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Inside Coolibar Sunscreens and Lotions

“Cool”ibar on Earth Day

As a Coolibar sun protective clothing fan, you can not only feel good about protecting your skin, but protecting a bit of the earth as well.

Coolibar Sun Protective Clothing Earthly Deeds:
1) For every sun protective clothing garment you wear versus sunscreen alone, you’re reducing the amount of sunscreen you use along with packaging waste. For more information read: Sun Protective Clothing vs. Sunscreen

2) Quality sun protective clothing like Coolibar’s lasts for years — we mean it! The sun protection doesn’t wash or wear out, and lasts for the life of the garment. If you have one child that outgrows the UPF clothing, you can pass it down to the next! For more information read: The Coolibar Guarantee

3) Coolibar has incorporated biodegradable garment bags and mailing envelopes into outgoing packages. (More on this to come later in the week!)

4) Coolibar recognizes the importance of using sunscreen on exposed skin (face, hands, feet, etc.). That’s why we carry sunscreen brands such as Raw Elements, chemical free zinc oxide sunscreen.

From Raw Elements Sunscreen: According to a study released in January 2008, four common chemical sunscreen agents may be at least partly responsible for increased coral bleaching worldwide. Cinnimate, benzophenone, parabens (artificial preservatives) and camphor derivatives were found to activate viruses in the algae. Not only are these chemicals infecting the reef, they are also disrupting the surrounding ecosystem as well. Algae being the primary energy source for coral reefs, once infected and depleted, the coral bleaches and dies. An estimated four to six thousand pounds of chemical sunscreen wash off swimmers each year and ten percent of the world’s coral reefs are destroyed. Environmental groups and environmentally conscious scuba and snorkel resorts around the world suggest using biodegradable zinc oxide-based sunscreens when entering fragile ecosystems such as oceans, lakes and ponds. Using a chemical free sunscreen with an active ingredient of Zinc Oxide is s a conscientious alternative to damaging sunscreens that consist chemical UV absorbers, synthetic preservatives or other harsh chemicals.

Happy Earth Day!

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Inside Coolibar Sunscreens and Lotions

Don’t be fooled by sunscreen labels any longer!

This April Fools, we’re not fooling around – at least about sunscreen. Almost two years after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced their new sunscreen labeling requirements (first announced June 14, 2011), we’re now seeing both small and large sunscreen vendors roll-out new labeling, packaging, and in some cases, improved products. These changes will allow consumers to better understand a sunscreen’s ability to protect against UVA and UVB sun damage, skin cancer and skin aging.

Our friends at the American Academy of Dermatology did an excellent job of outlining many of these changes:

Skin cancer prevention versus sunburn protection

On the label, you’ll see whether a sunscreen can:

– Help prevent skin cancer and sunburn.

– Only help prevent sunburn.

That’s thanks to new FDA testing requirements. For a label to claim that a sunscreen can help prevent skin cancer and sunburn, it will have to pass two tests.

1. The first test is the broad-spectrum test. This test shows whether a sunscreen can protect your skin from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Both rays can cause skin cancer.

2. The second test is the sun protection factor (SPF) test. This test shows how well a sunscreen protects you from sunburn. Like today, you’ll see the SPF as a number, such as SPF 30. All sunscreen must offer some SPF. The minimum is SPF 2.

New warning: For a sunscreen to carry the claim that it can prevent skin cancer and sunburn, it must offer both: 1) broad-spectrum coverage and 2) an SPF of 15 or higher. If the sunscreen does not offer both, the label will have to carry this warning:

“This product has been shown only to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early skin aging.”

Water resistance

The FDA will ban companies from claiming that a sunscreen is “waterproof” or “sweat proof.” This is simply not possible.

You’ll now see the term “water resistant.” 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.

New warning: If a sunscreen is not water resistant, the label must carry a warning. This warning will tell you to use a water-resistant sunscreen if you are likely to sweat or be in water.

Makeup and moisturizers

You’ll see the new claims on makeup and moisturizers, too — provided the product undergoes and passes the FDA tests.

Vanicream SPF 50+No ratings above SPF 50+

A proposed rule, if enforced, will limit the maximum SPF value on sunscreen labels to “50 +” because 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.

All Coolibar sunscreen brands will be making changes to their packaging to be in compliance with new FDA guidelines.  For example, Vanicream SPF 60 will be replaced by Vanicream SPF 50+. If you have any specific questions about your favorite sunscreen brand sold on http://www.coolibar.com/, ‘Leave a reply’ below or comment at http://www.facebook.com/coolibar

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Coolibar Athletes Sunscreens and Lotions

Vanicream: a soothing solution for winter dry skin

Winter’s dry air can leave skin feeling sore, itchy and uncomfortable — especially if you don’t have a skin care routine that works with your specific skin type. Coolibar Athlete Kristie Cranford has struggled with finding a lotion for the dry winter months, and with sensitive skin, she has tried numerous skin care products! Before spending another cent on a new lotion this winter, she remembered the Vanicream she received from Coolibar.

