Consumers will spare no expense in the quest to look their best. The increasing popularity of non-invasive cosmetic procedures such as Botox injections shows the widespread acceptance of and demand for personal care products by both men and women. Now, technological advances have led to the development of personal care products that include nanotechnology.
According to a Thomson Reuters’ report, hundreds of personal care products enhanced with nanotechnology are already on the market. These face creams, sunscreens and shampoos contain molecular compounds designed to improve product performance, and, of course, to help consumers maintain a youthful appearance. Dr. James Canton of the Institute for Global Futures says “nanotech is one of the key design tools that will be used to create the largest industry in the 21st century: Health Enhancement.”
Concern about the health effects of nano particles in personal care products has caught the attention of the FDA. The agency has set aside a separate budget to track and study how nano particles will be used in consumer applications. While the industry will be regulated, businesses continue to pour money into their research and development programs. Thomson Reuters says that the rate of patent growth in this field in the past 6 years exceeds 100%. And it’s not just pure-play cosmetics companies like L’Oreal who are filing for patents. Chemical companies such as BASF are designing new ways to deliver nutrients via personal care products through the use of nano particles. In 2009, the most patents given to nano-particle products for personal care were in the hair shampoo and conditioner, lip stick and sunscreen categories.
Promotions for products enhanced with nanotechnology are certain to come from both personal care marketers and specialty chemical companies in the near future.[Source: Can Nanotech Unlock the Fountain of Youth? ThomsonReuters.com. June 2010. Web. 21 Jul. 2010]