Now a days we are hearing the term nanotechnology used more frequently in marketing of skin care products, and while the term sounds like it belongs in robotics and science fiction, it is rapidly becoming a reality in medicine and skin care. Currently, the type of nanotechnology that is most significant in the beauty, skin care and health sectors is the use of nanoparticles. It is a specific type of these nanoparticles that have been acclaimed as the next generation of technology in skin care products.
Nanoliposomes are one of the most recognized names for the nanoparticles used in skin care and cosmetic products. Nanoliposomes are, by definition, a synthetic microscopic bi-layer lipid vesicle (small structure/bubble within a cell) made out of the same material as a cell membrane used to deliver chemicals in solutions. The lipids that make up the nanoliposomes contain moisture, so when this bubble looking nanoparticles breaks, that moisture adheres to the skin surface helping hydrate it. This makes liposomes an excellent choice for cosmetic products designed for dry skin.
- D. Lasic in his publication, “The Handbook of Biological Physics,” describes the nanoliposome as a carrier system that also reduces skin dryness. The lipids that make up the liposome contain moisture, so when the bubble breaks, that moisture adheres to the skin surface helping hydrate it. This makes liposomes an excellent choice for cosmetic products designed for dry skin. According to Lasic’s book, the use of the liposome for cosmetics began in 1987, but today they are common in several hundred commercial gels, creams and moisturizers.
Nanoliposomes do more than just deliver moisture to skin cells; they also create a barrier over the surface of the skin. Upon application, the liposome traps moisture under the lipid membrane to hydrate skin layers and repel external substances.
Illumin, an online magazine produced by University of Southern California engineering students defines this seal as an occlusive layer adhering to the skin surface. The membrane locks in active agents of the cosmetic and protects the cells for external stressors, such as sun or sweat. They describe nanoliposomes as a tiny balloon. When the balloon comes in contact with a surface, it breaks and delivers its contents. Once the membrane ruptures, it seals to the skin surface, trapping the cells and forming a barrier.
This ingredient was originally developed to transport drugs through the body to treat cancer and other diseases, but cosmetics companies have began using nanoliposomes because of their unique ability to provide cells with critical nutrients and the nourishment necessary to promote collagen production.
It is a new technology that believes to function in creams, moisturizers and gels as carriers of various encapsulated active substances that otherwise could not penetrate the skin’s fatty layers. Because of their biocompatibility along with their nanosize, the list of bioactive material that can be incorporated to nanoliposomes is immense, ranging from cosmetics to pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals (product derived from food sources).
Nanoliposomes are able to enhance the performance of bioactive agents by improving their solubility and bioavailability, as well as preventing their redundant interactions with other molecules. Another advantage of nanoliposomes is cell-specific targeting, which is a precondition to attain drug concentrations required for optimal therapeutic efficacy in the target site while minimizing adverse effects on healthy cells and tissues.
Nanoliposomes are not active themselves, but are believed to function in creams as carriers of various encapsulated active substances that otherwise could not penetrate the skin’s fatty layers. They are particularly common in moisturizers and wrinkle creams.
Nanoliposomes can be custom designed for almost any need by varying the lipid content, size, surface charge and method of preparation, making them suitable for delivery systems for drugs, vitamins and cosmetic materials.
Active ingredients are encapsulated in the nanoliposomes, and as mentioned, its wall is very similar to the material of cell membranes. When the active solution entrapped within nanoliposomes, is applied to the skin, the nanoliposomes begin to combine with the cellular membranes. In the process, they release their payload of active materials into the cells. As a consequence, not only is delivery of the actives very specific: directly into the intended cells; but the delivery takes place over a longer period of time.
Nanoliposome increases nutrient stability and minimizes unfavorable effects to skin. It increases permeation through efficient delivery of cosmetic components through the dermal intercellular space. It has high homogeneity (providing an average particle diameter of 50nm). Nanoliposome has high affinity to the skin.
Nanoliposomes are a popular ingredient in anti-aging products because of their ability to capture and deliver active anti-aging ingredients through the layers of skin right down to the cellular level where they can be most productive. They deliver nutrients directly to aging cells and have been shown to improve skin hydration, reduce fine lines, diminish wrinkles and improve texture.
Since nanoliposomes are made with various phospholipids types; it can contain, encapsulate, and mobilize both water soluble materials as well as oil soluble materials, not only can they deliver a wide variety of encapsulated ingredients to cells, but in the cases of higher grades of materials, also deliver phosphatidylcholine (PC), to help feed the cells’ own building block. This unique ability of high purity PC nanoliposomes is claimed to render them potentially one of the most powerful available tools in combating cellular aging. This deems it fit in anti aging products.
Further advances in nanoliposome research have been able to allow them to avoid detection by the body’s immune system, specifically, the cells of macrophage system. These liposomes are known as “stealth liposomes”. There is no specific research that warns against the use of nanoliposomes in beauty or skin care products, although it is safe to assume that cosmetics companies must use caution when directly transporting any ingredients to skin cells. Because nanoliposomes provide a direct pathway to vulnerable skin cells, they run the potential risk of transporting dangerous toxins if stringent guidelines are not followed in creating formulas including nanoliposomes.
My recommendations for Nanoliposome based products are I Max Brows Conditioner and I Max Age Spot Reducer by MaxLife USA, Inc. These products deemed fit for their respective described effects of brows growth factor, lightening & evening skin, fading pigmentation, brown & liver spots, acne scars & freckles for men and women.