How Safe is Titanium Dioxide

Titanium Dioxide is frequently used in natural sunscreen formulas.

As a natural formulator for many years, I was led to believe that physical sun blocks such as Titanium Dioxide, was a really safe ingredient to use.

So you can imagine my surprise to find, that it has been getting a lot of bad press of late.

New research has found, that both Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide can generate free radicals, this happens when the skin is exposed to sunlight, which corrupts human cells, causing a dance of destruction upon the skin.

When these ingredients are exposed to sunlight, they attack the DNA in our skin causing mutations, some experts believe that this attack on our cells, could lead to some types of cancers long term.

Damaging Titanium Dioxide

The following statement is from a book:

Sunscreen Photobiology

“Micronized titanium dioxide suspensions, coupled with sunlight, can break down organic material and purify drinking water,

This illumination of Titanium, coupled with short wave, ultraviolet light, can damage and even kill human cells.”

The article goes on to say;

“The distinction between chemical sunscreens and physical sunscreens is not based on any significant difference. Both formulas do have the potential to produce reactive species, all of which can attack human skin cells, when exposed to normal sunlight.”

Essentially what this report is saying is that it is possible for particles of titanium dioxide to pass through the skin.

If this is the case it seems entirely plausible, that if these Nano particles can pass through the skin, they may also enter human cells, carrying with it the absorbed UVA and UVB radiation and damaging free radicals.

The Naked Truth

We could very easily make a sunscreen product, after all the sunscreen industry is booming, so potentially it could be a very lucrative option for us as a company.

That is not what The Naked Chemist is all about! Those who know us well will know that we are a company with a conscience.

We are simply not willing to take a chance on the biased chemical data on sunscreens, provided to us by manufacturers of chemical and physical sunscreen ingredients.

So when it comes to sunscreens formulated with titanium dioxide, our message is a simple one really.

Our conscience will not allow us to expose our customers to potential risks, that we would not be personally willing to take ourselves.

3 thoughts on “How Safe is Titanium Dioxide

  1. SheD says:

    I went on their website and the do not use micro or nano titanium dioxide and zinc oxide is not a main ingredient. Phew! I feel better!

  2. Y. Williams says:

    Wow scary! I am new to your blog and still looking around. I recently switched to a natural mineral makeup (Monave). I am pretty sure both Titanium Dioxide and zinc oxide are main ingredients. Should I be alarmed about makeup as well or is this mainly regarding sunscreen? I do wear it during the day

    • Verified Author Samantha Miller replied:

      Hi there thanks for getting in touch. I am familiar with monave and really like them for their integrity, interestingly they have the same philosophy in terms of transparency around ingredients. When it comes to cosmetics there are concerns over how easily absorbed and how toxic the tiny sizes of bismuth nano particles are.
      The NanoScience Technology Center warns; Bismuth nanoparticles are more toxic than other bismuth compounds.

      So it is important to make sure their cosmetics don’t contain these ingredientsx

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