“I take my words back, all of them,” says Kristie.

“When I became a Coolibar athlete we were able to try some items from the skin care line.  I chose Vanicream, a moisturizing skin cream.

I have sensitive skin and I live in the desert. It is hot and dry.  I have lotion in my house, in my car, in my desk at work, in my purse, pretty much everywhere.  You could say I have a lotion problem. 

I was excited to try something new.  As I pulled it out of the box, was excited. I put some on.  I wrinkled my nose. It was thick, sticky.  It didn’t smell pretty, it had no odor at all to be honest.  I was not impressed.  I tossed it under my bathroom sink.

Fast forward to a very cold, dry and windy Las Vegas winter.  My hands hurt.  They were dry, cracking.  My back was so dry I could not sleep at night it itched so much.  My son, who inherited sensitive skin from me, had the same problem with his back.  I tried everything in my house.  Nothing was working.  I have suffered through every dry winter. I have yet to find a lotion that has helped. Then I remembered…

I went underneath my bathroom sink and pulled out the Vanicream.  Unlike other lotions when I put it on, my hands did not sting…it soothed.  Instantly I felt relief.  It absorbed quickly.  I put some on my son’s back, I put some on mine.  The itch went away.

Have you ever put on lotion to discover you are now trapped in the room because you cannot turn the doorknob because your hands are so slippery?  It doesn’t happen with Vanicream.  It absorbs quickly leaving the skin silky soft.

It is odorless, completely.  Not like some lotions that claim to be odorless but they have a medicinal smell.  It truly is odorless. 

So I take my words back, all of them.  Vanicream soothed my dry, cracking skin in the first application.  It is easy to spread and is quickly absorbed leaving skin soft and smooth.  It is odorless so if you choose to wear a fragrance it does not compete. 

I have new words for Vanicream:  I love it.”

Browse Vanicream options.

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Skin Care for Men

Manly men (and dermatologists) know that a good skin care routine can preserve youthfulness, reduce acne outbreaks and ingrown hairs, and promote general good health in addition to fighting skin cancer. Great looking skin will improve the way you look and feel and doesn’t require hours of grooming. 

It’s been well documented that men take less interest in their skin health than women do.  Consequently, as they age, men have more unprotected sun exposure and develop more skin cancers, including melanoma. That’s why it’s more important than ever for guys to be proactive and incorporate a daily skin care routine that includes sunscreen.

Men, follow these four simple steps for healthy glowing skin, no man make-up required.

1.  Cleanse You don’t have to wash your face with a harsh astringent. Harsh soaps strip off what’s called the acid mantle, a layer of oil that you’re supposed to have — it’s like protective cellophane. Plus, 7 percent of men are allergic to the artificial scents and chemicals in soaps. So use pH-balanced or gentle soap — soaps made with olive oil or peppermint or oatmeal.

2.  Exfoliate To keep your skin glowing try to exfoliate.  Exfoliation sloughs off the dead skin cells, smoothes the skin’s texture, and promotes circulation. There are physical exfoliators (scrubs) which contain ingredients such as seaweed, ground apricot seeds, or some sort of granulation. Chemical exfoliators, typically a cream or in a cleanser, dissolve dead skin cells allowing your skin to breathe better. For the best results, exfoliate once to twice a week.

3.  Moisturize In the morning, a lot of men splash on alcohol-based astringents, colognes, and aftershaves. This is okay and gives you a nice, bracing sting, but there’s no health benefit, and they can dry your face out. Use a cream-based moisturizer that contains the most important ingredient in any unguent: sunblock. Then at night, smear on a moisturizer that contains antioxidants, which actually rejuvenate your skin while you sleep.

4.  ProtectThe best way to prevent signs of aging is to use a moisturizer with a sunscreen included or to use a sunscreen after you’ve applied your daily moisturizer. Using a sunscreen is one of the most important things you can do for your skin, as wrinkles and age spots are caused and worsened by sun exposure.  For the maximum benefit, use a braod spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB.

Disclaimer: The information provided by Coolibar and its contributors is general skin care information and should not be a substitute for obtaining medical advice from your physician and is not intended to diagnose or treat any specific medical problem

Resources:  

1.  AAD: Men’s Skin Care

2.  Esquire: Dr. Oz: How You Can Look Better (from the Neck Up)

3.  SCF: Men and Skin Cancer, Solving the Knowledge Gap

4.  Skin Therapease: Pat’s Best Tips for Healthy Skin

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Expert Rx Sunscreens and Lotions

Considering self tanning? What you need to know.

Tanning booths are considered unhealthy by dermatologists, but what about sunless tanning (A.K.A. self tans, UV-free tans, fake tans)? While rocking the natural skin look is most recommended, those who cannot ditch the glow should opt for self tanners over UV tanning. First learn how it works. Then how to properly apply it.

