Of late, the negative news around the safety of sunscreens from health and environment perspective has affected consumer confidence. It started in December 2020 on Purito Centella Green Level Unscented Sunscreen. It was a popular product but came under the scanner when it was mislabelled as an SPF 19, about 50% less than the claimed SPF 50. After about six months, the same brand came under scrutiny for cancerous impact when a report suggested that it found benzene, a carcinogen, in the sun care products. In July 2021, J&J recalled five of its Neutrogena and Aveeno sunscreen sprays for the same reason.
Consumers are not only questioning the health impact of these products but also their environmental impact. There has been an ongoing debate over banning sunscreens with oxybenzone and octinoxate as they could damage coral reefs. These sunscreens have been banned in Thailand. However, science has still not proved if these ingredients are responsible for coral damage. The harm is more due to the environmental pollution from water treatment plants and global warming.