Benzene In Sunscreens What You Need To Know
A May 2021 report from Valisure, an advocacy-focused online pharmacy that tests prescription drugs and over-the-counter products, raised alarm about the presence of benzene, a known carcinogen, in dozens of batches of commercially available sunscreens and after-sun skin-care products. Experts we spoke with acknowledged that the labs findings, while preliminary and not independently confirmed, are worthy of concern. We know that benzene can cause leukemia and other types of cancers, and the high levels detected in all these sunscreens is concerning and surprising, said Luoping Zhang, an adjunct professor of toxicology at the University of California, Berkeley. There is probably no safe level of benzene anywhere or in anything.
Valisure requested a recall of the contaminated batches” and that the “FDA better define limits for benzene contamination in drug and cosmetic products.
While the company did not test samples of all of the sunscreens we recommend in this guide, among those it did test, none were found to contain benzene. The Valisure study is a whistleblower event that helps things change and regulations to happen, said Akshay Talati, an independent cosmetic chemist who has worked with a variety of cosmetics companies, most recently LOreal.
An FDA spokesperson told Reuters that the agency will continue to monitor the sunscreen marketplace and manufacturing efforts to help ensure the availability ofsafe sunscreens for U.S. consumers.
Why Expiration Dates Matter
After sunscreens expire, the chemicals begin to degrade and separate, making them less effective. Eventually, old sunscreens will crystallize and separate, and they may have a foul odor. Keep in mind that extreme temperatures can also make sunscreen become less effective, despite its expiration date. When in doubt, toss the old sunscreen that you have and buy a new one. Make sure the new one has “broad spectrum” coverage for maximum protection and an SPF of at least 30.
Is Hawaiian Tropic Bad For You
A small study found that high levels of common sunscreen ingredients can enter a persons bloodstream after just one day of use. Your conventional sunscreen may be a problem if it has multiple chemical ingredients typical in brands that spread easy or spray on like Coppertone, Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic.
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Our Pick: Coppertone Ultra Guard Sunscreen Lotion Spf 70
*At the time of publishing, the price was $8.
Weve noticed stock issues with this item. If Coppertone Ultra Guard Sunscreen Lotion SPF 70 is unavailable, we recommend Banana Boat Light As Air SPF 50 Lotion as a substitute. Read more about the Light As Air sunscreen.
Coppertone Ultra Guard Sunscreen Lotion SPF 70, a chemical sunscreen that earned top marks in our testing, is a great choice for most people. It offers adequate SPF and broad-spectrum protection and is water resistant for up to 80 minutes. Its easy to apply and comfortable to wear, while still being affordable. It has no added fragrances. Although we could detect a slight sunscreen scent when we first applied it, after its been rubbed in, it doesnt really smell like anything, said Wirecutter social media strategy editor Sasha VanHoven, who was a member of our test panel and has been using Coppertone Ultra Guard consistently since. Its texture made it one of the easiest to apply of the sunscreens we tested. And it didnt turn white when we wore it running, as some sunscreens did.
One : It didnt feel overly greasy, and it rubbed in fine, no white residue. The reviewer concludes that it does the job its intended to do. We agree.
It comes in a packable, easy-to-grip, 8-ounce bottle with a seal-tight cap.
The active ingredients are avobenzone , homosalate , octisalate , octocrylene , and oxybenzone .
How Can I Choose The Right Sunscreen For My Skin Type
From Amazon to Ulta, youve got literally hundreds to choose from. You can start with the basics: Choose broad spectrum and an SPF of at least 30. From there, consider factors thatre important to you like whether you have a skin condition or whether you prefer the application of a stick over a cream.
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Are Chemical Sunscreens Safe
Researchers have long known that some chemical UV filters can reach the bloodstream, and have detected varying amounts of these active ingredients in urine and breast milk. In a May 2019 study, researchers at the FDA confirmed that avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, and ecamsulefour of the most common ingredients in chemical sunscreens and combination formulasremained in the bloodstreams of 24 adult study participants who were assigned to reapply one of four commercially available sunscreens four times a day for four days in the lab. In some cases, these active ingredients were still detectable in varying concentrations in the participants blood for days after their last application. The researchers write that further studies are needed to determine the clinical significance of this finding and note that their findings to date do not indicate that individuals should refrain from the use of sunscreen.
In January 2020, FDA researchers released results from a follow-up study, which showed thatin addition to avobenzone, oxybenzone, and octocrylenehomosalate, octisalate, and octinoxate in sunscreen creams, lotions, and sprays can also reach and remain in the bloodstream. Without further testing, the FDA does not know what levels of absorption can be considered safe, states a press release from the agency.
Can You Use Expired Sunscreen
Expired sunscreen won’t harm your skin, but it will allow the sun to harm your skin.
Using expired sunscreen won’t hurt you directly — as in, it won’t do anything to your skin — but it could set you up for a gnarly sunburn. And, as you already know, sunburns indicate unprotected sun exposure, which is directly related to your risk of developing skin cancer and premature aging.
