into the bottle: titanium dioxide

From Hotlanta festivals to summer trips to faithful Tybee, the most important thing to keep handy in that tote is sunscreen. Last summer, we explored the difference between classic and mineral sunscreen through our favorite line, COOLA and now we’re going into the bottle to get to know the #1 ingredient in these sunscreens, Titanium Dioxide.

New York Times refers to Titanium Dioxide as the vital ingredient when it comes to an “ideal sunscreen.” It’s a completely natural mineral as well as a physical ingredient, meaning it sits on our sweltering skin working to block the sun opposed to being absorbed by it. This also means, yes, it is that white chalky material that makes you feel a little like day-glow, but hey, what would summer be without that? The reason for it is that TiO2, when used in sunscreen, is broken down into a ridiculously small form (We’re talking smaller than a particle of hair) where its purpose is to reflect or scatter the harmful rays.

The coolest thing about Titanium Dioxide, though, is that it’s nonirritating, nonallergenic and noncomedogenic meaning it doesn’t produce or aggravate acne, keeping that pretty skin safe. And while sunscreens contain a range of sun filters (avobenzone, zinc oxide, mexoryl), Titanium Dioxide is most commonly used in natural and organic sunscreens due to its sensitive nature. It’s even COOLA’s main active ingredient in their awe-worthy mineral collection and we’re pretty glad it’s in the bottle.