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Sunscreen Made of Silicon Nanoparticles
June 2, 2009 23:10


Traditional sun protecting creams and lotions are based upon mineral filters, mainly titanium or zinc oxides. Recently sunscreen producers started adding silicon to their protective emulsions. Is this element effective enough against furious sun?

Russian researchers from the laboratory of nano-disperse materials (Moscow Institute of Steels and Alloys) studied the ability of silicon nanoparticles to resist ultraviolet radiation. Experimental results were then compared to that for popular sun protection creams, which contain titanium and zinc oxides.

Researchers studied transmittance spectra of sunscreen, containing oxides of zinc and titanium, and sun protection suspensions with nanopowder of silicon. Wavelength range varied from 190 to 1000 nanometers. Spectrophotometric experiments helped estimating the ability of mentioned sunscreens to transmit (or reflect) light in ultraviolet, visible and near infrared radiation ranges.

It is now a long time, since science started regarding silicon as an appropriate ingredient for new generation of cosmetic products. Not a single organism is able to live without silicon. Silicon is biologically compatible with skin, dermatologically safe and forms a thin protective film, which eliminates negative effects of ultraviolet radiation.

How oxygen radicals form
Russian scientists admit that various traditional sun protective creams and lotions, which are based upon titanium and zinc oxides, effectively resist ultraviolet radiation. However, they also reflect useful mild ultraviolet and make skin look pale, since they diffuse visible light. Moreover, these materials are photocatalysts, which release electrons under effect of ultraviolet radiation. Such behaviour leads to forming active oxygen radicals, which are considered to be dangerous for health.

Recent research showed that silicon nanopowders with particles, sized from 20 to 40 nanometers, are a good alternative to existing sun protective materials. All samples of silicon nanopowder totally absorbed hard (100280 nanometers) and middle (280315 nanometers) UF radiation, while partly transmitting soft (315380 nanometers) ultraviolet. Said nanopowder is almost transparent for visible light, transmitting up to 95% of this type of radiation (7001000 nanometers), totally biocompatible and safe for living organisms. All fantastic properties this material owes to a protective film of silicon oxide, which forms on the surface of the particles and is known to be safe, since it is included tin toothpastes, for instance.

Nano-silicon can be a good base for new generation of cosmetic products safe, optically transparent, resistant to unwanted range of ultraviolet radiation and transmitting waves, necessary for vitamin D synthesis in skin. These properties of nanosilicone can protect from ultraviolet not only human skin, but also various organic materials, which human beings actively used wood, polymers, plastic, etc.

Source: Living Systems

Kizilova Anna


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