Caution, titanium dioxide: lipsticks are so dangerous

You should kiss red lips – or better not? The Stiftung Warentest tested a total of 17 lipsticks in rosewood tones. The result is satisfactory at best: All lipsticks contain dangerous titanium dioxide. That is why the ingredient is so harmful.

In addition to lipstick, other cosmetics and  foods can also  contain dangerous titanium dioxide.

What is Titanium Dioxide?

Titanium dioxide (EC 236-675-5, CAS 13463-67-7) is produced worldwide. 90 percent of it is used as a white pigment for the production of varnish, paint, printing ink or plastics. The other 10 percent can be found in:

  • Cosmetics
  • groceries
  • feedstuffs
  • medicines

Titanium dioxide can also be found in foods such as confectionery and  dragees  as an additive (E171). As CI 77891, the white pigment is not only found in make-up, but also in toothpaste.

Why is titanium dioxide dangerous?

While the white pigment was classified as harmless for a long time, this assessment has now changed. After a re-evaluation of titanium dioxide by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), there is a suspicion that the ingredient could

  • damage the genetic material and body cells and
  • be a trigger for  cancer  .

The dangerous ingredient can not only be absorbed through food or toothpaste, lipsticks also contain the color pigment. In addition to titanium dioxide, according to Stiftung Warentest, these can also contain other potentially worrying mineral oil components.

The components can accumulate in tissue and organs and pose possible health risks. The exact consequences are so far unclear.

If you put on make-up every day, you could “consume” up to five lipsticks a year. Although natural cosmetics can also contain titanium dioxide, Stiftung Warentest points out that ideally, mineral oil-free products from natural cosmetics should be used.


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