Cancer-Causing Chemical Detected In Acne Treatments From Leading Brands

High levels of benzene have been found.

A U.S. lab has sounded the alarm over a dangerous chemical in popular acne treatments.

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Valisure, an independent laboratory, discovered high levels of benzene, a known cancer-causing substance, in several acne products from big names like Clinique (part of Estee Lauder), Clearasil (owned by Reckitt Benckiser), and Target’s own brand Up & Up, according to Bloomberg.

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This chemical was also found in other acne solutions such as Proactiv, PanOxyl, Walgreens’ acne soap, and Walmart’s Equate Beauty acne cream.

Cancer-causing chemical detected in acne treatments from leading brands | weirdkaya
For illustrative purposes only. Photo from Canva.

Valisure is urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to pull these products off the shelves, look into the matter, and update their guidelines.

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Following the report, Estee Lauder’s stock prices took a hit, dropping by 2%.

The concern isn’t just about these few products; Valisure’s research indicates that the issue could extend to both prescription and non-prescription acne treatments containing benzoyl peroxide, suggesting benzene can form at levels much higher than what the FDA considers safe.

While Reckitt and Estee Lauder defend their products as safe when used correctly, Target and Walmart have yet to comment. The FDA has also not responded to the call for action.

Interestingly, this isn’t the first time benzene has been detected in consumer products; it’s been found in sunscreens, hand sanitizers, and dry shampoos, leading to recalls.

However, the presence of benzene in acne treatments is particularly concerning because, according to Valisure, it originates from the benzoyl peroxide ingredient itself, rather than being an impurity from another source.

Some products tested had benzene levels over 800 times the FDA’s conditional limit.

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