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* Please read TIA's post on What Is It: Titanium Dioxide
* Also known as Titanium white or Pigment White 6 when used as a coloring agent
Titanium Dioxide is a naturally occurring mineral used as a coloring agent, whitener, thickening agent, and sunscreen ingredient in cosmetics and personal care products. Its high refractive index makes it a popular ingredient in whitening formulas because it provides a bright reflection; it is also considered an effective opacifier. It is often found in mineral make up formulas, as well as whitening and under eye creams.
Titanium Dioxide has high UV light absorbing capabilities, and it is often used as an active ingredient in sunscreens; it is found to be resistant to discoloration under UV light. According to Wikipedia, "Sunscreens designed for infants or people with sensitive skin are often based on titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide, as these mineral UV blockers are believed to cause less likely skin irritation than chemical UV absorber ingredients. The titanium dioxide particles used in sunscreens have to be coated with silica or alumina, because titanium dioxide creates radicals in the photo catalytic reaction. These radicals are carcinogenic, and could damage the skin."
Titanium Dioxide is FDA approved.
Safety Measures/Side Effects:
Titanium Dioxide has been found to be a photosensitizer that can be absorbed by the skin (although the particle size does minimize this effect) and result in an increased production of free radicals, causing substantial damage to DNA, according to a study entitled Deleterious effects of sunscreen titanium dioxide nanoparticles on DNA: efforts to limit DNA damage by particle surface modification. This increase of free radicals can potentially increase aging effects.
A study published by the Canadian Center of Occupational Health and Safety also found that Titanium Dioxide has been classified as "possibly carcinogenic to humans" by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The IARC study found that "high concentrations of pigment-grade (powdered) and ultrafine titanium dioxide dust caused respiratory tract cancer in rats exposed by inhalation and intratracheal instillation." However, this link was discovered after high dose exposure to rats in conditions unlike those found when using Titanium Dioxide as a topical ingredient; it is, however, a potential indicator for the effects of Titanium Dioxide when used in occupational situations.
According to the Cosmetics Database, Titanium Dioxide is considered a low to moderate hazard ingredient, depending on use. The EWG notes concerns regarding cancer, allergic reactions, biochemical and cellular changes, organ system toxicity and irritation. Titanium Dioxide can produce "excess reactive oxygen species that can interfere with cellular signaling, cause mutations, lead to cell death and may be implicated in cardiovascular disease." Animal studies showed that very low doses were able to cause respiratory and cardiovascular effects, and this ingredient has been classified as "expected to be toxic or harmful" and as a medium health priority.
Recommended Products w/ Titanium Dioxide:
Juice Beauty Green Apple SPF 20 Antioxidant Body Moisturizer, Duwop Shadowlift Liquid Eye Shadow, Clinique City Block Sheer Face Protector SPF 15, Murad Oil-Free SPF 15 Sunblock with Sheer Tint, 100% Pure Tinted Moisturizer, Skinn Lip 3x Volumizing Serum, Bellis Facial Sunscreen, Basis Sensitive Skin Bar, Sircuit Skin’s White Out, Tarte Cheek Stains, Purple Prarie Botanicals Sun Stuff SPF 30, Redpoint Age Management Essentials, Bare Escentuals 100% Natural Lip Gloss, Physician’s Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Powder and Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 15