Titanium dioxide acts as a physical sunscreen. It is a natural colour and brilliantly white. Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is a pure white pigment that occurs naturally as a crystal.
Titanium dioxide has a wide range of uses.
It is used as a colouring in both food and cosmetics, and adds definition to bubbles in soap lather.
It has strong UV absorption capabilities. It remains stable and does not discolour when exposed to ultraviolet light. This enhances its ability to protect the skin from ultraviolet light.
Titanium dioxide has a high refractive index of n=2.7.
It can be listed as CI 77891, titanium white, or pigment white 6. When used as a food colouring it has E number E171.
Sun creams designed for infants, or people with sensitive skin, are often based on titanium dioxide (and zinc); these mineral UV blockers are less likely to cause skin irritation than chemical UV absorbers.
It helps to increase the opacity of a product.