Zinc Oxide, without the white streaks!

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Zinc oxide, Sunscreen

Applied NanoWorks has launched Pinnacle Zinc Oxide, a formulation
that is claimed to provide increased transparency of an ingredient
that often causes white streaking when used in topical cosmetic
applications, reports Simon Pitman.

The formulation is a water based colloid that has been developed using nanotechnology to deliver optical transparency, neutral pH and particle sizes below 10nm in a suspension that utilizes no coatings or surfactants.

Zinc Oxide is best known for its ultra-violet light absorbing capabilities as well as its antibacterial effects. For cosmetic and personal care applications it is commonly used in a variety of topical skin care products.

Most commonly the ingredient is used in high SPF sunscreen products, as it is known for its strong UV filtering properties. But one of the drawbacks is that even the smallest zinc oxide particles have delivered suspensions that are cloudy - which in sunscreen applications leads to an undesirable whitening of the skin. In answer to this, Pinnacle Zinc Oxide is said to be the first 100 per cent transparent zinc oxide suspension available on the market.

"Pinnacle Zinc Oxide establishes a new benchmark for markets and products requiring UV absorption and optical clarity,"​ said Eric Burnett, CEO of Applied NanoWorks. "Interest in transparent suspensions that improve product performance has been very high and our crystalline zinc oxide is the first material to deliver on these requirements. Our next priority is on increasing our manufacturing capacity to keep up with demand."

Applied NanoWorks​ provides nanomaterials services to meet both industrial research and manufacturing needs. Its proprietary technology offers high quality semiconductor, metal and oxide nanomaterials ranging from 2nm to 100nm.

According to Freedonia Group, nanoscale zinc oxide was a $4 million market in 2000 and will show a CAGR of 56 per cent through 2007 to $90 million, partly as a result of increasing demand for high SPF sunscreen formulations. Likewise, from 2000 to 2020 a continued manufacturing shift from traditional metal oxides to nanoscale metal oxides will occur with nanoscale zinc oxide demonstrating an overall growth rate of 24 per cent to an estimated $350 million by the year 2020.

Pinnacle Zinc Oxide's particles have a median size below 5nm with tight size distributions which enables its unique suspension. No coatings are applied to the zinc oxide nor are any surfactants used to aid in suspending the particles. Neutral pH and 10 per cent solids content combine with particle purity to increase the suspension's flexibility and performance in manufacturing and gives product engineers and researchers maximum functionality.

"Our ability to produce transparent UV absorption through our new zinc oxide suspension will enable a whole new generation of technically superior products and improve performance in many industries,"​ CTO Partha Dutta, Ph.D., said.

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