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Nanotechnology goes glam: Cosmetics advances, challenges discussed at ACS meeting

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WASHINGTON From colored contact lenses to moisturizers with Vitamin E, cosmetics are big business. Personal care represents one of the fastest growing markets in the chemical industry worldwide. But industry researchers are thinking small, as nanotechnology brings new products and techniques to their toolkits. More than 25 presentations, ranging from polymers and film ingredients to innovations in eye, hair and skin care, are highlighted in a special symposium, "Cosmetic Nanotechnology: Polymers and Colloids in Personal Care," during the 230th national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Washington, D.C., Aug. 28-Sept. 1. In particular, this two-day symposium, Aug. 30-31, spotlights commercially important ingredients and delivery technologies. Highlights include:

Tuesday, Aug. 30

Regulating nano cosmetics Nanotechnology in cosmetics first emerged over 40 years ago, when moisturizing creams included liposome technology. Back then, scientists used nanotechnology to add shimmer and increase solubility. Today, however, nanotechnology may do much more, possible even altering the physical properties of many kinds of cosmetics. This leads to an obvious question: Do microparticles penetrate more readily through skin as nanoparticles? FDA investigators are considering these issues as the agency begins to explore nanotechnology in cosmetics. (POLY 333, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 11:15 a.m., Grand Hyatt Washington - Constitution D-E.)

Staking a claim Anti-aging. Glossing. Volumizing. These are just a few of the many popular claims made by cosmetics ads. But do these claims mean anything? In fact, well-tested claims rely on the rigorous evaluation of hair and skin physiology. From labs that do tests to substantiate such claims to salons that conduct subjective half- and whole-head comparisons, a
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