Titanium dioxide: Is titanium dioxide harmful in cosmetics?

Titanium dioxide; is harmful in cosmetics? Cosmetic properties of titanium dioxide, the main characteristics of the substance, benefits, and possible harm of using cosmetics with titanium dioxide. Titanium dioxide is a widely used ingredient in cosmetics, food, and many other products in various industries. It does not have a wide range of applications, but it is beneficial in several production techniques. Cost and demand depend on the level of purification. These parameters also determine the level of security. In more detail, let’s consider this substance’s foremost beneficial properties and the possible dangers associated with its use.

What is titanium dioxide?

Titanium dioxide has unique properties, which is why it is widely used.

Here is a brief description of this topic:

  • How is it marked on labels, synonyms … Titanium Dioxide, Titanium Dioxide, Titanium White, Titanium Anhydride, Titanium Oxide, Titanium Oxide, CI 77891, Titanium Oxide, Titanium Anhydride, Pigment White 6, Micronized Titanium Dioxide?
  • Basic features … It has high whitening capacity, is easy to combine with filmmakers, is stable, and has excellent hiding.
  • Get … It can be of natural origin – it is rutile, a mineral, and the titanium dioxide concentration is about 60%. Before it is used in production, it must take though role of impurities.
  • Scope of titanium dioxide … Paint and varnish production, for the production of rubber and plastics, laminated paper, glass (optical and heat resistant), for the production of refractories, artificial precious stones, ceramic dielectrics, as a light source in nanotechnology, in the food industry, in medicine and for production of cosmetics.
  • Danger level … By classifying dangerous substances, the dioxide has an IV danger category, i.e., it is a low risk. It is not poisonous. It is characterized by inertia. Does not pose a threat to the skin.
  • Permissible concentration … The substance described is safe if the attention in the air does not exceed 10 mg / m3.

Cosmetic properties of titanium dioxide

Most cosmetics – beautifying, caring, and cleaning – contain titanium dioxide. But this does not mean that it comes with many cosmetic problems and is very beneficial for the skin.

It is not an active ingredient due to its inertness. It cannot change the properties of the skin. It does not have moisturizing, stimulating, or antioxidant properties. It does not penetrate the skin. However, there are still benefits to presence. What – we will consider in more detail.

From a practical point of view, titanium dioxide is used to produce products intended to give the skin a unique tone and protect it from ultraviolet rays.

In this context, it has several beneficial cosmetic properties:

  • Acts as a pigment … Titanium dioxide is primarily used as a pigment. It perfectly whitens any part. The whitening properties of CI 77891 are actively used in the production of pigments – foundation, powder, eye shadow, and blush. Allow you to set the desired shade by mixing in different proportions with other pigments.
  • Sun protection … Titanium dioxide crystals can protect the skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation. This ability allows this material to be classified as an SPF filter.
  • It is an auxiliary substance … It is used as a thickener for mixtures, a filler, and gives the product the desired viscosity. Titanium dioxide is also recognized for maintaining moisture and concealing some skin blemishes.

The manufacturers approve these features. They position this ingredient as entirely safe. CI 77891 is described as a hypoallergenic ingredient because it does not interact with living cells and is not absorbed through the skin. It has even found use in creams for children.

Titanium dioxide in cosmetics: harm or benefit?

Titanium dioxide is a substance approved not only for use in cosmetics but also in the food industry. It is a big responsibility. The controversy over this ingredient is ongoing. In some research centers, studies are underway to confirm or deny the safety of using this pigment and SPF filter.

