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Titanium Dioxide - Good or Bad?

Charlie of Sophia's Choice asked me "What's your take on Titanium Oxide in Make-up?". To be honest I had not given it much thought. I consulted my trusty ingredient bibles, No More Dirty Looks and Toxic Beauty. Now I understand why Charlie said "I've found that in a lot of free-from make-up but when I Googled it, there were concerns about it. It just seems so very confusing!". I'm going to do my best to explain how I view the situation. 

Titanium dioxide can cause a whitish effect, you may have experience this if you use a natural, physical blocker sunscreen. To counteract this, companies are using smaller particles known as nanos. Concerns have arisen because it is thought nanoparticles can be absorbed by the skin and no one knows what effect they can have on the body. Cosmetic manufacturers argue that they do not present a problem as they remain on the outer layer of dead skin cells, however, anyone who suffers with eczema or acne knows that we can have broken skin so that could be a way for nanoparticles to enter the body. 

EWG’s Skindeep database scores titanium dioxide 1-3 Fair depending on usage. It suggests that there are concerns when inhaled or airborne. That does not bode well for mineral powders which are applied near your nose. (source link)

I think it is fair to say I really don’t know what advice to give. I have been recommending my foundation Everyday Minerals, but it does contain this ingredient. You may be wondering whether I am now concerned about Titanium Dioxide but in all honesty, I am sitting on the fence. I do have concerns about toxins in our skin care but it can be difficult to know where to draw the line when it comes to avoiding ingredients. As is often the case, I think the decision to use products containing titanium dioxide rests with the individual. Until there is better research we cannot be sure whether it is good or bad for humans.

If anyone has more information or a viewpoint to share on this topic, please leave a comment below.

Sarah x

Sources of information - No More Dirty Looks by Siobhan O'Connor & Alexandra Spunt, Toxic - Beauty How Hidden Chemicals in Cosmetics Harm You by Dawn Mellowship