We all know sunscreen is important, especially while we’re spending more time outdoors soaking up the warm weather. However, you might need to double check the brand you’re using. Johnson & Johnson has issued a voluntary recall of five popular spray sunscreens that have been found to contain a potential cancer-causing ingredient.
The company issued a statement explaining that low levels of a chemical called benzene were discovered in the following products:
- Neutrogena Beach Defense aerosol sunscreen
- Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport aerosol sunscreen
- Neutrogena Invisible Daily defense aerosol sunscreen
- Neutrogena Ultra Sheer aerosol sunscreen
- Aveeno Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen
They recommend anyone who’s purchased these sunscreens stop using them immediately and discard them. Johnson & Johnson’s statement also stresses that only small amounts of benzene were found in the products and they are issuing this recall out of an abundance of caution. They emphasize that benzene is never intentionally included in their ingredients, but these specific sprays were somehow contaminated during the production process.
CNN reports that the company decided to test their products for the harmful ingredient after Valisure, an independent lab, recently found high levels of benzene in 78 sunscreen and after-sun skincare products. According to the CDC, long term exposure to the chemical can lead to harmful effects in our blood and has been linked to cancers like leukemia.
Fortunately, it seems the list of products without the chemical is much longer than those with it, so there are plenty of safe ways to continue protecting ourselves from the sun’s rays. The list of benzene-free products even includes other Neutrogena and Aveeno options, plus other popular brands like Banana Boat and Hawaiin Tropic. Take a look at our favorite anti-aging sunscreens, too!
Just be sure to double check their lists before slathering on SPF before your next outing.