The nanotechnology field is growing at an unprecedented rate. This is resulting in significant benefits in skin care products and formulations. Likewise, imaging technology is also advancing. The convergence of these fields offers a unique opportunity to observe and quantify the interactions of nanoparticles within cosmetic and skin care formulations. More importantly, imaging technology holds tremendous promise for understanding how formulated nanoparticles interact with our skin. Imaging technologies can be broken into two major groups that include those that require invasive sample collection and processing (e.g., electron microscopy, mass spectrometry, and super-resolution structured illumination microscopy) and those that can be used in non-invasive data collection settings. Fluorescence microscopy, confocal microscopy, coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering spectroscopy and optical coherence tomography fall into the latter category and are the focus of this review in the context of skin care product and cosmetics testing. Cosmetic and skin care product testing is most informative when carried out in volunteers. This makes invasive or disruptive analysis techniques unfeasible and supports the use of non-invasive imaging technologies. The combination of non-invasive imaging and minimally invasive microbiopsy sampling for combined imaging and molecular data is the future of skin care product testing.
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