Know Your Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide

spotlight titanium dioxide

What it is
Titanium Dioxide is a white mineral.

What it does
Titanium Dioxide is often used in sunscreens because it reflects and scatters UV radiation, protecting from all UVB and short UVA rays. In sunscreens, it can be used in concentrations up to 25%.
In addition, Titanium Dioxide gives opacity and a white colour to cosmetics.
It is also used as a thickener.

Side effects
Titanium Dioxide is generally considered to be safe. However, when used in sunscreens, it can leave an unattractive white cast on the skin.

(Source: Skin Therapy Letter, 1997, volume 2)
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  1. beautifulwithbrains says

    Dao: I haven’t heard of that but I’ll look into it now, thanks. What sunscreens are you using? It sounds great. I prefer physical suncreens too as they offer broad spectrum protection and don’t induce free radical formation.

    Dee: you’re welcome. There is a concern that nano-particles of Titanium Dioxide could cause free radicals formation, but only if they can penetrate the skin, which is still a theory. And if the sunscreen includes antioxidants, then it should be safe and prevent free radical formation.
    But if the sunscreen you’re using contains Titanium Dioxide, but not in nano particles form, there is no need to worry. Titanium Dioxide stays on the skin’s surface and won’t induce any free radical damage. :)

  2. beautifulwithbrains says

    Oops, I knew there was something I had forgot to add! Thanks for bringing that to my attention, fabulessbeauty! Yes, Titanium Dioxide can clog pores for some people and so cause breakouts. But most products tend to use several sunscreen ingredients so that the concentrations of Titanium Dioxide are lower and less likely to cause problems for the skin.

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