Last June, the Food and Drug Administration issued new regulations governing how sunscreens are labeled and marketed. The new rules were to take effect by June 18th of this year, but have recently been pushed back to mid-December. However, it’s not too early to familiarize yourself with the changes so you can be sure to choose the most effective sun protection for you and your family.
Historically, there have been no standards, testing guidelines or labeling requirements regarding use of the term “broad spectrum,” nor was the claim qualified by a single FDA-approved methodology. Under the new regulations, products must be tested and proven to achieve 90% UV absorption as well as tested to prove they are not degraded by sun exposure. SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion SPF 50 is in full compliance with the new guidelines, is non-comedogenic and enhances natural skin tone. La Roche Posay Anthelios 45 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid for Face is fragrance-free, fast absorbing and has a matte finish.
The terms “sweat-proof” and “water-proof” are unacceptable under the new regulations. Claims of water-resistance must be tested under specified methodology and labels must be revised to state how long the formula can be exposed to moisture and still remain effective, (e.g., water-resistant [40 minutes]).
The FDA is currently evaluating SPF powders, towelettes and wipes and has requested additional data on spray dosage forms to determine whether they provide the same protection as more traditional forms of sunscreen. The FDA proposed banning SPF claims greater than 50 but has not yet issued a regulation so consumers will still see sunscreens labeled 50+. Studies show that high SPF users are exposed to the same if not more ultraviolet rays as those who use lower SPF products, possibly because the large number leads to a false sense of security. Users stay out in the sun longer and don’t reapply the product as necessary.
The new regulations are due to go into effect in mid-December, but with the proper knowledge, you can protect yourself and your family this summer.