Keeping your skin safe this summer

By Buffalo Medical Group | July 1 2021 | Uncategorized

Keeping your skin safe following the discovery of the carcinogens in popular sunscreen brands

Jenna O’Neill, MD

Medical & Cosmetic Dermatologist

Adult & Pediatrics


Who found what where?

In May 2021, independent pharmaceutical testing company Valisure discovered that 78 different sunscreen and sun care products contained detectable levels of the chemical benzene, with 40 products containing “significant” levels. Valisure is urging the FDA to recall these products.

What is benzene?

Benzene is a chemical found in crude oil and cigarette smoke and often used in the production of plastics. It is a dangerous carcinogen, and long term exposure has been linked to cancer, anemia, decreased ovaries size, and other harmful conditions.

Which products were found to contain benzene?

78 products from 10 brands were found to contain benzene. Many of the products are spray sunscreen. The complete list can be found through the American Academy of Dermatology.

Does this mean I should stop using sunscreen?

No! Sunscreen is critical for protecting your skin as we’re in the sunniest season of the year. The risks of not wearing sunscreen are likely greater than the risk of being exposed to benzene by your products.

Benzene is not supposed to be in sunscreen. The results are most likely due to manufacturing errors, according to Valisure.

How can I practice sun safety?

To my patients, I recommend wearing sunscreen containing titanium or zinc, reapplying every two hours or more, staying out of the sun between 10 am and 2 pm, and protecting yourself with hats and UPF clothing.


If you would like to learn more or schedule an appointment with any of our dermatology providers, please visit www.buffalomedicalgroup.com/dermatology. We see both adult and pediatric patients at Buffalo Medical Group’s Williamsville, Orchard Park, and downtown Buffalo locations.