Approved in: United States (except Hawaii), Australia, Europe
Restricted in: Japan
Best for: Sun damage and burn prevention
Coral safe? No, may also potentially affect fish
Caution: Sensitive skin types will want to skip formulas with this ingredient
Oxybenzone, often found in broad-spectrum sunscreens, helps filter both UVB and UVA rays (specifically short UVA). It’s also one of the most popular ingredients, found in the majority of sunscreens in the U.S. market and can make up to 6 percent of the bottle.
However, Hawaii has banned this ingredient after a study, created by the Haereticus Environmental lab, found that the ingredient contributed to bleaching and poisoning coral reefs. For environmental reasons, you’ll want to avoid this ingredient and look for “green” sunscreens.
Most recently, a studyTrusted Source found that our skin absorbs sunscreen ingredients like oxybenzone. This caused a spike of interest in “safe” sunscreens, despite the study reporting no harm found and concluding that “these results do not indicate that individuals should refrain from the use of sunscreen.”
Other studiesTrusted Source also confirm that oxybenzone doesn’t significantly demonstrate endocrine disruption.