Titanium Dioxide-Free Makeup? We Have It! But Consider Candy, Toothpaste, and More Sources
Titanium dioxide is a white pigment that is commonly used in cosmetics, valued for is its ability to provide opacity and whiteness as well as its ability to provide virtually unparalleled UV protection, which is why it's in so many sunscreens. The top benefits of using titanium dioxide in cosmetics include its ability to reflect and scatter both UVA and UVB rays, providing some level of sun protection in foundations and other high-coverage products, allowing companies that have the approval to tout SPF ratings. Typically, titanium dioxide has a low risk of causing skin irritation or allergies, making it suitable for individuals with sensitive skin, but that's certainly not always the case—more on titanium dioxide safety here.
Titanium dioxide is considered relatively safe for use in cosmetics when used in its non-nanoparticle form. Non-nanoparticle titanium dioxide particles are larger in size and are less likely to penetrate the skin, reducing the risk of potential health concerns. However, there have been concerns about the safety of nanoparticle-sized titanium dioxide particles, as they may have the potential to penetrate the skin and reach deeper tissues; more research is needed to fully understand potential negative effects on human health when it comes to titanium dioxide in nanoparticle form in cosmetics. Ongoing debate about nanoparticles' potential to inflict cellular damage leads to many preferring to avoid the risk and choosing non-nanoparticle titanium dioxide or titanium dioxide-free altogether (here are Heal Yes! options without titanium dioxide).
But choosing to use or not use titanium dioxide in its non-nanoparticle form (or allegedly worse, in its nanoparticle form) doesn't end with makeup:
Titanium dioxide is rather ubiquitous, and it permeates our everyday lives more than most realize. After all, titanium dioxide can be in food, drink, toothpaste, paper, paint—the list goes on!
Recently, Skittles came under fire for its use of titanium dioxide in the candy:
The Skittles lawsuit involving titanium dioxide relates to the use of the pigment in the candy coating; the lawsuit alleged that the titanium dioxide used in Skittles was misleadingly labeled as a coloring agent and that it was not necessary for use within the product. This case highlights the controversy and discussions surrounding the use of certain ingredients, including titanium dioxide, in food products.
Aside from candy, you might find titanium dioxide in nut milk (even "natural" and organic brands), gum, powdered sugar, icing, and certain desserts.
Also, in addition to food, drink, and makeup, titanium dioxide can be found in sunscreens, toothpaste, skincare products, and even in certain supplements and medications.
While titanium dioxide is an important ingredient in cosmetics, providing benefits such as UV protection and improved product appearance, if you need or want to avoid it, here are Heal Yes! options without titanium dioxide for you. If you're not too apprehensive or reactive to the ingredient, you may strongly want to ascertain you're choosing it in non-nanoparticle form. Do remember that if you're seeking to avoid titanium dioxide, it's germane that you look beyond just makeup; it's a popular ingredient in many areas.
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