Nanotechnology for the development of new cosmetic formulations

Expert Opin Drug Deliv. 2019 Apr;16(4):313-330. doi: 10.1080/17425247.2019.1585426. Epub 2019 Mar 1.


Introduction: Nanotechnology is an increasingly widespread area of research for its various applications and advantages. Accordingly, nanotechnology has been the focus of investment in different areas of science, namely as a technological strategy for the development of cosmetics formulations. Nanosystems allow for a profit skin penetration and an effective release profile of ingredients, which contributes to superior technological and cosmetic effects. The applications of nanocosmetics are numerous, from anti-aging care, make-up, nails, deodorants, oral care, sunscreens, and hair care. However, as an area of emerging knowledge, it has now begun to encourage investigations into its toxicology profile, particularly regarding health damage and environmental pollution. Also, the regulatory area saw its adaptation concerning the use of formulations containing nanotechnology.

Areas covered: A description of the nanosystems so far applied in the development of cosmetics is presented. Moreover, an outline concerning lipid-based-nanosystems, polymeric-based nanoparticles, metal-based nanoparticles, silica nanoparticles, and additional nanosystems (dendrimers, nanocrystals, fullerenes, nanodiamonds, and cyclodextrins) towards the obtainment of effective cosmetic outcomes is addressed. The concerning toxicological as well as the regulatory aspects are also discussed.

Expert opinion: This innovative and timely review emphasizes that nanosystems constitute a highly promising technology strategy towards the obtainment of superior and ground-breaking cosmetic formulations.

Keywords: Cosmetic; nanocosmetic; nanoparticle; nanotechnology; regulatory; toxicology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cosmetics*
  • Cyclodextrins / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Lipids / chemistry
  • Nanoparticles*
  • Nanotechnology*
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Skin Absorption


  • Cosmetics
  • Cyclodextrins
  • Lipids