These Johnson & Johnson Sunscreens Have Been Recalled For A Concerning Reason

Image of person spraying on sunscreen.

Johnson & Johnson has announced they voluntarily recall a handful of products as part of their NEUTROGENA® and AVEENO® brands.

The company says that consumers should stop using their aerosol sunscreen products because of the appearance of a potentially harmful substance during sample testing.

Which specific products have been affected, and what should you do if you have them in your cabinet?

What Is Benzene?

According to the company announcement, Johnson & Johnson has pulled five products from store shelves after internal testing identified low levels of benzene. Classified as a human carcinogen—a substance that could potentially cause cancer—benzene can be absorbed through the skin, by inhalation, and orally.

People all over the globe are actually exposed to benzene daily because it is ubiquitous in the environment. But it’s the level and time of exposure that can be a cause for concern.

Johnson & Johnson made it clear that benzene is not an ingredient in any of their products. But their internal testing identified low levels of it in some of their product samples.

The levels detected aren’t expected to “cause adverse health consequences,” but “out of an abundance of caution,” the company says they are pulling the product and investigating the issue.

Which Products Have Been Recalled?

The only products affected by the recall are sunscreen aerosol products. Specifically, the company has recalled:

  • NEUTROGENA® Beach Defense® aerosol sunscreen
  • NEUTROGENA® Cool Dry Sport aerosol sunscreen
  • NEUTROGENA® Invisible Daily™ defense aerosol sunscreen
  • NEUTROGENA® Ultra Sheer® aerosol sunscreen
  • AVEENO® Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen

What To Do If You Have One Of These In Your Cabinet

Johnson & Johnson—along with the FDA—has advised consumers to stop using these specific products immediately and throw them out. If you have any questions or would like to request a refund, you can call the JJCI Consumer Care Center 24/7 at 1-800-458-1673.

If you need to report a reaction due to using this product, use the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program. You can fill out a form online, or you can call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form.

Problems For Johnson & Johnson

This aerosol sunscreen recall is just the latest issue that Johnson & Johnson has been involved in.

The company’s lawyers have been hard at work, fromaccusations that their COVID-19 vaccine isn’t as effective as other options to a wave of lawsuits over their talcum powder.

But Johnson & Johnson has been around since the 19th century and is one of the world’s most valuable companies. So, chances are they will make it through this mess unscathed.


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