Titanium dioxide is a naturally occurring mineral that also goes by the shortened name of titania. This mineral is collected from ores of various forms around the world, and it comes in many different physical crystalline forms.
One of the major functions of titanium dioxide is as a sunscreen in skincare products. It absorbs ultraviolet (UV) light – specifically shorter wavelengths of UV light, including those in the UVB region. These shorter wavelengths of light penetrate only the surface of the skin and cause burning, tanning, and even skin cancer.
Another function of titanium dioxide is as a colorant. Used in a variety of industries from paint to coatings and paper, the bright white color of titanium dioxide is useful for producing highly whitened products. For this reason, when combined with zinc oxide as a sunscreen, the finished products are often incredibly white and may even whiten the skin upon application.
In addition, when used in its powdered form, it is also an excellent opacifier. This is useful particular in color cosmetics, where the goal is to cover redness and blemishes, and this can include foundations, concealers, and CC creams.