Titanium Dioxide

Ingredient: Titanium Dioxide

INCI: Titanium Dioxide

Sources: Minerals – Rutile, Anatase and Brookite

Our rating: GOOD

What is Titanium Dioxide?

Titanium dioxide is a natural mineral used as a whitener, thickening agent, and sunscreen ingredient in cosmetics and personal care products. Its high refractive index makes it a key ingredient in whitening formulas and sunblocks. Titanium dioxide is micronized and coated to improve its stability, application and sun protection quality.

Benefits of Titanium Dioxide:

Titanium dioxide is an excellent physical sun shield as it protects the skin from UVA and UVB radiation and poses no risk to skin sensitivity. It has a lower tendency to break down when exposed to the sun than other sun sunscreen ingredients like octinoxate.

Sunscreens containing titanium dioxide last longer, are not photosensitive and do not turn yellow or discolor when exposed to sunlight. While stable and sun-resistant, titanium dioxide does not rank as high as zinc oxide for UVA so it is important that the two are used together in a formulation.

Titanium dioxide is also used as a colorant to increase the opacity of product formulas.

Side Effects & Toxicity:

Recent studies have shown that titanium dioxide is carcinogenic although as a sunscreen ingredient, it is harmless as it cannot be absorbed by the skin. The Food and Drug Administration lists titanium dioxide on its list of indirect food additives and has approved the use of titanium dioxide for over the counter products at concentrations of up to 25%.


Editor’s Note:

High-SPF sunscreens do not necessarily provide better sun protection than those with lower SPF. SPF 30 product can block out about 97% of UV rays as compared to 98% by SPF 50 sunscreens.

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