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2D structural formula of Titanium dioxide


What is it?

“Titanium dioxide, also known as titanium(IV) oxide or titania, is the naturally occurring oxide of titanium, chemical formula TiO2.” Wikipedia

What are the effects?

This substance belongs to the groups:

The substance is on the Red List from Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a project of Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (previously the Breast Cancer Fund). They warn that the powder form of titanium dioxide is a probable carcinogen and an occupational concern.

If you find titanium dioxide in creams and lotions (commonly in sunscreens) it is considered non-toxic. It is the powder form, the pigment-grade, of this substance that is of concern (commonly found in makeup). In sunscreens it is often used an ultrafine-grade or even nano version of titanium dioxide.

Even though this substance could cause some serious health effects, Curious Chloride’s scanner marks this ingredient (and name variations) yellow. It is based on the likelihood of which kind of product titanium dioxide most often encountered in, which is creams and lotions.

How is it used?

Titanium dioxide is used as a colorant, opacifying agent (decreases transparency or translucency of cosmetics) and ultraviolet (UV) light absorber in a wide variety of cosmetics.

As mentioned above, and because it works as a UV light absorber, it is common to find this substance in sunscreens. But it can also be found in products such as nail polish, eye shadow, foundation, lipstick, lip gloss, eye liner, blush, concealer, facial powder, mascara, sunscreens, makeup and toothpaste.

We use the European Commissions definition of Cosmetics:
“Cosmetics range from everyday hygiene products such as soap, shampoo, deodorant, and toothpaste to luxury beauty items including perfumes and makeup”.

Did you find this ingredient in a product?

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