Friday, July 22, 2011

Ingredients: What is Titanium Dioxide?

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When we think of titanium dioxide, we usually think of being out in the sunshine. Have you ever seen a lifeguard sporting an all-white nose? That's titanium dioxide. According to A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients, titanium dioxide is defined as being a covering and tinting powder of any white pigment used in bath powders, nail whites, depilatories, eye liners, white eye shadows, antiperspirants, face powders, protective creams, liquid powders, lipsticks, hand lotions and nail polish.

Technically, titanium dioxide is what gives cosmetics a white color. It's used in a wide variety of makeup products, daytime moisturizers and sunscreen. Titanium dioxide is the non-chemical ingredient that blocks or deflects UV rays. A lot of people associate titanium dioxide with sunblock because it sits on the skin's surface and "blocks" out UV rays. Keep in mind that there isn't a product on the market that can block out 100% of all UVA and UVB rays. In reality, sunblock doesn't really exist. The closest thing to a sunblock would be a physical sunscreen that has titanium dioxide in it.

Physical sunscreens that contain titanium dioxide are great for sensitive skin types. These types of products aren't absorbed into the skin like chemical sunscreens are. This is why physical sunscreens aren't as irritating as chemical sunscreens can be.

The drawbacks to physical sunscreen with titanium dioxide is that they are harder to blend onto the surface of the skin, often leaving a white hue on the surface of the skin. They can also be responsible for mild breakouts. If you are prone to breaking out using mineral makeup, physical sunscreen with titanium dioxide may break out your skin.

There are a wide variety of sunscreen products, in many different price ranges, that contain titanium dioxide. In the drugstore looking for something under the $15 price range? Look for Aveeno's Natural Protection Sunblock Lotion with SPF 30 or Neutrogena's Sensitive Skin Sunblock Lotion SPF 60+. If you are looking for something with a higher percentage of titanium dioxide, higher quality ingredients such as Aloe Vera Extract, Green Tea Extract or hyaluronic acid and don't mind spending a few extra dollars, look for Bare Escentuals SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen (comes in a convenient powder form) and LaVanila The Healthy Sun Screen SPF 40 Face Cream.

1 comment:

  1. Choose safe products for the skin. Always check the ingredients first.