TiO2 nanoparticles as an effective UV-B radiation skin-protective compound in sunscreens

Alexey P. Popov, A. V. Priezzhev, J. Lademann, Risto Myllylä

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

188 Citations (Scopus)


Protecting human skin against harmful UV-B radiation coming from the sun is currently a problem. Due to the decreased thickness of the ozone layer, a more dangerous amount of UV-B light reaches the surface of our planet. This causes increased frequency of skin diseases. Titanium dioxide (TiO2) fine particles are embedded with sunscreens into the skin to effectively attenuate UV-B radiation. This study evaluates the most appropriate size of such particles assuming they are spheres. The distribution of TiO2 particles within the skin, achieved with topically applied sunscreens, is determined experimentally by the tape-stripping technique. Computer code implementing the Monte Carlo method is used to simulate photon migration within the plain 20 νm thick horny layer matrix partially filled with nano-sized TiO2 particles. Dependences of harmful UV-B radiation of 307-311 nm absorbed by, backscattered from and transmitted through the horny layer on the concentration of TiO2 particles are obtained and analysed. As a result, particles of 62 nm are found to be the most effective in protecting skin against UV-B light.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2564-2570
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2005
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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