The expiration date is there for a reason: to let you know if that sunscreen is still effective. It’s always a good idea to buy a new bottle of sunscreen if yours is expired. And if you’re into tanning under the sun, try a sunless self-tanner instead.
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Also Great: Thinksport Spf 50+ Sunscreen
May be out of stock
*At the time of publishing, the price was $10.
For people who prefer a formula with only physical UV blockers or who need a reef-safe sunscreen, we recommend Thinksport SPF 50+. Like our other picks, its water resistant for up to 80 minutes and offers broad-spectrum protection. The Thinksport sunscreen costs nearly four times as much per ounce as our Coppertone pick.
Like most zinc-oxide-based formulas weve tested , the Thinksport sunscreen can be difficult to rub in and can leave a white cast. But some people prefer physical sunscreens for this reason: They can more clearly see where they have applied an opaque lotion versus a nearly invisible one.
Because the minerals in physical sunscreens dont repel UV rays as efficiently as chemical filters absorb them, its difficult to formulate a physical sunscreen with a high effective SPF, said Dr. Henry Lim, a Detroit-based dermatologist and Skin Cancer Foundation spokesperson. This makes Thinksports 50+ rating on this lotion appealing with proper use, it shouldin theoryprovide at least the expert-recommended minimum SPF of 30.
Thinksports spartan ingredient list may appeal to those with sensitive skin, though people with sensitive noses might not feel the same way. The formula contains added fragrance that gives it a strong fruity smell.
Are You Using Enough
If you find an old bottle of sunscreen around the house, it might be an indication that you aren’t using enough when you apply itor that you’re not applying it daily. Applying sunscreen daily and correctly reduces the risk of skin cancer and premature aging.
Not using enough sunscreen during application is a common mistake. The rule of thumb is to use about one ounce of sunscreen per adult all over the body in the summerin other words, enough to fill a shot glass. In the wintertime, you may be more covered up. When you’re exposing less skin to the sun’s UV rays, you don’t have to use as much. However, you still need to protect the skin that is exposed, such as the hands, the face, the ears, the neck, and if you’re balding, the top of the head.
And don’t forget about exposure to the sun through car windows and perhaps through your office window. It’s a good idea to put sunscreen on first thing in the morning after you showerwhen you make it a habit, you’re less likely to forget to do it.
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Ingredients In Banana Boat Soothing Aloe After Sun Gel
There are quite a few ingredients of Banana Boat Soothing After Sun Aloe Gel such as:
- Banana Boat Soothing Aloe After Sun Gel Sunscreen
- Aloe Vera to soothe the skin.
- Coconut Oil which moisturizes and replenishes dry skin.
- Cocoa Butter for extra added emollients.
- Mineral Oil for a bonus moisturizer.
- Vitamin E works as another moisturizer.
What Lab Testing Can Reveal About Sunscreen Efficacy
Researchers have lab tests to assess UVB protection , UVA protection , water resistance, contact irritancy, , and even how well a given sunscreen sticks to skin following mechanical abrasion .
The FDA regulates sunscreens as over-the-counter drugs. To obtain marketing approval from the agency, sunscreen makers must submit data showing their products are safe and effective. Among other things, the FDA considers lab data on a given sunscreens SPF value, broad-spectrum protection, and water resistance. Labs that test sunscreens recruit volunteers who are exposed to UV radiation from sun lamps while wearing sunscreen and not wearing it . The FDA requires that these tests be done on at least 10 people. Labs that test sunscreens also examine how the formulas perform when applied to acrylic plates, quantifying the amount of UV radiation that passes through. In all these cases, to achieve accurate test results, the researchers must apply the sunscreens in precise amounts and distribute them uniformly across the test surfaces. This is not how people typically use sunscreen.
The Environmental Working Group and Consumer Reports are two organizations that regularly report findings on, among other things, whether a sunscreens SPF matches whats stated on the bottle. Year after year, they find that many do not. But even the best lab-test data reveals little about how people actually use sunscreensespecially when it comes to spray sunscreens.
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Banana Boat Aloe After Sun Lotion 16 Oz
AVAILABILITY: In stock
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Helps to keep your tan looking beautiful longer!
Banana Boat lets you have fun in the sun Thatâs because Banana Boat gives you the after sun relief you need for your skin.
- Moisturizing & Soothing
Banana Boat Aloe After Sun Lotion is made with Aloe Vera and Vitamin E to relieve peeling and dryness, and help retain skin moisture This ultra-moisturizing, non-greasy lotion helps to keep your tan looking beautiful longer.
Regular use will keep your skin soft by helping to replace moisture lost by exposure to sun, water and age.
For Moisturizing After Sun Skin Care. Get On The Boat!.
Expiration Date: We have fresh stock each week with exceptional expiration dates prior to JANUARY 2023. Products will expire no later than six months to 1 year after receipt.
