While the Environmental Working Group has been warning us for years about the dangers of some chemical sunscreens, we’re happy to see that the FDA is starting to listen. The organization recently published an investigation into the absorption of sunscreen, testing to see how the ingredients of the lotion affect our bodies and our bloodstream.
The study came as a follow-up to a pilot study from last May, which found traces of the lotion’s ingredients in plasma samples of participants after they applied sunscreen under “maximal use conditions.” As sunscreen usage has increased over the years, the FDA felt the need to investigate this issue further and see what’s really happening to our bodies when we apply sunscreen.
The most recent study looked at 48 healthy participants, testing for traces of the sunscreen’s six most active ingredients in people’s blood. Participants were instructed to apply sunscreen multiple times daily over a period of four days, either through lotion, aerosol spray, nonaerosol spray, or a pump spray.
Results showed that for each method of application, all six ingredients—avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, homosalate, octisalate, and octinoxate—were absorbed into the skin and high traces remained in the blood of participants.