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“Ökotest” finds carcinogenic substances in sun creams

The summer is still hesitant, but to protect the skin, you should still reach for the sunscreen. The magazine “Ökotest” has tested 22 products for their ingredients, not all scored satisfactorily.

The sun creams in the "Ökotest" all ühad sun protection factor 30, every third was certified natural cosmetics according to the test report, including products from the Rossmann brand Alterra, Speick and Annemarie Börlind. In focus: the substance benzophenone, a "decay product of the UV filter octocrylene", which is considered "probably carcinogenic". The shocking result: "All seven products in the test with octocrylene contain benzophenone", according to the test report.

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Sun cream with high amount of Benzophenon

In one product the laboratory found "a comparatively high amount of benzophenone (.), in the other sun creams the amounts are significantly lower". However, there is no guarantee in these cases, because over time the benzophenone content in the sunscreen can increase significantly. This was the result of recent studies from France and the USA. "The EU Scientific Advisory Committee (SCCS) assesses the benzophenone in products with octocrylene as a ,dangerous impurity‘, which should be monitored and not ügo beyond the ,trace range‘, writes "Ökotest". It is still being tested what quantities are involved. Four sun creams scored top marks overall, making them thoroughly recommendable.

Sunscreen in the "Ökotest": Three fail completely

The testers also criticized other ingredients, including PEG compounds, which can make the skin more permeable to foreign substances, and organohalogen compounds, some of which are considered allergenic. Three of the tested sun creams failed completely and received only the mark "ungenügend".

In general, the sun protection factor (SPF) explains how often and at what intervals you should reapply sunscreen. For example, if SPF ten is used, the time you can stay in the sun per day increases tenfold. For skin type one (very fair, self-protection 10 minutes) this means about 100 minutes, if you are type three – like most Central Europeans – 200 minutes, and so on. It should not be forgotten, however, that factors such as sweating, swimming or abrasion can reduce UV protection. And: applying twice does not mean that the time spent in the sun is doubled!