Chemical Sunscreens in the Blood?

Concerns Arise Over High Levels of Chemical Sunscreens in Bloodstream

A preliminary investigation revealed elevated levels of four chemical sunscreens in the bloodstream. This pilot study involved 24 individuals who utilized various formulations of chemical sunscreens in spray, lotion, or cream formats over a period of seven days. The study's modest scope aimed to assess the necessity for further examination regarding skin absorption.

There is reason to do much bigger studies and see what the facts are across a spectrum of skin types.

In the meantime, it's crucial to consider your response. Here are some key facts:

The sunscreen application method in the study was rigorous: four times daily to 75% of the body at 2 grams per square centimeter. Most people apply less sunscreen than recommended, suggesting lower absorption rates.

Don't panic about past chemical sunscreen usage. While the study shows high absorption under specific conditions, there's no evidence of long-term side effects. However, the long-term effects of sunburns and UV exposure are well-documented.

What to do now?

Physical Sunblock: I advocate for chemical-free or physical sunblock like zinc and titanium, which create a barrier against UV rays on the skin's surface.

Initially, EltaMD was one of the few brands offering zinc-exclusive sunblocks, but now many major brands provide physical options. When choosing, prioritize products with zinc and titanium.

Physical sunblocks needn't be heavy; for instance, ISDIN Eryfotona is lightweight and popular among golfers for its seamless application.

While some may leave a slight white residue, many now offer a light tint. Visit one of our Dermatology Affiliate's offices to test different options.

SPF Clothing: Companies like and LandsEnd offer stylish sun-protective clothing. Hats remain a favorite option, providing instant protection for vulnerable areas like the face and neck. We offer a range of lightweight, stylish hats in our offices.

I hope these tips help you prioritize sun protection while awaiting further studies on chemical sunscreens' skin absorption.

General Dermatology Sun Safety Skin Care