ICMAD issues Industry Alert concerning UV absorbers in sunscreen

Written on: June 11, 2019 by SprayTM

On June 11, 2019, Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers & Distributors (ICMAD) issued the following Industry Alert:


Dear ICMAD Members and Industry Friends:


You may have seen news reports to the effect that the UV absorbers in some sunscreens are capable of penetrating the skin and can then be found in the blood stream.


These reports are based on a pilot study sponsored by the FDA examining events around maximal use of these products.  The FDA’s release of this pilot study has raised questions from consumers about the safety of sunscreens.  To address public concern, the FDA released the clarifying statement below:


FDA Statement (https://www.fda.gov/news-events/fda-voices-perspectives-fda-experts/shedding-new-light-sunscreen-absorption):



“The fact that an ingredient is absorbed through the skin 

and into the body does not mean the ingredient is unsafe. 

Rather, this finding calls for further testing to determine 

the safety of that ingredient for repeated use. Such testing 

is part of the standard pre-market safety evaluation of most 

chronically administered drugs with appreciable systemic 




Additionally, the American Academy of Dermatology has taken a strong stance in reaffirming the safety and efficacy of these products:

American Academy of Dermatology Comments:




“As the study concludes, this is a small, pilot study and 

more research is needed before it can be determined if 

the absorption of sunscreen ingredients has any effects 

on a person’s health.  These sunscreen ingredients have 

been used for several decades without any reported 

internal side effects in humans.  Importantly, the study 

authors conclude that individuals should not refrain from 

the use of sunscreen, which the AAD encourages as one 

component of a comprehensive sun protection plan as 

sunscreen use has been shown to reduce the risk of skin 

cancer in a number of scientific studies.”



“Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United 

States, and dermatologists see the impact it has on patients’ 

lives every day. Unprotected exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet 

rays is a major risk factor for skin cancer. The AAD encourages 

the public to continue to protect themselves from the sun by 

seeking shade; wearing protective clothing, including a 

lightweight, long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat 

and sunglasses; and generously applying a broad-spectrum, 

water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to 

exposed skin.”



ICMAD is closely following the developments in this issue and will be actively advocating for the application of principles of sound science, for the outstanding safety record of the industry, and our members.