My watch list
my.chemeurope.com  
Login  

Making a common cosmetic and sunblock ingredient safer

27-Sep-2013

Using a particular type of titanium dioxide — a common ingredient in cosmetics, food products, toothpaste and sunscreen — could reduce the potential health risks associated with the widely used compound. The report on the substance, produced by the millions of tons every year for the global market, appears in the ACS journal Chemical Research in Toxicology.

Francesco Turci and colleagues explain that titanium dioxide (TiO2) is generally considered a safe ingredient in commercially available skin products because it doesn't penetrate healthy skin. But there's a catch. Research has shown that TiO2 can cause potentially toxic effects when exposed to ultraviolet light, which is in the sun's rays and is the same kind of light that the compound is supposed to offer protection against. To design a safer TiO2 for human use, the researchers set out to test different forms of the compound, each with its own architecture.

They tested titanium dioxide powders on pig skin (which often substitutes for human skin in these kinds of tests) with indoor lighting, which has very little ultraviolet light in it. They discovered that one of the two most commonly used crystalline forms of TiO2, called rutile, easily washes off and has little effect on skin. Anatase, the other commonly used form, however, was difficult to wash off and damaged the outermost layer of skin — even in low ultraviolet light. It appears to do so via "free radicals," which are associated with skin aging. "The present findings strongly encourage the use of the less reactive, negatively charged rutile to produce safer TiO2-based cosmetic and pharmaceutical products," the researchers conclude.

Facts, background information, dossiers
  • anatase
  • skin aging
  • rutile
More about American Chemical Society
  • News

    The biggest chemistry-related stories from 2017

    From a march for science to shifting environmental priorities in the policy realm, chemistry has been on the move and in the headlines in 2017. Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, reviews the most intriguing chemistry stories of the ... more

    Pulling iron out of waste printer toner

    Someday, left-over toner in discarded printer cartridges could have a second life as bridge or building components instead of as trash, wasting away in landfills and potentially harming the environment. One group reports that they have devised a method to recycle the residual powder in "emp ... more

    On the road to fire-free, lithium-ion batteries made with asphalt

    Lithium-ion batteries can be found in everything from cell phones to hoverboards, but these power sources have recently made headlines for the fires they have inadvertently caused. To address these safety hazards, scientists report that they are paving the way to better batteries with a nat ... more

  • Videos

    Why is Olive Oil Awesome?

    Whether you sop it up with bread or use it to boost your cooking, olive oil is awesome. But a lot of chemistry goes on in that bottle that can make or break a product. Take the “extra virgin” standard: Chemistry tells us that a higher free-fatty-acid content leads to a lower grade, less tas ... more

    Microbots zoom around water, destroying bacteria

    One day, the tiny robot you see here could help clean up contaminated water. In places where potable sources are scarce, they can destroy disease-causing bacteria in its path and unlike conventional disinfectants, the microbots can be removed easily with a magnet. more

    The chemicals we leave behind

    The products we use every day leave behind chemical footprints. Learn how and why researchers are now studying those trails. Mass spectrometry is helping researchers learn more about our interactions with the everyday chemicals we use, such as DEET, caffeine, even medications. In this episo ... more

  • Events
    Conference
    22-08 – 26-08
    2021
    Boston, US

    262nd ACS National Meeting & Exposition

    The American Chemical Society conference 262nd ACS National Meeting & Exposition will take place in Boston, US from 2021-08-22 to 2021-08-26. more

    Conference
    21-03 – 25-03
    2021
    San Antonio, US

    261st ACS National Meeting & Exposition

    The American Chemical Society conference 261st ACS National Meeting & Exposition will take place in San Antonio, US from 2021-03-21 to 2021-03-25. more

    Conference
    23-08 – 27-08
    2020
    San Francisco, US

    260th ACS National Meeting & Exposition

    The American Chemical Society conference 260th ACS National Meeting & Exposition will take place in San Francisco, US from 2020-08-23 to 2020-08-27. more

Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE