If you live anywhere the sun reaches, you’ve likely heard that an independent lab recently found benzene—a known carcinogen—in many household-name sunscreens.
While we’re very happy to report that our Bare Republic products were found to NOT contain benzene, we know that this type of news—combined with J&J’s recall of some Neutrogena and Aveeno sunscreens due to benzene traces—can cast a cloud over sunny summer skies. Before we all throw in the proverbial towel and dash into the waves without any protection at all (a very bad idea), we wanted to shed some ‘light’ on benzene in sunscreens, sunscreen safety in general, and how Bare Republic approaches sunscreen ingredient safety.
Benzene Brouhaha—What’s happening with sunscreen right now?
The catalyst for this news was a study by Valisure, an independent lab and pharmacy, that found benzene in nearly a third of sunscreens tested … many of which are probably sitting on our bathroom shelves as we speak. (Take a peek at the full list of Valisure’s benzene-positive sunscreens here.)
To be clear: benzene isn’t an ingredient in any of the sunscreens tested (or any sunscreens at all, for that matter)—rather, it’s a byproduct of the manufacturing process that’s often detectable in raw materials derived from petrochemicals and petroleum, and can be found in trace amounts in some synthetic fragrances.
Are Bare Republic sunscreens benzene free?
The short answer is: yes! The Bare Republic sunscreens tested by Valisure were confirmed not to contain benzene. In fact, our whole goal in starting Bare Republic was to become the top choice in clean sun protection.
Here in our hometown of San Diego—where sunny skies are the norm—we learned early that protecting ourselves from the sun was key to outdoor adventuring. We’re also firm believers that sun care shouldn’t compromise our health or the environment, and that what we put in our products is just as important as what we leave out.
While some sunscreen companies monkey around with their ingredients, our Bare Republic formulas adhere to a strict “no” list, which excludes over 1400 questionable ingredients restricted in the European Union. We also prohibit the use of synthetic fragrance and petroleum-derived ingredients in our formulas—which means no traces of benzene, so you can enjoy the sun without worry.
What does the benzene in sunscreen study mean for my sunscreen routine?
We’ve been in the sunscreen business for years now (which you can tell from our unlined, undamaged skin, right? Right.) and we’ve sadly seen several cycles of sunscreen ingredient scares over the years.
While the medical community is divided on exactly how much risk trace amounts of benzene pose to our health—we’re all routinely exposed to some level of benzene in the air we breathe, for example—we’d certainly rather not slather even small amounts of known carcinogens on our skin, thankyouverymuch.
But … we also know that chucking our sunscreen habit altogether can pose even larger health and cancer concerns. So, what’s an outdoor adventurer to do? *Run* (or hike, or swim) out to pick up one of the brands—like Bare Republic—that tested benzene free, of course.