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CVS Removes Controversial Sunscreen Chemicals from Store-brand Products

Contact Author Brooke Schleehauf
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Woman reading the label on skin care product in a store

CVS Health has moved to eliminate oxybenzone and octinoxate from its store-brand sunscreen products. The two ingredients have been in both consumers' and legislators' minds since research alleged their potential damage to marine ecosystems, leading Hawaii and the Florida Keys to pass legislation prohibiting their use and sale.

Almost 60 CVS Health Store Brand products under SPF 50 will no longer contain the ingredients by the end of 2020; products with 50+ SPF still require a form of oxybenzone and octinoxate, and will be available outside of Hawaii and Florida, according to the company.

These shifts come after CVS' 2017 commitment to remove parabens, phthalates and certain formaldehyde-releasing preservatives from its store-brand beauty and personal care products, a project scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019. The company has also previously eliminated skin care products with an SPF below 15 from its offerings.

"As a leading health & beauty destination CVS Pharmacy is highly attuned to our customers' evolving needs and their desire for products that are more sustainable while still being efficacious. We are committed to continuing to monitor the ingredients in the products we carry and to ensure our customers have access to a wide range of free-from products that deliver quality and value while also meeting their lifestyle preferences," commented George Coleman, SVP of Merchandising, CVS Health, in a press release.

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