containing titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.
However, many people didn’t like how these white-tinted sunscreens looked and wanted something transparent. Manufacturers discovered that by dispersing the titanium dioxide as nanoparticles, it went on clear while still providing sun protection.
The use of nanoparticles in mineral make up was also an attempt to improve the appearance of the product. Pulverizing the minerals to nano-size gave the cosmetics a smoother, more glowing appearance. Consumers liked the change but didn’t realize there were associated possible health risks.
How Do You Avoid Nanoparticles?
Numerous research studies have showed the dangerous effects of nanoparticles and there is little doubt that they pose a significant health threat. A movement is underway to have the FDA regulate engineered nanoparticles much more rigorously. Until that time, consumers have to be smart shoppers.
When buying sunscreens that uses metal oxides or mineral make up, look for products that don’t use nanoparticles or “micronized” particles. “Non-Micronized” particles are larger than nanoparticles so are safer. Titanium dioxide particles can also be coated with stearic acid from a vegetable source, to further prevent interaction of the mineral with the body.
To Be on the safe side, stick with mineral make up that uses zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in a liquid or cream base, rather than powder form.
Like a liquid or cream to powder foundation instead of a loose powder form and mineral makeup in a base like cream blush and concealer.
This prevents the particles from being absorbed through the skin or becoming airborne and getting into the lungs. If you are concerned about the health risks of nanoparticles, consider using one of the many great choices in natural and organic cosmetics that allow you to look great without risking your health.
Progress In Health will never use nano-particles in it’s formulations. All of our minerals are incorporated in a base of liquid or cream and are a safe and effective way of using mineral makeup. We use titanium dioxide that is coated with stearic acid from a vegetable source, to further insure your safety and piece of mind. Your health and safety is a priority to us and we will continue to produce products that have the safest ingredients possible.