How Safe Is Your SPF?

Harper's BAZAAR Singapore|May 2020

How Safe Is Your SPF?
New research sheds light on what’s best for the well-being of your skin—and the planet.
Ying Chu

Sunscreen has a bad rap. It’s inelegant and chalky. It causes breakouts and flares up fiery allergic rashes. It’s killing our coral reefs. And the list goes on. The latest FDA studies only drive the narrative: In findings published earlier this year, six common chemical sunscreen ingredients— avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, homosalate, octisalate and octinoxate—were found to have been absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream after a single application, raising questions of safety, especially for children and pregnant women. “The rapid absorption of these chemicals has inspired the FDA to request follow-up testing for further study,” says New York dermatologist Macrene Alexiades, an associate clinical professor at the Yale School of Medicine. “Importantly, FDA did not request additional testing for the two physical (aka mineral) sunscreens, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which are considered safe.”

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May 2020