All sunscreens are not created equal. To help consumers better understand what they are buying, and to help protect them from unwanted excessive UV ray exposure, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced new sunscreen labeling requirements. First announced June 14, 2011, it was in 2013 that consumers began seeing sunscreen labels with the changes required for compliance with new FDA regulations. We’ve compiled a list of those changes and what to look for on labels.
What to look for
Sunscreens that block UVA and UVB rays will be labeled Broad Spectrum
Not every sunscreen is Broad Spectrum, so make sure you check the label. Only Broad Spectrum sunscreens can do both, prevent skin cancer, photo-aging and sunburn.
Manufactures cannot label sunscreens as “waterproof” or “sweat proof”
These claims cannot be proven. Instead, labels will state water resistant if it applies. To make this claim, the product must pass another test. This test shows how long a sunscreen keeps its SPF when a person goes in the water or sweats. The label also must state how long the water resistance lasts, either 40 or 80 minutes.
The maximum SPF value on sunscreen labeling is limited to SPF 50+
There is not sufficient data to show that products with SPF values higher than 50 provide greater protection for users than products with SPF values of 50.
At Coolibar, all of the sunscreen we carry is in compliance with the new regulations. “The new rules are designed to help consumers know which products offer the best protection against the damaging rays of the sun.” – Debbie Runck, Coolibar Compliance Manager
Remember, the regulations are to help consumers know which products offer the best protection. To learn more about the current FDA sunscreen regulations visit the FDA website.
What do you look for in a good sunscreen? Do you find the new sunscreen label changes helpful?