Benzene Found in Sunscreens
- The cancer-causing chemical Benzene was recently found in Banana Boat sunscreens, leading to a mass recall.
- Sunscreen isn’t the only option when it comes to protecting your skin from the sun — you can also wear SPF-proof clothing.
- Protect your skin by also avoiding tanning beds and direct sunlight.
The specific product being recalled is “Banana Boat Hair & Scalp Spray SPF 30,” reports USA TODAY. The newspaper notes how benzene was found in the propellant spray not in the sunscreen itself, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced last week.Read More
In a statement, Banana Boat said: “Banana Boat is voluntarily recalling three production batches of Banana Boat Hair & Scalp Sunscreen Spray SPF 30 aerosol sprays due to trace levels of benzene. We know that you love our products, and we are conducting this recall out of an abundance of caution. Importantly, no other batches of Hair & Scalp (either before or after these batch codes) and no other Banana Boat products are in the scope of this recall and may continue to be used by consumers safely and as intended.”
Choosing the Right Sunscreen
After a recall like this one, many might be thinking about how to best choose the “right” sunscreen to protect yourself from skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), 5.4 million basal and squamous cell skin cancers are diagnosed each year in the U.S.
Protect your skin by wearing sunscreen daily, avoiding tanning beds, and staying out of the sunlight during peak hours. When it comes to sunscreen, Dr. Snehal Amin, a dermatologist in Manhattan, says in a previous interview, “My recommendation is really focused on the ingredients rather than the brands.”
He continues, “If you like how the brand feels on your skin, if you like the purpose of the brand — for instance sport vs. daily use or daytime use vs. short burst of activity use — I think those are more important factors than actual brands.”
Protecting Your Skin from Cancer
Protecting your skin by wearing sunscreen and getting skin checks is so important. Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer in the U.S., and you can protect yourself and lower your skin cancer risk by taking prevention steps.
In an earlier interview, dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman outlines five easy ways to protect your skin and lower your skin cancer risk. She tells us:
- Avoid sun during peak hours. This means from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It doesn’t mean you should never go outside during the middle of the day, but make sure you’re protected when you do venture outdoors.
- Cover your skin and eyes. A wide brim hat and sunglasses will protect your face, the top of your head, your ears, and the delicate skin around your eyes.
- Wear an SPF of 30 or higher. Plenty of facial moisturizers have SPF built into them. Reapply often.
- Get an annual skin check. You can check your own skin for anything that looks out of the ordinary, but you should still get a yearly check to make sure you didn’t miss anything. If you do happen to notice anything out of the ordinary in between checks, schedule an appointment to talk to your doctor about it ASAP — it is always worth it to make sure.
- Avoid tanning beds. “There’s absolutely no benefit to going to a tanning bed,” Dr. Engelman says.