INCI: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)
Titanium dioxide. Pigment. Inert earth mineral used as a thickening, whitening, lubricating, and sunscreen ingredient in cosmetics. It protects skin from UVA and UVB radiation and is considered to have no risk of skin irritation. Because of its gentleness, titanium dioxide is an excellent sunscreen active for use on sensitive or rosacea-affected skin. It is also great for use around the eyes, as it is highly unlikely to cause stinging in this area.
Although titanium dioxide is a natural ingredient, pure titanium dioxide in nature is almost always adulterated with potentially harmful contaminants such as lead and iron. Therefore, titanium dioxide is purified via synthetic processes for use in cosmetics and sunscreens.
Titanium dioxide is typically micronized and coated for use in cosmetic products. The micronizing makes this somewhat heavy-feeling ingredient easier to spread on skin, not to mention making it more cosmetically elegant. Micronized titanium dioxide is also has much greater stability and can provide better sun protection than non-micronized titanium dioxide. Even when titanium dioxide nanoparticles are used, the coatings employed have a larger molecular size that keeps the nanoparticles of titanium dioxide from penetrating beyond the uppermost layers of skin. This means you're getting the ample sun protection titanium dioxide provides without any risk of it causing harm to skin cells.
The coating process is done to improve application, enhance sun protection, and also to prevent titanium dioxide from interacting with other ingredients in the presence of sunlight, thus enhancing its stability. It not only makes this ingredient much more pleasant to use for sunscreen, but it improves efficacy and eliminates safety concerns.
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