Product Packaging: Please note that some manufacturer may often change their packaging. This product may arrive different from what is pictured. We will always ship the most up-to-date packaging to our customers. Please contact us if you have any questions about this product or would like to request an older version of this product.
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How Much Sunscreen Should I Use
To get the SPF listed on the bottle, you need to put 2 mg/cm2 on your skin. That means the average-size adult needs roughly a shot glasss worth of sunscreen for their mostly naked body . So, as you may have just concluded, you are almost certainly not using enough sunscreen. A 2014 study showed that people typically use a quarter to half as much sunscreen as they need to per application to meet the advertised SPF.
Spray sunscreens are trickier, as its hard to tell how much ends up on your skin, but if youre headed to the beach in a bikini or similar, weve found that spraying the sunscreen close to your body for roughly two minutes in a windlessbut well-ventilatedarea should do the trick.
Apply your sunscreen at least 15 minutes before sun exposure, since it takes that long for the formula to fully sink into your skin, and then again once every hour , plus every time after you work up a sweat or go in the water.
A note about water resistance: Some sunscreen makers claim their formulas are water resistant, but no sunscreen is waterproof or sweatproof. As such, you should never count on sunscreen to stick to your skin after youve gone for a swim or worked out, and you should definitely reapply after you do either of those things. Per FDA regulations, sunscreen can be labeled as water resistant for only up to 80 minutes, by which point you likely should have reapplied anyway.
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Safely Disposing Of Products
We have all seen the news that some ingredients in sun protection products can damage marine life, and that begs the question, how do we properly dispose of benzene containing products. Valisure has answered that questions for us. Option one is to find your nearest hazardous waste collection programs. These are the same programs that dispose of old batteries, used motor oil, pesticides, old electronics, and more. Most cities offer this service monthly or have facilities with drop-off locations.
Hazardous waste disposal may refuse pharmaceuticals and may consider these sun products pharmaceutical products. The next option for disposal is to see if your local city houses any medication disposal sites. CVS runs an old medication disposal service. To find one near you, visit their medication disposal search page. Also, check with local pharmacies, hospitals, mental health facilities, and law enforcement.
Another option for disposal is to submit your sunscreen products to Valisure for testing. There they will dispose of them properly. You can view their sample submission instructions to learn more about this program.
A Sunburns Best Friend
My husband and my children all have pretty fair skin and no matter how much sunscreen I put on them, every summer when we make our weekly trips out to the lake to go fishing and play, the children and him all get sunburned all over their bodies. This has to be the best working product that I have found to soothe their skin other than just plain old Aloe Vera. I like this better than Aloe Vera because this is an actual lotion and it absorbs into their skin instead of just sitting on the top of it. This gives everyone instant relief and their sunburns hurt a lot less after applying this. It is also very good to use once they start peeling and itching really bad, it absorbs fast and takes away a lot of their itch and they feel a lot better. It is also very nice because it does not leave a super greasy residue behind on the skin and it has a very nice scent that is not too overpowering. This is our go to for a sunburn.
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Are You Using The Best Sunscreens
A past EWG report cited research of Brian Diffey, PhD, emeritus professor of photobiology at the Institute of Cellular Medicine at Newcastle University. Hes shown that, on average, U.S. sunscreens allow about three times more UVA rays to transfer through skin compared to European sunscreens. In fact, Americans sunscreen choices are fewer and often offer worse UVA protection compared to those available in the European Union.
This matters becauseUVA rays are more abundant than UVB rays, and UVA damage is more subtle than the sunburns induced mainly by UVB rays. UVA rays can damage your skin invisibly by suppressing the immune system and aging the skin over time overexposure of these rays are also linked to the development of melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma, too.
According to EWG, most sunscreens sold in the U.S. would not be sold in Europe, which sets much more stringent UVA standards.
In the U.S., sunscreen regulations havent been updated since 2011. And while the FDA signaled it would take on the issue of UVA exposure, its recent proposal was withdrawn in the first coronavirus relief bill. The agency is due to propose its long-awaited rules on sunscreens again this fall.
Sunscreens Found To Contain Benzene
Despite the CDC specified concentration limit of 2 parts per million, we can all agree that any level of a carcinogen in the products we use on our bodies and our childrens bodies is unacceptable. Below, I will list the sun products found to contain benzene in any amount.
This list contains sun protection products, after sun products, and sun-tan products. It has a surprising number of brands included. Each item in the source chart also has a UPC and Lot number. For detailed charts, amounts, and more, please consult the original sources under the Resources heading at the end of this article. Here is the PDF file containing this list of items that contain benzene .
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How Long Can You Keep Store
For store-bought aloe vera gel, you should always keep it in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight, and it should stay good for about 2-3 years. A nice spot in your pantry or a spare drawer in your kitchen are perfect places.
You can also freeze or refrigerate your store-bought aloe vera gel. This way it can last for up to five years!