While the safety of Oxybenzone, an ingredient widely used in leading broad spectrum sunscreen products has come under question from large well funded lobby groups, countless independent groups disagree with their findings. Oxybenzone, an FDA-approved ingredient since 1979, is also used in Canada and the European Union.

Sunscreen Safety has reviewed the extensive research that has been done on this sunscreen ingredient and will continue to follow this discussion closely.

Independent, respected organizations voice disagreements with claims connected to Oxybenzone

Take a look at what well-known and respected organizations have to say about the safety of Oxybenzone. See summarized position statements from groups like:

  • Skin Cancer Foundation
  • Personal Care Products Council
  • Household and Personal Products Industry


Skin Cancer Foundation Chairman calls rating system “junk science”

In an effort to ease concerns about ingredients used in sunscreen, Dr. Warwick Morison, MD, chairman of the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Photobiology Committee and Professor of Dermatology at John Hopkins University released a pointed statement about the safety of sunscreen ingredients:

  • Oxybenzone is a safe sunscreen ingredient, according to Dr. Morison, in his July 15, 2010 Skin Cancer Foundation statement. He also attributed sunscreen use for lessening melanoma cases in some groups.
  • Foundation review panel arrived at conclusion that Oxybenzone is not a cause for concern, in claims about increased incidence of melanomas or hormone disruption, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation statement. Click here to read Dr. Warwick’s entire statement
  • Skin Cancer Foundation goes on record to say that the rating process is “arbitrary” and “conclusions unwarranted,” from the Foundation’s Sun and Skin News. Click here to read the full statement from Foundation President


Personal Care Products Council, (PCPC) Chief Scientist questions reliability of Oxybenzone concerns Claims about Oxybenzone “lack scientific credibility,” based on a statement from PCPC, Chief Scientist John Bailey. Bailey also stood behind sunscreen products by saying they are “safe and effective.” See some of John Bailey’s comments below, taken from his response statement to news eports questioning Oxybenzone safety, on May 24, 2010:

  • Rating system accused of being “invented,” and a system “based on very questionable scientific methodology.”
  • Protocols to rate SPF, another question mark to scientists.
  • Benzonphenone-3 (Oxybenzone) gets green light for safety among international community, citing FDA, European Union & Canadian authorities Click here to read Dr. John Bailey’s full statement


Household and Personal Products Industry (HAPPI) reports on sunscreen controversy Statements below taken from Dr. Nadim Shaath’s article entitled, “Shadows Cast on Sunscreens”.

  • Dr. Nadim Shaath points out a lack of sufficient tests performed on various sunscreen products. What that means– “many effective formulations” did not make the cut.
  • Dr. Shaath also notes that, “The health hazard as defined…dictated the overall rating of products regardless of their sunscreen efficacy. That is misleading the consumer.”
  • Click here to read Dr. Nadim’s article, “Shadows Cast on Sunscreens”


Animal studies on Oxybenzone lack sufficient evidence to make claims about its lack of safety

  • Laboratory rats smeared with topical benzophenone-3 (Oxybenzone), an active ingredient in sunscreen showed no signs of toxicity, according to studies. “BZ-3 is not toxic to rats when applied dermally…,” according to a study from the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Jersey Medical School. Click here to read the abstract


Studies on human skin detected low levels of sunscreen when 5 active ingredients were tested

  • “It is concluded that the human viable epidermal levels of sunscreens are too low to cause any significant toxicity to the underlying human keratinocytes,” according to a 2005 study conducted by Therapeutics Research Unit, University of Queensland. Click
    here to read the abstract