Oxybenzone, Phenoxyethanol and My thoughts



It has been six months since I’ve joined Mary Kay as a  Independent Beauty Consultant.  During this period of time I’ve learn a lot about makeup and skincare through lessons and research.   I’ve learned about the various types of skincare products available in the market and how they work on your skin.

It’s interesting to learn that not all products are made equal and even though certain well known brands have stellar products you still need to pick and choose carefully from their range.

Apparently not all products are equally good.  Even though brands have their award winning product it doesn’t mean that the particular product is free from  questionable chemicals which are used as ingredients.  Groups  like the EWG have done extensive research into the toxicity of the different types of cosmetic products.  What they reveal is contradictory to what the FDA has been saying about the safety of using certain ingredients in these cosmetic products. This  information has left me quiet skeptical about the validity of the FDA as a reliable consumer watchdog.

I’ve started looking into the ingredient list of the items which I use to understand them better.  It is certainly important to know whether the products that I am using are helping or harming my skin.   Even though  I am still quite a newbie when it comes to skincare and makeup I’ve certainly learned a great deal these few months.


What I have learned about the chemicals in Sunscreen. 

Oxybenzone primarily functions as a photostabilizer and sunscreen. Among the vast selection of sunscreen active ingredients, It is a chemical which  has been linked to allergies, hormone disruption and cell damage.

Phenoxyethanol –A preservative found in nearly every type of cosmetic and various cleaning products. Proven organ system toxin in animals (even at low doses), and suspected to be carcinogenic. Some studies say that it can be harmful if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin and that it can cause reproductive

I was attracted to Mary Kay by it’s range of skincare ( am still am) and have been using a wide range of products from the brand. However what I was surprised to know that all of their sunscreens have  Oxybenzone which makes them less then desirable for usage.


mary-kay-sun-care-sunscreen-broad-spectrum-spf-50-z1Mary Kay  Suncare Sun Screen Broad Protection SPF 50 

Ingredients: Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 10%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 5%, Oxybenzone 5%. Other Ingredients: Acrylates/C12-22 Alkyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, Ammonium Hydroxide, Behenyl Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Caprylyl Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteth-20 Phosphate, Cyclamen Aldehyde, Dicetyl Phosphate, Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Ethyl Linalool, Ethylene Brassylate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycrylene, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Isobutyl Methyl Tetrahydropyranol, Methyl Trimethicone, Methylenedioxyphenyl Methylpropanal, PEG-100 Stearate, Pentylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Phenylisohexanol, Propylene Glycol, Silica, Sodium Polyacrylate, Sorbic Acid, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Trideceth-6, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Water, Xanthan Gum
mary-kay-timewise-day-solution-sunscreen-broad-spectrum-spf-35-z1 Mary Kay Timewise Day Solution  SPF 35

Ingredients: Active: Avobenzone 2%, Homosalate 10%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 2%, Oxybenzone 4%,. Inactive: Water, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Glycerin, Ceteareth-25, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Acetyl Dipeptide-1 Cetyl Ester, Plankton Extract, Hydrolyzed Algin, Pentylene Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Crithmum Maritimum Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Dipropylene Glycol Dibenzoate, Acrylates/C12-22 Alkyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Disodium Ethylene Dicocamide PEG-15 Disulfate, Sorbic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, PPG-15 Stearyl Ether Benzoate, Propylene Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Cyclopentasiloxane, PEG-75, PEG-150, PEG-8 Cetyl Dimethicone, PEG-4 Laurate, Laureth-3, Disodium EDTA, Ammonium Hydroxide, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol.


np_sunProtector Mary Kay Sun Protector SPF 35/ PA ++

Ingredients: Water, Homosalate, Dimethicone, Octisalate, Oxybenzone, Syrene/ Acrylates copolymer, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Butylene Glycol, Dicaprylyl carbonate, Octocrylene, Avobenzone, Glycerine, Cetereth-25, Dimeticone Crosspolymer, Magnesium Aluminium Silicate, Dipropylene Glycol Dibenzoate, Acrylates/ C12-22 Alkyl Methacryate Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium Ethylene, Dicocamide PEG- 15 Disulfate, Pentylene Glycol, Tocopheryl Aetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Hydrogenayed Lecithin, Xanthan Gum, PPG-15 Stearly ether Benzoate, Disodium Etda, Ethylene Brassylate, Proppylene Glycol, Peg-4 Laurate, Sorbic acid, Isobutlyl Methyl Tetrahydropyranol, Iodopropylyl Butylcarbamate, Ethyl Linalool, Methylendioxyphenyl, Methlopropanal ammonium Hydroxide, Phenyisohexanol, Cyclamen Aldehyde. 




It will be safer to opt for Mineral based sunscreen that uses Zinc Oxide/ Titanium Oxide. Preferably one that is free from parabens too.  Even though the harmful effects of these chemicals have yet to be proven I think it is best not to take any chances as there are sunscreens around which do not have any of the listed chemicals inside and certainly safer for myself and the kids.