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  • Writer's pictureDr. Kara Rosenstrauch

High levels of cancer-linked chemical found in popular skincare products


A new study reveals that some of the most popular skincare products contain excessive amounts of an ingredient that can cause long-term health effects.


Please check your facial cleansers, sunscreens, deodorant, acne medicines (both

prescription and non), and dry shampoos for either benzene or benzoyl peroxide.



Some of the most popular skincare products aimed to treat acne have been found to contain high levels of benzene, an ingredient that is linked to cancer and is usually found in gasoline, tobacco smoke, cleaning products, etc.


An independent testing lab called Valisure made the discovery during a recent study where it found that acne treatment products that contain Benzoyl Peroxide such as Proactiv, Clinique and Clearasil significantly exceeded U.S. Food & Drug Administration guidelines that allow 2 parts per million of benzene in such products.


When Vasilure tested 66 products that contain benzoyl peroxide at temperatures that replicate different environments where consumers may keep them in their homes, it found that Proactiv’s 2.5% benzoyl peroxide cream, contained 1,761 parts per million of benzene, Clinique’s cream contained 401 parts per million and Clearasil contained 308.


Benzene is a carcinogen that is “commonly used as a solvent in chemical and pharmaceutical industries,” according to the press release.

When people are exposed to Benzene, it can cause cells to work incorrectly, and it can damage the immune system by destroying white blood cells. Long-term effects of Benzene exposure can cause cancers such as Leukemia, have negative effects on bone marrow and cause excessive bleeding and bruising.


After Valisure’s recent findings in the new study, the company filed a petition with the FDA on March 5 asking the administration to recall the benzoyl peroxide acne products.


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