Sunscreen Chemicals Seep Into The Bloodstream, FDA Says

Sunscreen Chemicals Seep Into The Bloodstream, FDA Says

by | May 8, 2019

It’s almost time for the European summer, which means layering on the sunscreen. But a new study conducted by the Food and Drug Administration questions several ingredients found in some SPFs.

High levels of four chemicals–avobenzone, oxybenzone, ecamsule and octocrylene–were found in people’s bloodstream after one day of sunscreen use, according to a pilot study conducted the US Food and Drug Administration. This suggests sunscreens are absorbed into our bodies.

This study followed 24 healthy people who used either a spray, lotion or cream sunscreen containing various concentrations of the previously specified ingredients. Participants slathered on the SPF so it covered about 75 per cent of their bodies. This was repeated four times a day to mimic label instructions that recommend applying sunscreen every two hours. Then, researchers took blood samples to determine which ingredients were found in people’s bloodstreams. The results were published May 6, 2019 in the journal JAMA.

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Are chemicals in sunscreen dangerous?

For now, there’s no reason to panic, says Dr. Jennifer Stein, a dermatologist at NYU Langone.

“I don’t think there’s any great evidence right now to say these are dangerous ingredients,” she tells Men’s Health.

Research indicates that oxybenzone may irritate skin. Many people are opposed to the ingredient because it’s toxic to marine life.

Although this study indicates sunscreen is absorbed into your system, there’s no evidence that it’s toxic or unsafe, says Stein. However, she asserts it’s important to evaluate whether our skincare products are harmful and says studies like these trigger additional research determining safety.

The Skin Cancer Foundation issued a response urging people to continue wearing sunscreen.

“The sunscreen ingredients currently FDA-approved have been used in the U.S. for many years, and there is no evidence that these ingredients are harmful to humans,” they wrote in a statement. “There is, however, substantial evidence showing that sunscreen helps reduce skin cancer risk, as well as skin ageing. In fact, the study authors reiterate that people should continue to use sunscreen.”



Protect yourself using sunscreen without oxybenzone

Undoubtedly, the new findings will spark alarm for some. Thankfully, there are plenty of sunscreens that don’t contain any of the ingredients in this study.

“Zinc and titanium are great forms of sunscreen,” says Stein. She says concerned shoppers can look for SPF with these two ingredients since they are deemed safe and effective by the FDA.

And it’s important to remember that sunscreen is just one way to protect your skin from the sun. Stein recommends wearing a hat, covering your skin with long sleeves, sitting under an umbrella, and yes, wearing sunscreen.

This article originally appeared on Men’s Health US. 

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8 Of The Best Exercise Shorts That Will Power You Through A Summer Of Movement

It’s official: Shorts Season is officially here. While lockdown has seen many of us realise that activewear is less something to be worn for a workout and more a uniform we choose to do any and all daily activities in, when the warmer temperatures roll around, that favourite pair of sweatpants and leggings sometimes don’t cut it. Sure, they might be a staple in any wardrobe, but the Aussie sun doesn’t listen to reason, no matter how comfortable or cute it might be. And when it comes to summer, working out in leggings can feel like being trapped in a sauna, the sweat pooling at your ankles and around the waistband – as well as those other areas we won’t mention here. 

But as we transition from leggings to shorts, it becomes clear pretty quickly that not all shorts are created equal, and certainly not all shorts are fit for a workout. Take it from us at Women’s Health HQ, we’ve been there, tried it and lived to see the consequences. From the shorts that look cute but ride up to show your undies on the run, to those that feel like being strapped into a harness that’s digging into your hip bones. Then there are the fabrics that can cause chafing – a big no – and those that basically shine a spotlight on any area you might be sweating. 

Thankfully, a number of brands are here to cater to your exercise needs with innovative materials, fabrics and sustainable options to see you through a summer of movement. Regardless of your workout preferences or daily activity, we’ve selected the best shorts that will ensure you feel good in your body, shorts that get you excited to embrace the day and attack it with energy, that make you want to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, whether it be walking, running, or socialising in the park. Here are our pick of the best bike shorts below. 


Uptown Biker, $240

What says summer more than a pop of orange and the sleek shape of these Nagnata biker shorts? With its mid-length and horizontal raised rib side detail, these are shorts you can wear both for a workout and out to meet the girls. Made in Australia with a technical knit fabrication, the double-layer jacquard provides gentle sculpting qualities for the body, making it an excellent choice for light to moderate fitness activities like yoga, pilates or barre. 

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New Balance

Q Speed Fuel Short, $70

We love the colour of these shorts from New Balance which are cut with a sleek, speedy look that also helps to elongate the legs. Featuring NB DRY moisture wicking fabric, these are the shorts you want for high intensity exercise or long runs, keeping you comfortable and dry. There’s also an interior brief for added comfort and a stash pocket to keep your essentials. 

All Access

Ultra High Rise Zip Front Biker Short, $78

Yes, the colour is amazing but the fit is equally sensational on these All Access shorts. For those who love a high-rise fit and wide waistband that holds you in at the waist, look no further. The sleek, shiny look offers mid-compression and the fabric is moisture-wicking, so you can stay comfortable even during your sweatiest workouts. 


Nike x Naomi Osaka Utility Short, $90

Few things are worse than heading out the door for a run and realising your shorts offer no pockets for those essentials you need. You’re left to hold your iPhone, keys, and anything else you might need in your sweaty palm. Thankfully, Naomi Osaka knows what we need when it comes to exercise shorts and these utility shorts from her collaboration with Nike offer all that and more with a relaxed fit and elastic waistband. 


Session short Tights, $72

When it comes to bike shorts, you want to feel supported and held in but you also want to be able to breathe. These Tracksmith session short tights are exceptional in offering support while still ensuring comfort remains a priority. Forget about chafing, these shorts won’t ride up and down and the fabric offers more coverage and support against the body. 

Outdoor Voices

Relay 3” Short, $48

Who said summer shorts have to be boring? Outdoor Voices brings fashion-forward style and playfulness to their collections with fun prints and exciting colours. We love the relay 3” shorts for their ultralight, quick-drying fabric that also happens to be made from recycled polyester. But more importantly, we love the print and Poppy Swirl is as good as it gets. There’s even a hidden pocket for your valuables, too. 


Align High-Rise Short 6”, $69

If you’re familiar with the buttery-soft feel of Lululemon’s tights, you’ll want to get your hands on a pair of their shorts, too. Made with the same Nulu fabric that their tights are known for, these shorts feel weightless and super soft. They might be our go-to staple for any workout, but the feel is so second-skin that it’s hard to not wear them for every other activity, too. 

Spiritual Gangster

Seamless Biker Short, $112

These biker shorts from Spiritual Gangster move with you, thanks to a three-tiered compressive waistband that offers a flattering high waist that hugs you in all the right places, without proving constrictive. They offer medium compression but are built for all day comfort, and the colour is a true summer staple because, let’s face it, who doesn’t love tie-dye?