What is it?
Titanium Dioxide, a white powder, is the oxide of titanium. It has a formula of TiO2. Titanium Dioxide is used in a wide range of cosmetics and personal care products including makeup, nail products, bath soaps and foot powders. Titanium Dioxide is also used in Over-the-Counter (OTC) sunscreen drug products.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lists Titanium Dioxide as a color additive exempt from certification. Titanium Dioxide is safe for use in coloring products, including cosmetics and personal care products applied to the lips, and the area of the eye, provided it meets certain specifications. Titanium Dioxide is also an approved colorant
for food, drugs and medical devices.
The FDA has also approved the use of Titanium Dioxide for use in OTC sunscreen drug products at concentrations up to 25%.
FDA includes Titanium Dioxide on its list of indirect food additives
. For example, it may be used as a colorant
in polymers used in food contact materials. Cosmetic Ingredient Review
(CIR) has deferred evaluation of this ingredient because the safety has been assessed by FDA. This deferral of review is according to the provisions of the CIR Procedures.
Why is it used in cosmetics and personal care products?
Titanium Dioxide is derived from minerals. Because compounds come from the earth they may contain trace amounts of heavy metals
. The levels of heavy metals
in Titanium Dioxide are regulated by the FDA, and the small amounts that may eventually be in cosmetic or personal care products do not pose a risk to human health.
Titanium Dioxide works as a sunscreen agent
by reflecting and scattering UV radiation. Sunscreen products reduce or prevent sunburn and premature aging of the skin. Preventing sunburn is an important factor in reducing the risk of getting skin cancer. Sunscreens should not be confused with sun tanning products which allow sunlight to reach the skin and cause tanning (darkening).