Sunscreen ingredients are seeping into your bloodstream: report

Published: May. 15, 2019 at 6:23 AM CDT
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We use sunblock to protect our skin, but some chemicals in those lotions and sprays are absorbed into our bloodstream.

A study published in early May found that some ingredients continue to appear more in the bloodstream as daily use continues. They can remain in the body for at least 24 hours.

But before you throw away all your sunscreen, the conclusion of the study suggests you keep lathering up.

“In the conclusions of the study the author actually says, 'hey don't throw out the baby with the bathwater Sunscreen is not a bad thing,’” Dr. Michael Swann, a dermatologist at Swann & Esthetics told KY3. “In fact, it would be a health risk for people not to wear sunscreen."

This study looked at avobenzone, oxybenzone, ecamsule, and octocrylene. These are four of a handful of ingredients the FDA will take a closer look at. Up to this point, no studies have found these ingredients to be harmful.

24 healthy volunteers were recruited for the study to use a sunscreen with the four chemicals being studied inside. They did find levels of some ingredients in the volunteers' bloodstream.

If you’re still concerned about chemicals, there’s another kind of sunscreen that avoids the chemicals all together called mineral sunscreen.

Remember that old school sunscreen that leaves a white residue on your skin? Instead of absorbing on your skin, it sits as a barrier. Swann says he has recommended it for a long time.

Mineral sunscreens contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.

Whatever you chose to do, wear sunscreen every single day.

'The truth is most of us get most of our light going to the grocery store, or dropping the kids off at school, [and] going to work,” Dr. Swann explains. “So if you're not protected every day then you're really missing the major part of your light exposure.”

Let's remember the real enemy here: The sun.

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