The results of a study made public in the spring of last year sparked outrage among sunscreen consumers, as it found 78 products to contain benzene, a very toxic chemical. Since benzene is not one of the usual ingredients in sunscreen, companies believe the chemical ended up in their products due to manufacturing contamination. Alarmingly, only 10 contaminated products have been recalled so far, which means that some sunscreen currently on the market could still contain the chemical.
Frequent exposure to benzene, a human carcinogen, can lead to leukemia, myeloma, and lymphoma. Therefore, we strongly advise you to look through the list of contaminated products, which you can easily find online, to know what sunscreen to avoid next time you go shopping. However, when choosing a sunscreen, there are plenty of other factors to consider in addition to preventing benzene, which we will dive in to below.
1. Buying Chemical Sunscreen
There are two kinds of sunscreen on the market: chemical and mineral. The former absorbs ultraviolet radiation upon contact with skin, whereas the latter blocks it. Up to 96% of the sunscreen on the shelves of American stores is chemical. Sadly, there are multiple issues with chemical sunscreen, as it was found to be potentially dangerous both to our health and to the health of coral reefs. Many of its ingredients have been associated with possible health problems.
On the other hand, although more difficult to find in regular stores, mineral sunscreen contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These two ingredients are very effective in protecting your skin from ultraviolet radiation while also interacting well with the environment. Some sources of mineral sunscreen include shops like ours, MR.
2. Not Reading the Label of the Product
The label on sunscreen products is there for a reason, and you should pay close attention to it, especially if you are purchasing chemical sunscreen. Most chemical sunscreen contains numerous ingredients that are problematic in terms of safety, which is why you should avoid it altogether. Some of the most potentially dangerous ingredients in sunscreen are the following, and we advise you to avoid buying any chemical sunscreen that contains one or more of these:
● oxybenzone: this is perhaps the most controversial ingredient, as exposure to it has been linked to thyroid hormone, testosterone level, kidney function and pubertal timing
● avobenzone: the breakdown derivatives of avobenzone might cause allergic reactions, disrupt the endocrine system, and inhibit the effects of testosterone
● homosalate: while the European Commission set a maximum concentration of 1.4% homosalate in sunscreen because of concerns for endocrine disruption, the Food and Drug Administration allows American manufacturers to use it in concentrations of up to 15%
3. Underapplying Sunscreen
Alarmingly, many people underapply sunscreen, using just a quarter to a half the amount required. Using half the recommended amount of sunscreen only provides the square root of the SPF, which is the product's sun protection factor. According to experts, because the skin takes a while to absorb it, chemical sunscreen has to be applied 30 minutes before going out into the sun to let the ingredients fully bind to the skin.
To achieve the SPF protection mentioned on a bottle of sunscreen, you should use roughly 2 milligrams of sunscreen per square centimeter of skin, which is the equivalent of a full shot glass or two tablespoons. Also, you should apply sunscreen before you get dressed and subsequently reapply it to all exposed skin. Lastly, if you are using aerosol sunscreen, apply it until you see an even sheen on your skin.
Our company has joined the Benzene Sunscreen Replacement Initiative to Offer Safe, Non-Toxic Alternative Products
The Benzene Sunscreen Replacement Initiative is a relatively new program by Environmental Litigation Group, P.C., a law firm specializing in toxic exposure. By this initiative, people who have been using sunscreen tainted with benzene can receive free and safe alternative products to replace the dangerous ones. While the program prioritizes those who have developed cancer due to using adulterated sunscreen, anyone can request free products. The Benzene Sunscreen Replacement Initiative is a laudable one, as it shows that the compassion of the attorneys and legal team transcends the limits of their offices.
We decided to join this initiative and offer anyone in need high-quality, safe, non-toxic, and sustainable products. We have partnered up with Environmental Litigation Group, P.C., hoping that our sunscreen products will prove helpful to the people who will receive it and will offer the recipients a place where they can shop for sunscreen in the future if they enjoy our products. If you are also a company that manufactures or commercializes sunscreen, we encourage you to join the Benzene Sunscreen Replacement Initiative by filling out the form at the bottom of the official page.