Johnson & Johnson just recalled Aveeno and Neutrogena sunscreens

Here’s what to know to keep your skin safe

An entry sign to the Johnson & Johnson campus shows their logo in Irvine, California on August 28, 2019.
(Image credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)

If you bought any Neutrogena or Aveeno sunscreens lately, you may want to dispose of it immediately as Johnson & Johnson just issued a recall on multiple brands. On Wednesday, the company discovered that five of its sunscreens contained low sample levels of benzene (a chemical that can cause cancer with repeated exposure).

During the summer months, it’s important to check if your sunscreen expired and incorporate the best facial sunscreen or face moisturizer with SPF into our beauty routines to protect our skin. If you own one of the recalled sunscreens—Aveeno Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen, and four types of aerosol Neutrogena sunscreens: Beach Defense aerosol sunscreen, CoolDry Sport aerosol sunscreen, Invisible Daily Defense aerosol sunscreen, and UltraSheer aerosol sunscreen—you should stop using them immediately. 

The recall includes all SPF, can sizes, and sun protection levels. The sunscreens were also distributed nationwide.

 More from woman&home: 

• The best night cream for healthy-looking skin come morning

• The best face moisturizers to hydrate, soften, and support your skin

• The best Vitamin C serums to clarify, brighten and protect your skin 

In a statement, Johnson & Johnson said the “use of these products would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences,” but chose to recall the products “out of an abundance of caution.” The company is also advising consumers to use an alternative sunscreen to help protect themselves from sun damage and treat sunburns.

Traces of the chemical were discovered after testing from an independent laboratory. It’s still unknown how the chemical got into the sunscreens, but Johnson & Johnson is currently investigating the matter as well as working to get contaminated formulas off store shelves. The company has also notified the Food and Drug Administration of the contamination.

How dangerous is benzene?

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the chemical is highly flammable and is widely used in the environment (often emitted into the atmosphere through the smoke of forest fires and found in some plants and animals. Exposure can occur through inhaling it, ingesting it, or getting it on skin and clothing. Symptoms also vary depending on the person, but repeated exposure can lead to cancer, damage to the immune system, and prevent cells from functioning properly.

If you own one or more of the contaminated sunscreens you can call Johnson &Johnson’s Consumer Care Center at 1-800-458-1673. More information can also be found on Aveeno and Neutrogena’s website.

Rylee Johnston

Rylee is a U.S. news writer who previously worked for woman&home and My Imperfect Life covering lifestyle, celebrity, and fashion news. Before joining woman&home and My Imperfect Life, Rylee studied journalism at Hofstra University where she explored her interests in world politics and magazine writing. From there, she dabbled in freelance writing covering fashion and beauty e-commerce for outlets such as the TODAY show, American Spa Magazine, First for Women, and Woman’s World.