Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles in Sunscreens: Focus on Their Safety and Effectiveness Essay

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Nanotechnology, Science and Applications Open Access Full Text Article Dovepress open access to scientific and medical research REviEw Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide nanoparticles in sunscreens: focus on their safety and effectiveness This article was published in the following Dove Press journal: Nanotechnology, Science and Applications 12 October 2011 Number of times this article has been viewed Threes G Smijs 1–3 Stanislav Pavel 4 1 Faculty of Science, Open University in The Netherlands, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; 2University of Leiden, Leiden Amsterdam Center for Drug Research, Leiden, The Netherlands; 3 Erasmus MC, Center for Optical Diagnostics and Therapy, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; 4Charles University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Dermatology, Pilsen, Czech Republic Video abstract Abstract: Sunscreens are used to provide protection against adverse effects of ultraviolet (UV)B (290–320 nm) and UVA (320–400 nm) radiation. According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, the protection factor against UVA should be at least one-third of the overall sun protection factor. Titanium dioxide (TiO2) and zinc oxide (ZnO) minerals are frequently employed in sunscreens as inorganic physical sun blockers. As TiO2 is more effective in UVB and ZnO in the UVA range, the combination of these particles assures a broad-band UV protection. However, to solve the cosmetic drawback of these opaque sunscreens, microsized TiO2 and ZnO have been increasingly replaced by TiO2 and ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) (,100 nm). This review focuses on significant effects on the UV attenuation of sunscreens when microsized TiO2 and ZnO particles are replaced by NPs and evaluates physicochemical aspects that affect effectiveness and safety of NP sunscreens. With the use of TiO2 and ZnO NPs, the undesired opaqueness disappears but the required balance between

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