New Study Shows Sunscreen Can Be Absorbed Into The Bloodstream
A recent FDA study revealed that certain ingredients found in most sunscreens can be absorbed into the blood at levels that exceed the FDA threshold where they can be presumed safe. The study was conducted on four specific ingredients: avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, and ecamsule. Study participants were randomly given one of four sunscreen sprays or lotions to use. The study found that in most participants the ingredients were absorbed at levels beyond the FDA threshold after a single application. In more than half of the participants, levels of avobenzone, octisalate and octinoxate remained elevated in the bloodstream for up to seven days, while homosalate and oxybenzone remained elevated for as long as twenty-one days.
So what does this mean? Are sunscreens safe? The study concluded that while the ingredients were present in the bloodstream, whether they are dangerous is still not known. All over-the-counter medications are rigorously tested by the FDA for safety and efficacy. Products would not be able to come to market for use if they were determined to be unsafe for use. “While the findings of this study are significant, I must stress that not using sunscreen to protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun increases your risk of skin cancer” says Dr. David Goldberg, Medical Director of Skin Laser & Surgery Specialists of NY & NJ. “Despite the levels being elevated, they are very low on the threshold of being unsafe. More research must be conducted on the long-term safety of sunscreen use”.
Dr. Goldberg recommends that the use of mineral based sunscreens, which contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These ingredients remain on the surface of the skin acting like a physical protective barrier. Skin Laser & Surgery Specialists of NY & NJ recommends the EltaMD line of sunscreens for optimal protection of your skin.
The biggest takeaway of this study is that despite this early data, daily sunscreen use is still the number one way to prevent an increased risk of skin cancer, including potentially deadly melanoma. We do not recommend discontinuing the use of sunscreen, but you can look for different brands with other active ingredients that will adequately protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun. It is also important that you schedule your annual full body skin exam to check for any irregular moles and spots on the body. To schedule your exam with one of our expert providers, please call 908-359-8980 and our concierge team will assist with scheduling your appointment.