Say NO to Oxybenzone in Your Sunscreen

June 8, 2009


It is time to say goodbye to some of your old stand by sunscreens if you are avoiding putting toxins consciously into your body.

I so appreciate the research and commitment of EWG (Environmental Working Group). Here is something to think about since it is summer and it’s time to consider protecting ourselves from sun burn. You might want to read this article about the body burden Americans have created from wearing sunscreens with oxybenzone. As I have posted before, there are many ways to protect from too much sun, from SPF clothing and hats, to safer sunscreens. I have been the sunscreen police with my kids for years. Interestingly enough, none of them have listened to me. I guess I’m glad about it.

The EWG report cites 2 studies linking cell damage and  free radical formation from sunlight causing oxybenzone to form free radical chemicals. A CDC study indicated that oxybenzone absorbs through the skin in significant amounts and another study showing that 96% of 6-8 year old girls had detectable amounts of the chemical in their urine.  

Since oxybenzone was last tested in the ’70’s it is a very outdated sun protector. I would consider reading all your sunscreens and getting rid of the offenders.

And from the EWG’s comments on the FDA’s proposed amendment on final Monograph, from back in 2007:

“EWG’s research shows that FDA’s finalization of a strong monograph is critical. We found that some sunscreens on the U.S. market:

  • offer inadequate protection from the sun;
  • may be less safe and effective than products offered in other countries;
  • are labeled with misleading product claims;
  • contain ingredients with significant safety concerns.

Specifically, our research indicates that 83% of 868 sunscreen products offer inadequate protection from the sun, or contain ingredients with significant safety concerns. We found that only 17% of the products on the market are both safe and effective, blocking both UVA and UVB radiation, remaining stable in sunlight, and containing few if any ingredients with significant known or suspected health hazards.”

You can check the safety of your cosmetics and sunscreens at EWG’s site.



5 Responses to “Say NO to Oxybenzone in Your Sunscreen”

  1. booktoots Says:

    that explains why I get sick when I used sunscreen products. Stopped using them just for that reason.

    Thanks for the article! Great blog, btw…

    Marie (aka Booktoots)

  2. Carolyn Says:

    Just wanted to add a couple of other information sources for readers, from Keys Soap co-founder and melanoma skin cancer survivor Wendy Steele, who is working hard to spread the word about skin protection and cancer prevention. You can read more about the EWG findings and other skincare tips on her blog at: and

    • Joan Spear Says:

      By the way, I have been using Keys products as well as other EWG highly rated products. They work- never been burned, but all of them are heavy and goopy. AH well. Better safe.

  3. sun screens Says:

    I have a small screen business, and am always trying to stay up on the latest news.

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