Sunscreen Ingredients Enter Bloodstream in a Day

Who would think a substance put on the skin makes it into the bloodstream? This strange truth has recently been demonstrated for four potentially dangerous ingredients in suntan lotion.

Perhaps you’ve heard this alternative health guideline: don’t put it on your skin if you wouldn’t eat it. That may make more sense now. Industry standards in the USA aren’t quite there yet.

According to a study conducted by the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, it took just one day of use for common sunscreen ingredients to enter the bloodstream at high levels. The study was published on Monday in the medical journal JAMA. It showed in the study that the blood concentration of three of the ingredients continued to rise as the daily use of sunscreen was continued, and it remained in the body 24 hours after the sunscreen use.
The four chemicals that they studied are avobenzone, oxybenzone, ecamsule, and octocrylene. These four are just a part of a dozen that the FDA recently said needed to be researched by manufacturers before they could be considered safe and effective.

They don’t sound very tasty.

Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration announced it was asking sunscreen manufacturers for more information on 12 chemicals used in sunscreens (including avobenzone and oxybenzone). While the agency didn’t say the ingredients were unsafe, there is evidence suggesting that some of the ingredients may raise the risk of health issues, such as hormone disruption and cancer. And now, a preliminary study by FDA researchers shows that these sunscreen ingredients may actually be absorbed through the skin at levels higher than previously believed. …

Read more: Consumer Reports

The oxybenzone sticks around in the body. A 2002  study found that adults who put on sunscreen containing four percent oxybenzone (the US allows up to six percent) in the morning and evening—mimicking what they’d do while on vacation—continued to excrete the chemical in their urine for five days afterwards, suggesting that it was being stored in the body.

Read more PopSci

Ideally there would be a sunscreen for your skin that would protect you from too much sun using only safe ingredients.

… the vast majority of sunscreens available for purchase in the U.S. still contain damaging chemicals or fail to offer enough protection against ultraviolet rays.

While all of the ingredients in skin products should be edible, there have been warnings against trying to protect your skin by eating sunscreen.

… there is no perfect sunscreen. Many contain harmful chemicals, and even mineral-based ones often contain nanoparticles, minute ingredients that can cross the blood-brain barrier and also harm aquatic life. 

Read more DrAxe

Dr Axe recommends Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Lotion Sunscreen, Sensitive Skin, SPF 50. What’s in it?

I think the active ingredients are just Zinc Oxide & Titanium Dioxide. Would you want to eat these? Hmm.

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