28 Jul Medical-Grade Skin Care Products Available Online or In-Office—Including Sunscreen!
Are medical-grade products really that different than what you can buy in grocery stores? Absolutely, and that’s why RefinedMD exclusively provides clients with the highest quality products. There are many factors that make a skin care product medical-grade, including the quality and concentration of key ingredients. Rigorous testing is required for medical-grade skin care products ranging from sunscreen to moisturizers and acne medications. However, an unfortunate recent headline further highlighted the importance of only caring for your skin with products approved by dermatologists. A testing lab is requesting the FDA to recall 78 sunscreens because of a carcinogenic component.
The testing lab, Valisure, recently petitioned the FDA to recall several sunscreens after it detected a hazardous chemical, benzene, in various products. The FDA has not responded yet, which means that these sunscreens are still being sold (and used) in stores and online shops. Valisure is an independent testing company that prides itself on going the extra mile when it comes to certifying drug/product safety. The lab has a long and strong history of catching cancer-causing ingredients in products, such as in 2018 when it found NDMA in drugs that also contained ranitidine—such as in the popular heartburn product Zantac. Valisure notified the FDA and ultimately the findings were validated and the drugs were recalled.
This isn’t the first time Valisure found dangerous levels of benzene in products. Just a few months ago, Valisure petitioned to FDA to recall certain hand sanitizers for the same reason. When the lab started testing sunscreen and sunburn-soothing products, they tested almost 300 brands from 69 companies and discovered many had higher levels of benzene than the FDA allows.
According to the company’s petition, “The presence of this known human carcinogen in sunscreen products widely recommended for the prevention of skin cancer and regularly used by adults and children in large volumes makes this finding especially troubling.” Benzene is either colorless or light yellow and is flammable. It can be naturally sourced and is also a popular solvent for plastics manufacturing. In small doses it is harmless, but at certain levels, it becomes toxic and increases a person’s risk of developing cancer, including leukemia. Benzene is also found in cigarette smoke.
Is Your Sunscreen Safe?
The dangers of benzene are well-known, but right now the FDA doesn’t consider sunscreens as a benzene source. According to Valisure and Yale University’s Professor Christopher Bunick, there is no need for any amount of benzene in sunscreens, as “there is not a safe level of benzene that can exist in sunscreen products.” Due to the nature of sunscreen and other skin care products, even a tiny amount of benzene could increase the risk of cancers.
Further disturbing is the FDA’s own statement that sunscreen chemicals are especially well absorbed through the skin at a higher level and speed than previously thought. However, these claims are so new that researchers have yet to determine what this means in terms of customer risk. Valisure has released a list of sunscreen products that do not contain benzene, many of which unsurprisingly include medical-grade products such as the ones sold by EltaMD.
Benzene and the Environment
As if benzene potentially causing cancer is not enough of a reason to avoid subpar sunscreens, benzene is also a known environmental danger to various marine wildlife. As summer heats up and you’re getting into the groove of better protecting your skin, make sure you’re using products that are of the highest quality. We have you covered (literally) this summer and beyond with medical-grade products proven to be safe and effective.
Specials are available every month, and these discounts are a great way to find the perfect sunscreen and other skin care products for you. Sunscreen is the next best way to safeguard your skin, avoid premature lines and wrinkles, and of course, reduce your risk of skin cancer. (The best way is to avoid the sun entirely, and that’s certainly not something most people want to do during their summer break!). Complete the contact form or call the RefinedMD office today for a customized skin care consultation, or simply start shopping online or in-office right now.