A study released by the Food and Drug Administration shows that ingredients in sunscreens can be absorbed into the bloodstream. While they cannot confirm if specific ingredients could be harmful, they plan to do further testing within the year.
The study, published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, had a group of 24 individuals apply one of four different commercial sunscreens. They were told to apply their given formula four times a day on 75 percent of their bodies. Two of the commercial sunscreens were sprays, one was lotion, and the other was a cream. Blood samples were taken throughout the week.
They were taking a closer look at the ingredients avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, and ecamsule. The study found that after the first day, the ingredients were detected in the blood samples. However, throughout the week, they found the levels kept growing.
What still needs to be determined is if these ingredients can cause damage. There aren’t any known side effects, and it is unlikely that they can have health risks considering the FDA has been regulating sunscreen since the 1970‘s and there hasn’t been any reports.
However, recently places like Hawaii, Palau, and Key West have banned certain sunscreen ingredients, including oxybenzone, octinoxate, and parabens, because they may be damaging to coral reefs.
For now, the best way to stay safe is to use mineral sunscreen that contains zinc oxide and titanium oxide, as it doesn’t absorb into the skin. Though most people believe mineral sunscreens do not absorb well, there are so many formulas that do. I use Neutrogena’s Sheer Zinc Face Dry-Touch Sunscreen, and it blends in perfectly.