You might not be familiar with Boron Nitride in name, but if you’ve used non-mineral foundations, concealers, eye shadows and blushers, the chances are your skin has encountered it somewhere along the way…
Systematic name: dioxido-oxo-silane; magnesium (+2) cation
Also listed as: boron mononitride; borazon; BN 40SHP; NZN 550; denka GP; denka boron nitride GP; elbor; elbor LO 10B1-100; elbor R; elbor RM; PBM, polyboron nitride.
Definition: A white inert solid crystalline compound containing equal numbers of both boron and nitrogen atoms. Boron nitride does not occur in nature, therefore it has to be produced from boric acid or boron trioxide. It exists in graphite-like and hard, diamond-like form.
Boron nitride is used in the manufacture of high-refractory materials, semiconductors, superhard abrasive material. Acts as insulator, heat shield and dry lubricant in bearings.
Boron nitride is added to cosmetic formulations to improve the slip and adherence, absorb oil and mask aging signs. It has anti-bacterial, softening, lightening, opacifying, skin conditioning and hypoallergenic properties.
In the cosmetic industry, boron nitride is found in: mineral foundation, loose/pressed powder, blush, concealer, eye shadow, eye liner, lipstick.
- Linked to non-reproductive system toxicity (at high doses);
- Potential nano-scale ingredient;
- Data gaps: more studies have yet to be conducted to assess its safety;
Our Rating: Bad. Suspected nano-scale ingredients with enhanced capacity to absorb into the skin. Although no toxicity has been reported yet from topical application of boron nitride, as with all nanoparticles, there is not enough scientific information to prove this compound will not accumulate in the body and cause future health damage. Until then, it is wise to refrain from using any nano-scale ingredients.
Warning: Inhalation of boron nitride has been reported to cause pneumoconiosis (occupational/restrictive lung disease).
Please read your labels!
Ishtar Magally Mobarak