Here’s What You Need To Know About Sunscreen Recalls and Benzene

Neutrogena bottles of sunscreen, including CoolDry Sport, Invisible Daily Devence and Aveeno's Protect Refressh

Johnson & Johnson who makes Neutrogena and Aveeno aerosol sunscreens is recalling a variety of products due to internal testing that identified low levels of benzene in some samples.

The  sunscreens in question include:

  • Neutrogena Beach Defense aerosol sunscreen
  • Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport aerosol sunscreen
  • Neutrogena Invisible Daily defense aerosol sunscreen
  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheeraerosol sunscreen
  • Aveeno Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen

What is benzene, anyway?

Benzene is classified as a human carcinogen, a substance that could potentially cause cancer depending on the level and extent of exposure. But according to a release from J&J:

“Based on exposure modeling and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) framework, daily exposure to benzene in these aerosol sunscreen products at the levels detected in our testing would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences. (However) out of an abundance of caution, we are recalling all lots of these specific aerosol sunscreen products.”

While benzene is not an ingredient in any of J&J’s sunscreen products, it was detected in some samples of the impacted aerosol sunscreen finished products. “We are investigating the cause of this issue, which is limited to certain aerosol sunscreen products.”

For safe SPF alternatives, check out our sunscreen recommendations