Characteristics of titanium dioxide microdispersions with different photo-activity suitable for sunscreen formulations

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Graphical abstractThe aim of the study was the comparison of photo-activity of three types of titanium dioxide (TiO2) micro-dispersions intended for use as UV filters for cosmetic sunscreen products. The dispersions were also investigated with regard to their influence on the stability of photo-protective systems in cosmetic emulsions, their skin penetration/absorption and their photo-toxicity for humans and skin bacterial flora. All the tested micro-dispersions of rutile TiO2 type (agglomerates with diameter 120–150 nm), with primary particle size lower than 100 nm, demonstrated no phototoxic effect and insignificant antimicrobial behaviour. On the other hand, TiO2 with insufficient deactivation of photo-activity had significant negative impact on the stability of other organic UV filters and therefore on the stability of declared UV protective factors (SPF, UVA-PF). The study demonstrated that the level of deactivation of TiO2 is one of the highly important factors for evaluation of UV filters used as sunscreens.

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