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Titanium Dioxide: What Is It And Why Is It In My Sunscreen?

Lotions and sprays, quick-dry and non-greasy, medicinal, cosmetic and in a range of SPF ratings, sunscreen is the first line of defense against sun damage to your skin. One of the most common ingredients in any commercial sunscreen is titanium dioxide. A mouthful of a mineral, it runs neck and neck with zinc oxide in popularity as a component. What is it exactly? How does it contribute to keeping your skin healthy?

Titanium Dioxide, the Multi-Purpose Mineral

In minerals such as rutile and brookite, there’s a naturally occurring oxide of the element titanium. This is, of course, titanium dioxide. What makes this particular substance so incredible is its brightness – which causes it to be widely used as a white pigment – and its very high refractive index. The higher a refractive index of a mineral, the more difficult it is for light to pass through it.

As a non-toxic substance, titanium dioxide is used in everything from paint to paper to medications and, of course, sunscreen.

How Does Titanium Dioxide Work In Sunscreen?

Sunscreen itself has been in development since the early 1930s, but proof of humans using naturally occurring substances to protect themselves from the sun stretches back as far as ancient Egypt! With our current understanding of how UV light can cause severe damage, even cancer, the importance of protecting our skin goes far beyond beauty.

Most sunscreens are made of organic compounds that absorb UV rays and release the energy as heat. Titanium dioxide works hand in hand with these by reflecting UV rays with its high refractive index. The less light strikes your skin, the fewer UV rays have to be handled by the organic compounds that are part of the sunscreen.

Hale Cosmeceuticals, with our focus on promoting health and beauty together, has cruelty-free vegan sunscreen that contains this multi-purpose, naturally occurring and very handy mineral! Take a look and contact us for ordering information!

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