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Carcinogens in Sunscreens - Bottle of sunscreen with a question mark


Scientists have discovered at least two different compounds in sunscreen that are carcinogens — benzene and benzophenone. Neither of these compounds appear on product labels but may be introduced during product manufacture and/or created by chemical reactions with the sunscreen itself, with more produced over the life of the product!

Research also suggests that mixing certain types of sunscreen ingredients may be problematic, possibly reducing sunscreen effectiveness and the creating compounds that can be toxic.



Avoiding benzene:
We have compiled a list of sunscreens (and after-sun products) that have been found to contain benzene, including several that have been recalled by their manufacturers for this reason. For details, see our article "Which sunscreens and after-sun products are contaminated with benzene and which are not?"

Avoiding benzophenone and problematic ingredient combinations:
Sign in to find out how to avoid benzophenone and see which products have been shown to contain it. You'll also learn about the general safety and efficacy of common sunscreen ingredients (avobenzone, ensulizole, homosalate, octinoxate, octisalate, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide) and how to avoid combinations that may reduce sunscreen effectiveness and cause toxicity. You'll also see our list of sunscreens that do not contain these concerning combinations of ingredient from brands. This article includes information about products from All Good, Badger, Banana Boat, Bioderma, CeraVe, Coppertone, Cosmia Sun, EltaMD, Garnier, Hello Bello, Kokua Sun Care, La Roche-Posay, L'Oreal, Mama Kuleana, MDSolarSciences, NATIVE, and Neutrogena, aPipette, Stream2Sea, Thinksport, Uriage, and Waxhead.

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