It only takes one day for several common sunscreen ingredients to enter the bloodstream, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration study shows.
In the study, the FDA completed research on a dozen chemical sunscreens and found four of the chemicals -- avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene and ecamsule -- remain in the body for at least 24 hours after sunscreen use stopped.
"So the question is whether or not those ingredients have harmful effects, and that's why the FDA has asked for more data," said Dr. Tanya Nino, a dermatologist with St. Joseph Hospital in Orange .
Now, this absolutely does not mean you should stop wearing sunscreen to prevent cancer. The FDA said much more research is needed to figure out if these chemicals can be considered safe.
Another option is to use barrier sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These physical sunblocks block the sun's rays and don't have the chemicals in question.
"I would want to make sure that my patients are not afraid to use sunscreen," said Dr. Tanya Nino. "Continue to protect their skin from the sun because ultraviolet light is the most preventable risk factor for developing skin cancer."
Nino recommends staying away from sprays, especially with young children, to reduce the risk of inhalation.
Read the full study here.