Manufacturers of sunscreen products have until June 2012 to revamp their labels by order of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
In our article Sunscreen: New Guidelines This Summer we outlined the rationale behind the new guidelines. So what changes can you expect to see when you go to purchase your next bottle of sunscreen?
Some major manufacturers have already implemented the new guidelines and products are beginning to appear with the new labeling requirements:
SPF measures protection against sunburn caused primarily by UVB rays. For the first time, the FDA required a test that measures the breadth of the UV protection, which includes both UVA and UVB. Products that pass the new test may be labeled as Broad Spectrum. Together with SPF values, the new labels provide additional information regarding a product’s overall protection against UV rays. Only broad spectrum sunscreens with SPF 15 to SPF 50 and above, can claim to be able to ‘reduce the risk of cancer and early skin aging’.
According to the new FDA rules, sunscreen labels will no longer be able to state they are “waterproof,” or “sweatproof” and can no longer claim to be a “sunblock”.
The goal of the new rules is to remind consumers about the importance of re-applying sunscreen frequently, especially after swimming and sports activities.
Sunscreens can claim to be water-resistant — and must indicate the amount of time before they should be reapplied, either 40 or 80 minutes, depending on test results.
Any sunscreen that does not go through ‘water resistant’ testing will not be able to claim any protection while swimming or sweating and must state that the consumer should wear ‘adequate protection during these activities”.
Once all products are revamped, you can expect your favorite bottle of sun protection to contain more detailed information so you can make the right selection based on your skin type before participating in outdoor activities. Until then, you should continue to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays. Sunscreen only works well when it’s applied correctly. Studies reveal that only 1 in 5 people wear sunscreen daily, and those that do wear sunscreen, tend to use far less than the recommended amount of 1-ounce per application (about the the size of a golf ball) for the whole body. Regardless of your outdoor activity, sunscreen should be reapplied at least every 2 hours and always after any water activity.
Thanks to My News Health Daily for the info-graphic above.
- Sunscreen: New Guidelines this Summer (healthyskinsolutions.com)
- Sun Protection for Melasma Suffers (healthyskinsolutions.com)
- Your Sunscreen is Getting a Makeover! (makeup.com)