If You Have These Neutrogena Products, Stop Using Them Now, FDA Says

These popular products may contain an ingredient known to cause cancer, the authority reports.

Neutrogena is one of the most popular personal care brands in the world, with millions of customers using the company's shampoos, face washes, and body lotions on a daily basis. Unfortunately, there are four Neutrogena products that have recently been identified as potentially hazardous to human health, and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) says that anyone who purchased them should stop using them immediately. Read on to discover if a product you have at home could be putting your health in danger.

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The FDA announced the recall of multiple aerosol sunscreens.

person spraying child's arm with aerosol sunscreen
Shutterstock / Elizaveta Galitckaia

On July 14, the FDA announced that Johnson & Johnson, the parent company of Neutrogena, had issued recalls for four Neutrogena aerosol sunscreens. The affected products include Neutrogena Beach Defense aerosol sunscreen, Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport aerosol sunscreen, Neutrogena Invisible Daily defense aerosol sunscreen, and Neutrogena Ultra Sheer aerosol sunscreen.

Johnson & Johnson announced that Aveeno Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen is also being recalled. All lots and sizes of the aforementioned sunscreens are being recalled; pictures of the affected products can be found on the Neutrogena and Aveeno websites.

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The products may contain a known carcinogen.

person applying sunscreen to another person's back

The recalls for the Neutrogena and Aveeno sunscreens were initiated after it was discovered that the products may contain benzene, a known carcinogen that has been linked to the development of leukemia. According to the FDA-issued recall notice, the benzene was discovered during internal testing of the products.

While the carcinogen can be absorbed orally, by administration to the skin, and through inhalation, the recall notice states that "daily exposure to benzene in these aerosol sunscreen products at the levels detected in our testing would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences." The notice further explains that the recall is being issued "out of an abundance of caution" rather than a direct threat to consumer safety.

Anyone who purchased the products should stop using them now.

Shocked woman receiving bad news at phone

If you have the affected Neutrogena and Aveeno products at home, stop using them immediately and dispose of them according to your area's aerosol recycling policy.

If you would like to have your purchase refunded or if you have questions related to the recall, you can call the Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. Consumer Care Center 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 800-458-1673. If you believe you've experienced adverse effects related to the use of these products, contact a healthcare professional.

This isn't the first time benzene has been identified in sunscreen this year.

woman buying sunscreen at drugstore
Shutterstock / Stanislaw Mikulski

While the recall of the Neutrogena and Aveeno products may be the most high-profile case of sunscreen contamination this year, they're not the only sun protection products recently found to contain benzene.

In May 2021, Valisure, an independent laboratory that batch-tests consumer products for safety, issued a report stating that 27 percent of the sunscreen samples the company tested contained detectable levels of benzene, with some containing as much as triple amount permitted by the FDA.

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Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more
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