The Truth About Titanium Dioxide

You shouldn’t believe everything that is posted on the internet. It should be both compared with other information, as well as analyzed to see if it is just an opinion (sometimes a misguided one) or if it is based on actual truth.

There is a myth out there that has been going on for some years now, saying that titanium dioxide present in cosmetics, mainly sunscreen, causes cancer. This has been proven to be wrong many times but as every internet rumour, it keeps spreading, and the only way to fight it is with…

reliable information.

First of all, what is it?

As the name suggests, it is the result of an oxidation process affecting titanium, and can be triggered naturally or artificially. It is used for many purposes such as; a material for circuits in solar panels, in cosmetics, colouring food and due to its brightness it is used as a reflective agent in sunscreens.

So what’s the problem?

None at all, really. Titanium dioxide is really good at what it does. But because you put it directly on your skin and probably because it has “oxide” in its name, some people began worrying that it would be a big issue. The assumption was that their skin would absorb it and, as per Dr Google recommendation, everything causes cancer.

The truth

New York City dermatologist Dr Anne Chapas has denied the rumours. Skin doesn’t absorb the titanium dioxide particles present in sunscreens as they are too big, and there is no way for it to enter the human body through the skin.

Dr. Chapas did also mentioned that nanoparticles of the titanium dioxide (the smallest particles) could pose some risk. But if you don’t work in a lab manufacturing the titanium dioxide, it is practically impossible to get near to those smallest particles and even harder to get in contact with enough to cause damage.

All the scientific studies so far, prove that applying sunscreens on the skin poses no risk whatsoever. The real risk is not using any sun protection, as UV rays from the big star in the sky have demonstrated to be far more dangerous. This poses a high risk towards the skin, as a contributing factor to the development of different cancers, mainly melanoma (skin cancer).

Free yourself of rumours. Every time someone claims something, do your research and look for real evidence, instead of paranoia-fueled statements. They may be said with good intentions, as to protect others from risks, but these efforts should be focused on discovering the truth and not on every single little thing someone says.

Remember the chaos Orson Welles created just by reading H.G. Wells’ ‘War of the Worlds?’ Learn the lesson: the media CAN BE wrong.