New Study finds potential danger in chemical sunscreen

I’ve been obsessed with Dr. Gross ever since he helped clear my acne a few years ago. When three dermatologists told me I should get on Accutane, he told me to simply go completely oil-free with my skincare – and what do you know – a short two weeks later, I had clear skin. He’s a leading expert in his field not only from the cosmetic side, but from the skin cancer research side and his skincare brand is literally the only brand (besides St. Tropez) that I buy consistently (I cannot live without these or these). As I’ve written before I’m in Tel Aviv at the moment by way of the Hamptons (where my parents are), which wasn’t planned so I’m stuck without enough of either pads and it’s TOUGH! My skin really sees the effects of not using these products. One thing I do have enough of, luckily, is SPF. And not just any SPF, once again, thanks to a podcast I listened to with Dr. Gross I only keep physical SPF stocked- and even though we’re stuck inside, it’s imperative to use it every day.

“I recommend using an SPF every day. UVA/UBV can penetrate windows and damage skin even when you’re inside,” says Dr. Gross who recommends his Dark Spot Sun Defense SPF 50, which only contains physical blocks. It also has anti-aging ingredients and antioxidants to help prevent damage from UVA/UVB rays. So what’s the issue with chemical SPF? A new FDA study shows six common chemical sunscreen ingredients absorb into the bloodstream and greatly exceed levels considered safe. One ingredient – oxybenzone – showed an absorption rate 188 times the safe level after one application. After 4 applications, absorption increased 500 times the safe level. All chemicals stayed elevated in the blood anywhere from one to 21 days, depending on the chemical sunscreen ingredient.

The study also reports that these ingredients can make their way into woman’s breast milk and cause endocrine hormonal disturbances. They lack nonclinical safety data regarding whether they are carcinogens and harm developing children. Because of this, the FDA itself concluded that additional testing is necessary to determine whether these ingredients are generally recognized as safe.

Dr. Gross is strongly urging all of his patients to discontinue the use of chemical sunscreens and look for physical block alternatives. I have spoken to a few other dermatologists who say that there is not enough evidence yet to be sure of the danger, but if there is a risk, why take a chance when there are amazing alternatives with ZERO risk? As someone who had a late term miscarriage and has been struggling with IVF, this is a topic I’m very sensitive to. This study should signal the start of a complete sunscreen overhaul in the beauty industry – oxybenzone is currently in 70% of sunscreens! 

So what are some other safe options? See below.

Sobel Skin Rx Plant Stem Cell Day Cream SPF 30, $75


Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral SPF 45, $30

Eryfotona Actinica Mineral Sunscreen SPF50+, $55

Sun Bum Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion, $13.49

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