What’s New in Hair and Beauty

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Every year we see hundreds of articles and segments on television about what is coming as trends in the year ahead, but what about taking a look at the new innovations and advances (not to mention simply new products) that have come about in the recent passage of time. Here are some of the technologies and products that have made recent news:
Nanotechnology in the field of cosmetics (and other chemical arenas) involve making products with especially formulated ingredients with particles so small that they can more easily and more deeply penetrate the skin. The theory being that if the products penetrate more deeply then they will offer better results.
Some of the world’s biggest names in cosmetics are already on the nanotechnology bandwagon. L’Oreal has its Revitalift products with nanosiomes of Pro-Retinol-A already on the market. Estee Lauder, Proctor and Gamble, Shiseido, and DuPrey also have specially formulated products using the new nanotechnology in their formulas.
In spite of the buzz generated by the new advance, nanotechnology isn’t welcomed wholeheartedly. There is still some concern over the safety of the new cosmetics containing nanotechnology ingredients. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and The Royal Society in the United Kingdom have each issued statements calling for more testing and studies on the long-term effects of using nanotech products as well as transparency in the research on using nanotechnology in cosmetics.
Some nanotech particles – such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide used in sunscreen – have already received FDA approval, and the FDA is reported to have concluded of these products that “smaller, micronized particles of titanium dioxide are not new substances and there is no evidence demonstrating that these micronized particles are unsafe.”
Advances in Sunscreen
While the specific technology has wider reaching implications in the fields of medicine, agriculture and other industries, California-based Aguea Scientific has made it possible to put sunscreen into products such as soaps, body wash or facial cleansers that stays on even after the product is washed off. The Aquea SPF product is currently found in the upscale cleanser “IceShield” from Freeze 24-7, but it could be used to apply all sorts of products to the skin – such as bronzers, skin whiteners, anti-acne medications or anti-wrinkly products, not to mention things like insect repellent, anti-fungals, vitamins or deodorants.
Originally the problem in including these ingredients was making them stick. While the scientific process is complicated, there is a simple basic theory that we all know from playing with magnets as children: two negative charges will repel each other, but a positive and negative charge are attracted to one another.
Since skin and hair carry a negative charge and the active ingredients the technology works with carry either no charge or a negative charge, they won’t stick to the skin on their own. The approach used by Aquea Scientific wraps the ingredients in silica and gives the silica coating a positive charge, making them attracted to the skin so they stick and stay in place. This means the products aren’t washed away when the product is washed off.
With sunscreens, the silica coating is intact so that the sunscreen rides on the skin rather than being absorbed. However, the coating could be perforated to allow the product to be absorbed when necessary. At an awards ceremony in which Aquea Scientific received “Best New Technology” award for the sunscreen innovation, David Compton (the company’s CEO and one if its four founders) decided to demonstrate how the technology works. He used the product on one side of his face that morning, and hours later a special light reveals a strong purple on half of his forehead and down his face to his neck, indicating that the product was still present.
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