Important Things to Know about Titanium Dioxide
What is titanium dioxide used for?
Titanium dioxide is often used as an active ingredient in mineral-based sunscreens to reflect and scatter damaging UVA and UVB rays off the skin’s surface. This helps prevent sunburn and long-term sun damage.1
Is titanium dioxide a chemical sunscreen?
No. Titanium dioxide is classified as a physical sunscreen ingredient because it leaves a barrier on the skin’s surface and is not absorbed by the skin. (Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, penetrate the skin to absorb UV rays before they damage deeper layers.)1 However, it’s important to keep in mind that physical UV filters like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide may be combined with chemical sunscreen ingredients in some formulas.
Who should use titanium dioxide?
A sunscreen with titanium dioxide can be used by anyone for daily use as well as during times of prolonged sun exposure. Sunscreen products with this ingredient can be suitable for all skin types, including babies and those with sensitive skin.1
Is titanium dioxide safe?
In addition to being an effective sunscreen ingredient, titanium dioxide is associated with minimal risk of irritation and contact allergies1 and is generally recognized as safe.
How is titanium dioxide used?
Proper application is key when using a sunscreen to help protect against UVA and UVB rays. It’s important to apply a sufficient amount of sunscreen to exposed skin before sun exposure, and to reapply at least every two hours and immediately after swimming, sweating or towel-drying. Dermatologists generally recommend applying one ounce (or enough to fill a shot glass) to effectively protect the entire body.2
Can titanium dioxide be used on the body?
Yes. Sunscreen products with titanium dioxide can be used on the face and body to help protect your skin from UV damage. It should be used as directed with other sun protection measures.
Can titanium dioxide be used with other skincare ingredients?
Titanium dioxide is an inert mineral-based ingredient.3 A sunscreen that contains titanium dioxide as an active ingredient can be safely used as the final step in any morning skincare routine.
- Cosmetic Dermatology; Leslie Baumann, MD; McGraw-Hill Education; 2009; page 248