A synthetic compound that belongs to a group of chemicals known as benzophenones. It is widely used in household products, sunglasses, food packaging, etc. In cosmetics, it absorbs UV radiation, protecting skin and the cosmetics product itself.
It is a naturally occurring chemical found in various flowering plants; however, the oxybenzone used in the cosmetics industry is of synthetic origin.
Consumer concerns and what we know
In July 2018, the state of Hawaii prohibited sales of primary sunscreen products incorporating oxybenzone due to its concerns around coral bleaching. Studies have shown that coral bleaching is also produced by the increase in water temperature and acidification as a result of climate change. Therefore, it is difficult to measure the impact of oxybenzone outside laboratory conditions.
Oxybenzone is also suspected to be a potential endocrine disruptor that affects development and immune functions, and the European Commission is conducting further safety investigations to decide its status as a permitted cosmetics ingredient.
We are developing and reformulating our products to remove oxybenzone in line with country regulations and our own safety criteria.