Are there cancer-causing ingredients lurking in your skin care?

Which Ingredients Should I AVOID?

Many people don’t realize that many popular sunscreen brands use toxic ingredients, which can have cancer-causing properties.There are four ingredients it is crucial you look out for and AVOID. These ingredients are oxybenzene, octinoxate, parabens, and fragrance.

Breaking Down Dangerous Ingredients:


Oxybenzene, also called benzene, is commonly used in sunscreens because it’s a highly effective UV blocker. In addition to sunscreen, Oxybenzene is also used in paint thinners and gasoline. Although the FDA permits its use, environmental health groups have expressed growing concern over the chemical’s link to cancer and birth defects. In fact, it was called the “most worrisome sunscreen active ingredient” by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). There is evidence it is absorbed at a much higher rate into that skin than initially thought, and traces of oxybenzene have been found in human blood and breast milk. An even more startling study found that pregnant women who use sunscreen with oxybenzene on a daily basis increase the risk of severe birth defects.

Regular exposure to benzene poses a major risk for blood tissue cancers, like leukemia, myeloma, and lymphoma. If you frequently used a sunscreen with benzene and have been diagnosed with cancer, you may be able to recover compensation by filing a sunscreen cancer lawsuit.


The secondly most common toxic ingredient is octinoxate. This chemical is an endocrine disruptor, which means that it disrupts the body’s natural balance of hormones. Octinoxate mimics estrogen once it has entered the body, which can cause thyroid complications and cardiovascular disease. Humans are not the only species that are impacted negatively by octinoxate. Studies have shown exposure to the chemical induces coral bleaching in reefs and impairs reproductive functions in fish and other ocean species.


Parabens are used to prolong the shelf-life of products and prevent them from spoiling. Propylparaben, benzylparaben, methylparaben, and butylparaben are the most used parabens in sunscreen products. A recent study found that parabens disrupt hormones, harm fertility and reproductive organs, impact birth outcomes, and increase the risk of cancer. Scientists have expressed increasing concern about exposure to parabens putting women at risk for breast cancer. A 2016 study concluded that when the paraben butylparaben (which was previously not considered harmful) is used even in low doses, it increases the growth of breast cancer cells. When the butylparaben is absorbed into the body, it works in conjunction with cell receptors to activate cancer genes, resulting in a higher likelihood of developing breast cancer.


Although they may initially seem innocent, fragrance is a general term that often masks hundreds of ingredients, some of which can be harmful. Manufacturers are not required by law to list these smaller ingredients on the label, meaning you have virtually no idea what is really in the product. Fixatives in some fragrances have been linked to endocrine disruption, hormone imbalances, skin sensitivity, and reproductive disorders.

Keep in mind that luxury sunscreens are not exempt from using these harmful ingredients. In fact, just because a sunscreen says that it is “mineral based” or “natural” does not mean it is rid of toxic ingredients. Fortunately, with the rise of the “clean” beauty trends, more companies are creating non-toxic, all natural products that offer trustworthy alternatives. Brands like Beauty Counter, The Organic Pharmacy, Super Goop!, and Juice Beauty are known to offer clean sunscreens without harmful chemicals.

At Montlick & Associates, Injury Attorneys, it is our goal to provide helpful preventative safety information to keep you and your families safe. The next time you shop for a sunscreen, make sure to read the ingredients list carefully, and consider putting it back on the shelf if it mentions any of the ingredients discussed above.Although a long ingredients list may seem intimidating, taking the extra step to read it thoroughly can help you make informed decisions about what you use on your body, and protect your health.

Sunscreen is meant to protect you from cancer, not cause it!. If you have been diagnosed with cancer after long-term sunscreen use, our products liability lawyers are ready to evaluate your claim and see how we can help.

If you are interested in speaking with our legal team to learn more about your rights, call us Nationwide 24/7 for a Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or simply dial #WIN (#946) from your mobile phone. You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or Free 24-hour live chat.