Consider some controversial and controversial options:

  • Used as a coloring agent … Yes, titanium dioxide significantly improves the consumption properties of the product – it whitens the mixture and gives it a noble white color. However, in this context, we can talk about creating an attractive appearance for the product because the white color is always associated with purity and safety. Therefore, this use case is important from a marketing point of view for the manufacturer but in no way related to efficiency and usability for the consumer. Another thing is the use of decorative cosmetics to give a particular shade. However, there are content restrictions, for example, up to 10% in the base and up to 15% in the powder.
  • Antiperspirant use … Sprays containing titanium dioxide are potentially dangerous to humans. It is because a lot of crushed material is used in production. When an aerosol is sprayed, the particles involuntarily enter the lungs through the respiratory tract, from where the bloodstream can transport them to all body organs. It is believed that titanium dioxide is easily excreted from the body unchanged. But recent research shows that titanium oxide nanoparticles, which manufacturers of various product groups increasingly use, penetrate cells and have a mechanical effect on DNA. These data emerged after experiments on rats. There are no reliable data on human exposure yet.
  • Application as an SPF filter… After use, the first titanium dioxide sunscreens left a white spot on the skin. The manufacturers solved this problem in the following way – they started using nanoparticles of this material. The cream has become more transparent, so it stops leaving marks on the skin. But this resulted in the agent’s filtering capabilities changing. When ground into nanoparticles of the same gravity, titanium oxide acquires a large surface area. It can become a light source that will increase the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation.
  • Use in products for external use … In particular, it can clog pores and lead to acne. To avoid this, it is worth paying particular attention to cleaning the skin thoroughly after using cosmetics containing this component.

Although titanium dioxide is widely used in many industries and is an entirely safe ingredient, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC or IARC) recognizes this ingredient as potentially carcinogenic if hyper-micronized particles are inhaled. The leader of the study, Professor of Pathology and Radiology Robert Shistle, describes a process of adverse effects in which oxidative stress, which can cause damage and breaks in DNA strands, causes the development of chromosomal defects. It, in turn, leads to developing diseases, such as cancer.

Thus, it can be unsafe for physicochemical reactions, provided that it is used in the size of nanoparticles. Consumers should research the formulation carefully to minimize the risk of adverse reactions.

What is the harm of titanium dioxide in cosmetics?

Based on the research results, it can conclude that can use not all cosmetics contain titanium dioxide. It will not be possible to stop such products in a short time entirely because the use of this raw material has become part of the production technology. In anticipation of new research results, it is worth remembering precautions for specific categories of people – people with sensitive skin and children.

The harm of titanium dioxide to problem skin owners

Skin problems are the most sensitive to the adverse effects of various factors, so you should use the mildest cosmetics to take care of them. The harm of using titanium dioxide in cosmetics for quality skin appears more often than in the standard type.

Despite its chemical neutrality towards the skin and all the ingredients of cosmetics and cleaning products, titanium dioxide can form a sticky film on the skin that retains moisture and can cause acne and irritation, especially on oily skin prone to such defects.

In the case of normal skin, there is no increased secretion of fat or sweat, so these impurities will not cause problems.

In any case, it is necessary to choose high-quality makeup equipment. Residual titanium dioxide can accumulate in skin pores and cause new irritation.

Is titanium dioxide harmful in cosmetics?

Is titanium dioxide harmful in cosmetics?

Is titanium dioxide harmful in baby cosmetics?

As mentioned earlier, titanium oxide is widely used, even in products for children. The popularity of children’s cosmetics is growing now. This material is used in powders, creams, decorative cosmetics for children, toothpaste, soaps, etc.

Contact details for the manufacturer are provided on the label for each product. Before you buy, it is best to ensure that nanoparticles are not used in a particular product because they are the most dangerous. The introduction of microparticles of this substance into the body is accompanied by changes in DNA, deterioration of immunity, and unpredictable development of chronic diseases. In the case of a child’s fragile body, the risk increases several times.

It is worth noting that the risk of getting nanoparticles from cosmetics inside the body is relatively small. Therefore, a complete rejection of the use of such products is not required. In this case, parents must teach children proper use and avoid misuse.

If you must use sunscreen, it is better to choose one that leaves a white mark – this indicates that titanium dioxide is used as a coarse-grained powder and will be safer.


Poorly purified titanium dioxide is a potential hazard. In this case, dirt can cause irreparable damage to the body. Unfortunately, it is pretty tricky for the consumer to check this, so it remains to rely on the honesty of the manufacturers. Currently is approved for use in specific concentrations. But in the coming months, the situation may change because the debate about his safety will not subside.

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