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The sun is out, the skies are clear, it’s vacation season!

We can all finally take a break from our demanding daily routines to unwind, relax and take on new adventures. Go island hopping, scuba diving, biking, mountain climbing or just be outdoors and have fun.  Our excitement seeps throughout months of preparations. We set itineraries, religiously hit the gym to gain that summer body and excitedly shop for those handy and trendy outfits, travel kits and accessories.

And there’s that one necessity we never ever dare to forget to pack. It’s our ultimate ally in skin care that protects us from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation that can damage and prematurely age our skin, or worse, cause skin cancer. We are talking about our best summer buddy – sunscreen.

Unsafe Sunscreens

With the right amount of Sun Protection Factor (SPF), we go out and feel confident of our skin’s health and safety. However, did you know that some sunscreens may actually cause you more harm than the sun?
You might have to check if the product you use contain ingredients known as Parabens. These are easy to spot on the product labels because it all ends in “paraben”.
These are preservatives inhibiting the growth of bacteria, yeast, and molds to extend the shelf life of products. These are also used in other cosmetic and personal care products such as shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, toothpastes, facial and shower cleansers, body scrubs, and different kinds of lotions.
Since the 1950’s, Parabens have been used for cosmetic and personal healthcare. Through various research studies, it was then known that this kind of chemical can penetrate and be absorbed through the skin which has been linked to cases of endocrine and reproductive problems, developmental disorders, skin irritation and even some types of cancer.

Banned By FDA

Good thing is that the Philippines promote “paraben-free” products!

Through the 21st ASEAN Cosmetic Committee Meeting in 2014, it has been decided and acted upon by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - Center for Cosmetics Regulation and Research (CCRR) to ban selected parabens that may be found in cosmetic products.

According to the FDA Advisory No. 2016-032, the banned parabens are Isopropylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Benzylparaben, Phenylparaben and Pentylparaben.
Since 01 January 2016, products that still contain any of the five identified parabens have since been prohibited to be sold or placed in the Philippine market.
However, regardless of the advisory, there are still some products in the market that may contain these harmful ingredients.

Check Your Sunscreen

So, it is important to practice that when buying or before applying sunscreen it is best to check the label, go through the list of ingredients and watch out for any of the FDA-banned parabens.
When unsure of the product, you may always refrain from using it yourself or any of your loved ones. We know, it is better to be safe than sorry.

If you find a product that contains the banned parabens, you may directly report this by sending an email to or contact the FDA CCRR Customer Service Hotline at (02) 857-1984.

You choose how to take care of your skin. But as your partners in consumer watch, we got you.
Here in SGS, we also offer cosmetic and personal care testing services that will meet regulatory requirements and ensure product safety. Our cosmetics testing portfolio includes physical and chemical testing, microbiological tests, stability studies, toxicological testing, ecotoxicology studies, product performance testing and packaging performance test.

For more inquiries about the cosmetics and personal healthcare testing services, you can contact us here or drop us a message on our official facebook page @SGSPhilippines.

About SGS

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 90,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,000 offices and laboratories around the world.