Statement by the Personal Care Products Council on Benzene and Sunscreens



Lisa Powers,, (202) 297-1232
Stefanie Harrington,, (202) 615-6558
Jamie Kurke,, (202) 258-5285

Washington, D.C. – “The Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) and its member companies are firmly committed to ensuring consumers have access to cosmetics and personal care products with ingredients that have been thoroughly tested for safety and follow the requirements of the law. There is nothing more important than safety. If our consumers can’t believe in a product or rely on it to do what it says, then nothing else matters. We are aware of the study reporting the presence of benzene in some of the sunscreen products tested.

“Benzene is not an intentionally added ingredient in sunscreen products, however, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as product manufacturers, are aware that benzene may be found in food and drugs at very low levels. FDA offers guidance on the level of residual solvents as a companion document for the International Council for Harmonization of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH). PCPC strongly supports FDA’s guidance and activities in monitoring for conformance to these recommendations.  

“Sunscreens on the market today are backed by decades of safe use to help adults and children guard against the dangers of sun exposure. The FDA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Surgeon General, American Academy of Dermatology, Skin Cancer Foundation, and health professionals worldwide consistently advocate for the use of broad-spectrum sunscreens as part of a safe-sun regimen. These products play a critical role in the fight against skin cancer.

“Nonprofit health organizations and government agencies recommend using sunscreens as part of a safe-sun regimen. CDC’s Sun Safety recommendations note the importance of daily sunscreen use to help prevent most skin cancers, even on cloudy and overcast days.

“As sunscreen manufactures, our goal is to provide our consumers with access to a wide variety of safe, effective and innovative sunscreens so they can make informed decisions. Sunscreen is an important part of an overall safe-sun program. It is our hope that using sunscreen becomes as much of a habit as putting on your seatbelt.” 


Founded in 1894, the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) is the voice and advocate for 600 member companies representing the $450 billion global cosmetics and personal care products industry. PCPC’s members represent approximately 90% of the U.S. beauty industry and are some of the most beloved and trusted brands in beauty and personal care today. As the manufacturers, distributers and suppliers of a diverse range of products millions of consumers rely on every day – from sunscreens, toothpaste and shampoo to moisturizer, makeup and fragrance – PCPC’s member companies are global leaders committed to product safety, quality and innovation. For more information on cosmetics and personal care products and their ingredients, please visit