How Safe Is Your Sunscreen?

With summer in full swing, and with probably thousands of sticks, bottles and aerosol sunscreens being applied, answering this question will be very important to many moms, or at least the person in charge of purchasing the sunscreen. Sometimes it seems like the very industry that is meant to help us discern fact from fiction, with regards to skin care products, can be the ultimate source of misinformation!!!

Just the other day I was questioned by friend about an article that was written on Titanium Dioxide. Now, let me preface this with the fact that there are years of research and many government agencies both locally and internationally stating that Titanium Dioxide is safe for use as a cosmetic ingredient.

The article stated that consumers are to stay away from this very effective (proven), non-toxic (proven), chemical-free, broad spectrum sunscreen ingredient. I was perplexed! But my suspicion was that the consumer didn't quite read the article correctly, and that she only read that part - "stay away from sunscreens containing titanium dioxide..." - and then her brain shut down, she got distracted and never continued on to get the full explanation. I was right.

When I sought out the article, the writer was referencing studies that raised concern about Titanium Dioxide in aerosol sunscreen sprays. Now that made more sense! According to the - " About TITANIUM DIOXIDE: Titanium Dioxide is an inorganic compound used in a range of body care products such as sunscreens and makeup. It appears to have low skin penetration but inhalation is a concern." I could just imagine the scores of busy moms and sunscreen purchasers, not reading the full article or misunderstanding the content, ceremoniously throwing out their condemned Titanium Dioxide infested sunscreens. What a disaster. So, yes, Titanium Dioxide is a premier sunscreen ingredient, but no, not in an aerosol application.

Candace Noonan, LE AUG 2015