Titanium dioxide has a wide range of industrial purposes, including uses as a refractive coating, whitening agent and thickener. It is the most widely used white pigment due to both its refractive index and brightness.
As a refractive coating, titanium dioxide deposits as a very thin film on industrial dielectric mirrors and certain gemstones to increase brilliance. When using titanium dioxide as a pigment, manufacturers add it to products in its powdered form and use it in the production of paints, ink and food colorings. They also use titanium dioxide in the production of medicine, paper and plastics. Because of its highly reflective nature and ability to absorb UV light, titanium dioxide is a primary ingredient in sunscreen.