Oxybenzone and OMC in sunscreen are the two most common and widely used ingredients. They are harmful because they get deep into the skin making normal skin sensitive and cause acne and breakouts. Once in the blood, they are like estrogens in the body. They can also cause hormonal imbalance and allergic reactions. Not only humans, they are also responsible for disturbing the aquatic life by discoloring the coral reefs.
Sunscreen has nowadays become an important cream to use before we expose ourselves to the outer air. Oxybenzone is widely used in sunscreens and is also known as benzophenone-3. It is often referred to as the chemical sunscreen agent. When exposed to sunlight, it becomes a substance that can cause mutation i.e. a heritable change of the base-pair sequence of genetic material. It also has the tendency to cause cancer by increasing cancer cells. The Environmental Working Group has rated Oxybenzone 8 out of 10 which mean that it is one of the most toxic ingredients used in beauty products. Problems that are caused due to the usage of oxybenzone are early puberty in girls, low male infertility and sperm count. Especially while using sunscreen for sensitive skin, one must be very careful. Moreover, in 2014, the American Contact Dermatitis Society named Oxybenzone as the “Allergen of the Year” as it causes allergic skin reactions. According to researchers, that products containing oxybenzone are more prone to cause skin cancer and breast cancer.
Octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC)
Octyl methoxycinnamate or OMC is another important ingredient of sunscreen which is very harmful. It is a chemical that helps other chemicals enhance skin penetration. However, it protects the skin from UV-B rays of the Sun, and also reduces the appearance of scars from the skin, it is harmful as it can cause biochemical changes which can cause the death of cells due to exposure to the Sun and mutation. It also causes immunotoxicity and photoallergic effects. Apart from this, it causes reproductive toxicity, and organ system toxicity (especially liver). It can also cause premature aging. The above mentioned are the reasons why OMC free sunscreen is important. Since the ingredient is easy to formulate and cost-effective, it is more preferred for using.
Therefore, Oxybenzone and OMC in sunscreen must be avoided at all costs. Oxybenzone is FDA approved and is used as one of the active ingredients in sunscreen. Studies are still going on regarding its positive and harmful effects, so till then, it would be good to keep yourself on the safer side (especially while using sunscreen for sensitive skin) by using dermatologically tested sunscreens like the one offered by Re’equil. Re'equil Oxybenzone & OMC Free Sunscreen Lotion with SPF 50 protection is formulated for oily/acne prone skin while providing a matte finished look. Its ultra-light formulation makes it easy and comfortable to wear. It provides 6 hours long protection from UVA and UVB rays.