Carcinogens Found In Sunscreens

The hotter the weather, the more we need to protect our skin Beauties! With the summer approaching we understand that everyone is taking time off to soak in the sun. Our melanated skin was built for the warmer season and with that being said it is important to take care of your skin. Sunscreen is essential when you are trying to protect your skin for warmer climates. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and the number beside it tells how well the sunscreen protects skin against sunburn. For example: Lets say it takes 300 seconds for skin to burn with sunscreen, and 10 seconds to burn without it. 300 is divided by 10, which is 30 so the SPF is 30. So that little number does not indicate the strength of the formula but how long it can protect your skin from radiation.

We strongly recommend using products that will prevent sun damage or sunburn, but before you head to the store we wanted to educate you on a few popular sunscreens provided over the counter. Recent studies have found that most sunscreen sold in stores carry cancerous compounds that can be detrimental to humans. Scientists have estimated over 70 sunscreens and after-sun skin care products contain benzene. Benzene is a carcinogen that is colorless and sometimes yellow in room temperature environments and is highly flammable. Exposure includes inhalation, ingestion, skin absorption, and eye contact. Products like Neutrogena, CVS Health, and Fruit of the Earth are known for having benzene as one of their ingredients in their radiation protection products.

Agencies like the U.S. Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), & National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) all state that benzene is cancerous. According to associate professor of dermatology at Yale University, Christopher Bunik, “There is not a safe level of benzene that can exist in sunscreen products”. Trace levels of benzene can be found in other things besides sunscreen like, cigarette smoke, adhesives, cleaning products and paint. If this particular chemical is found in your blood, urine, or breast milk it can be very fatal.

When buying skincare products it is strongly encouraged to read the ingredients before purchasing. That's why it is important to product check and do research on products to ensure you are making healthy choices for you and others. Not all sunscreen products are harmful, like Black Girl Sunscreen is a well known brand that does not carry any carcinogen ingredients in their products. This sunscreen line carries natural ingredients like Avocado which moisturizes, reduces signs of aging, and treats sunburns. It also contains vitamin E and antioxidants. Jojoba which is good for soothing the skin leaving it flawless while preventing acne. Cacao, providing antioxidants and evens out the tone of your skin. Carrot Juice which contains vitamin C which promotes healing and  boosts the melanin in the skin. Lastly, SunFlower Oil that prevents skin irritation from sunburn. This nutrient-rich oil reduces inflammation as well. This black-owned skincare line does not carry oxybenzone or octinoxate, so you won’t have to worry about toxins disrupting your hormones and is environmentally friendly.

Reading and educating yourself on the products you put into or on your body is essential. Here at the Butter Bar we always encourage our Beauties to do their due diligence and understand what they are putting into their bodies. Take extra time when you are selecting skincare products and read the Product Ingredients. It will benefit you and your love ones in the long haul.


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