Titanium Dioxide: What Is It? Titanium Dioxide in Cosmetics and Medicine

Dorota Clapa
7 min reading
Titanium Dioxide: What Is It? Titanium Dioxide in Cosmetics and Medicine
Table of contents

  • Titanium Dioxide is an inorganic chemical compound used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.
  • It occurs naturally in the form of minerals and is extracted by the sulfate or chloride method.
  • Titanium Dioxide has brightening, whitening and visible light reflecting properties.
  • It is used in the production of paints, varnishes, cosmetics and medicines.

Titanium Dioxide is an inorganic chemical compound often used in the cosmetics industry. The substance is also used in the production of medicines. Previously, Titanium Dioxide has been used as a white colorant in food production, including being found in chewing gum, coffee creamer, candy and icing, but due to the side effects of ingesting it in such concentrations in this particular form, its use in this way was discontinued. Still, the substance is valued by manufacturers of pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. Want to learn more about Titanium Dioxide? Be sure to read on!

What is Titanium Dioxide?

Titanium Dioxide, also known as titanium(IV)oxide, is a chemical compound found naturally in many minerals, such as rutile and anatase. It is mined and then crushed, ground or refined, depending on its use in industry. There are two main methods for extracting Titanium Dioxide on an industrial scale: sulfate and chloride. In the sulfate method, the titanium-bearing mineral is treated with Sulfuric Acid to produce titanium sulfate. The titanium sulfate is then converted into titanium dioxide by further chemical processes. In the chloride method, titanium ore is treated with chlorine and carbon, which also results in titanium dioxide.
It occurs as a water-insoluble white powder. Titanium Dioxide is a substance used in many industries, especially valued by manufacturers of medicines, dietary supplements and cosmetics. Due to its bleaching properties, Titanium Dioxide is also known as Titanium White. It is also designated with the symbol E171.

Titanium Dioxide – properties

Titanium Dioxide is a dye for which brightening and whitening properties are characteristic. In addition, Titanium Dioxide has properties that reflect visible light, protect against the harmful effects of UV radiation and protect other ingredients used in the manufacture of preparations from oxidation. Titanium Dioxide also has a very high melting point. It therefore has high thermal stability, which means that it can be used at high temperatures without deteriorating its physical properties.
Titanium Dioxide does not have an expiration date if stored properly. Proper storage in the case of this substance means keeping Titanium Dioxide in tightly sealed containers at room temperature. Foodcom S.A. offers Titanium Dioxide in packages with a capacity of 25 kilograms.

Titanium Dioxide – applications

Titanium Dioxide is used in a variety of products, including paints and varnishes, orthodontic composites, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. It is most commonly used as a pigment, but its photocatalytic properties are also important to industry.
Titanium Dioxide is widely used in the construction industry for paints and plasters, not only for the white ones, but also as a brightener for other colors. It also has a high light reflectance, which is why it is often used in roof paints.
Titanium Dioxide can also be used as an ingredient in teeth whitening pastes. It makes teeth whiter and removes stains. In dentistry, it is also used for dentures because of its antibacterial properties. Titanium Dioxide is also used to disinfect surgical instruments.
Titanium Dioxide in medicines has many technological functions. It affects the color of the preparation – it can be used as a bleaching agent, but also as a brightener for other pigments. In addition, titanium dioxide ensures the stability of drugs, as it can absorb visible and UV light, protecting the individual components of the drug from degradation. This type of protection, in turn, makes it possible to extend the shelf life and durability of the drug. At the same time, titanium dioxide does not affect the active ingredients, so it does not affect the expected effect of the drug.
Titanium Dioxide is also used in the production of plastics, adhesives and rubber. It can help reduce the brittleness, fading and cracking that can occur in these materials due to exposure to light. In the paper industry, on the other hand, it is used to coat paper, making it whiter and more opaque.

Titanium Dioxide in cosmetics

Titanium Dioxide is very often used in the cosmetics industry. It protects cosmetics from oxidation and loss of their protective properties when exposed to sunlight. It does not leave white spots and is safe for use on sensitive skin. It is also used in products that require white color or lightening as a white pigment. In selected cosmetic products, it serves as a thickening agent. Its use in cosmetics protects the formulation itself from oxidation and loss of its protective properties when exposed to the sun.
Titanium Dioxide is used in cosmetics mainly for its whitening properties. Thanks to its photocatalytic properties, the substance can be used as a filter in cosmetics for UV and sun protection. Titanium Dioxide has the ability to reflect and scatter UV radiation, which helps protect the skin from the harmful effects of the sun. That is why it is often found in the formulation of sunscreens, foundations or sunscreen lotions. In combination with Zinc Oxide, is considered a very effective sunscreen. Titanium Dioxide is found in cosmetics such as sunscreen oils and lotions, day creams, foundations, eye shadows and lip balms.

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