What to Know About the Benzene Sunscreen Recall
Recent discoveries of the chemical benzene in certain topical sunscreens have sparked concerns among doctors and patients alike. And while physicians are split on the right degree of alarm about this problem, one thing is clear: Benzene does not belong in sunscreen.
In this article the skin care experts at AMAE Plastic Surgery & Med Spa in the Troy, MI area discuss the most recent data about the sunscreens that were recalled for containing sunscreen – and provide you with the information you need to ensure your sunscreen is benzene free!
The Benzene Sunscreen Recall
Johnson & Johnson announced a voluntary recall this past month for many of its sunscreen sprays manufactured by Neutrogena. These included:
- Beach Defense,
- Cool Dry Sport,
- Invisible Daily,
- Ultra Sheer
- Aveeno (Protect + Refresh).
These contaminated products were all in spray format, not lotion or cream.
If you have any of these products you should discontinue their usage and contact the Johnson & Johnson Consumer Care Center 24/7 with inquiries or to seek a refund: 1-800-458-1673
Johnson & Johnson continues to downplay the incident, saying in a statement that “internal testing revealed minor amounts of benzene in certain product samples” and that the recall is being conducted “out of an excess of caution”.
What Is Benzene & Why is it a Dangerous Chemical in Sunscreen?
You are not alone if you are unfamiliar with benzene. According to the CDC, it is a chemical that occurs naturally in volcanoes and forest fires – and is also a component of crude oil, gasoline, and cigarette smoke.
According to the CDC, it is a chemical that the majority of Americans are likely exposed to in small amounts on a daily basis, since it is present in trace amounts in the air we breathe due to cigarette smoke, gas stations, motor vehicle exhaust, and industrial emissions. Additionally, Benzene is used to manufacture compounds used in man-made goods such as plastics, dyes, and detergents, as well as glue and paint.
While small quantities of benzene are not as concerning, levels of benzene more than 2 parts per million ppm are perhaps hazardous. Some research suggests that benzene may be carcinogenic when applied to large areas of skin, particularly because benzene is a very volatile solvent – meaning that it penetrates the cell membrane very quickly and easily, and thus can pass right through the skin into the bloodstream.
Are Other Sunscreens Safe?
Because of the recall many of our Troy, MI area patients have expressed concerns regarding the safety of all sunscreens. But these fears are completely baseless, as long as one purchases sunscreen from a trusted, natural brand.
According to a recent American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) pronouncement on the recent recall benzene is not and has never been a component in any sunscreen formulas. In other words, the recent Johnson & Johnson (Neutrogena) contamination problem was due to a mistake with the manufacturing process, not with the sunscreen formulas themselves.
But, earlier this year, the same laboratory that discovered benzene in many sunscreens also discovered it in numerous hand sanitizers. Excessive amounts of benzene have also been detected in soft drinks and other beverages during the past several decades.
EltaMD: Safe, Natural, Benzene-free Sunscreens | Troy, MI
Proper skin protection is the most effective way to ward of lines, wrinkles, age spots and other signs of aging. Even more importantly, sunscreen with a high SPF is the best way to avoid the development of skin cancer. So, sunscreen should be applied daily – and it is important to not let the recent recalls “scare you off” using sun protection.
At AMAE Plastic Surgery and Med Spa in the Troy, MI area, we highly recommend the EltaMD comprehensive line of sunscreens. EltaMD sunscreens are fragrance-free so you don’t smell like a Pina Colada all day. And they are noncomedogenic – which means they do not clog pores.
We also love EltaMD sunscreens because they are lightweight and creamy sunscreen, absorb quickly and leaves no white cast. And they incorporate many nutritive ingredients that can heal, hydrate and restore skin, in addition to offering UV protection.
EltaMD offers a wide range of sunscreen formulas – with one that is right for virtually every skin care need. And because we are such big fans of EltaMD’s spectrum of sun protectors for all skin types and concerns, offer these products for purchase at the best prices possible to our patients in our Birmingham Med Spa.
If you live in the greater Troy, MI area, stop by AMAE Plastic Surgery and Med Spa and our experienced skin care experts will help you choose the EltaMD sunscreen product that is right for you!