At the local drug-store and you’ll find self tanners in the form of lotions, creams, sprays and tanning wipes. All contain dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a sugar molecule that darkens the top layer of skin and is the main ingredient used in self tanners. DHA does not instantly dye the skin. Rather, over the course of a few hours, skin will gradually brown. This color will fade in 5 – 10 days.

In the 1920’s DHA was first used as an active ingredient in the pharmaceutical field. Then, in 1957 a doctor discovered the tanning properties of DHA. DHA is the only approved agent for use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for artificial tanning—external use only. According to the FDA tanning pills pose many risks, thus they are not FDA approved. Similarly, Melanotan, an illegal synthetic hormone injection that tans skin, can have serious side effects, possibly including death.

Melanie D. Palm, MD, MBA, recently wrote an article for the Skin Cancer Foundation where she states, “There is no clear evidence that DHA is harmful to humans if applied topically and used as directed. Concern about DHA arose recently when a study correlated use of highly concentrated amounts of DHA with production of free radicals, molecules that form naturally in the body due to oxygen use and can damage cells. However, concentrations used in sunless tanning preparations are considered non-toxic and non-carcinogenic.” Self tanners typically contain between 3 and 5 percent DHA.

If you’re going to use self-tanning spray or visit a spray tan booth, it’s recommended not to inhale or get into the mucus membranes as the long-term health effects for inhalation are not yet determined. When the FDA originally approved DHA for external use back in 1977, it was popular in tanning lotions. Now that is comes in spray form, toxicologists are concerned and urge consumers to use with caution.

Self tanners do not provide any protection from the sun. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using SPF 30+ broad-spectrum sunscreen daily. Remember to apply and reapply as directed. If you’re spending the day outdoors, opt for sun protective clothing, sun hats and UV sunglasses as well.

If you decide to try self tanning, follow these tips from American Academy of Dermatology for proper application:

1. Exfoliate. Using an exfoliating product or wash cloth will help remove dead skin cells. Spend a little more time exfoliating where your skin is thickest — elbows, knees and ankles.

2. Dry your skin. Drying your skin before you apply a self-tanner helps it go on evenly.

3. Apply in sections. Apply the self-tanner in sections (such as the arms, then legs, followed by the torso). Massage the self-tanner into your skin in a circular motion.

4. Wash your hands after each section. You will avoid orange-colored palms by washing your hands with soap and water after you finish applying the self-tanner to each section of your body.

5. Blend at your wrists and ankles. For a natural look, you need to lightly extend the tanner from your wrists to your hands and from your ankles to your feet.

6. Dilute over your joints. Lightly rub with a damp towel or apply a thin layer of lotion on top of the self-tanner.

7. Give your skin time to dry. Wait at least 10 minutes before getting dressed. For the next three hours, it is best to wear loose clothing and try to avoid sweating.

8. Apply sunscreen every day.

The safest color is still “natural” skin color. If tanning is a must, take all facts into consideration and remember the safer route – self tanners, not UV tanners (A.K.A. tanning beds).

Resources:

1. National Toxicology Program: DHA
2. SCF: Ask the Experts: Are Self Tanners Safe?
3. FDA: Tanning Pill
4. FDA: Tanning Injection Warning Letter
5. Huffington Post: Did Tanning Injections Lead to Bolton Woman’s Death?
6. ABC.com: Are ‘Spray-On’ Tans Safe? Experts Raise Questions as Industry Puts Out Warnings
7. AAD: How to apply self-tanner

Disclaimer: The information provided by Coolibar and its contributors is general skin care information and should not be a substitute for obtaining medical advice from your physician and is not intended to diagnose or treat any specific medical problem.

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Pampering Your Skin on Airplanes

Way up high in the sky your skin goes to battle with re-circulated dry air and an extra dose of sunlight. These elements leave skin near lifeless by the time you land. Never fear! We have suggestions to save your skin (all 3.4 oz or less of course).

Airplanes have low-humidity. Drinking water and avoiding alcoholic beverages can help retain moisture, but it only goes so far.  Additionally, daytime flyers are exposed to UVA – aging rays (all glass will filter UVB (burning) rays). An airplane’s proximity to the sun intensifies UVA exposure. The American Optometric Association estimates a 4% increase in UV radiation with every 1000 feet of elevation, and most commercial aircrafts fly between 30,000 to 40,000 feet above ground. Holly extra UVA!

Step off the plane looking and feeling great by keeping these simple tips and products in mind:

SUNSCREEN

Your number one skin saver should be sunscreen. Not only are most sunscreens moisturizing, but they’ll help prevent skin from absorbing aging rays!

Our favorite moisturizing sunscreens:

Cotz Face SPF 40, 1.5 oz. (matte finish) – $20

Blue Lizard SPF 30+ Face, 3 oz. – $10

Badger Unscented SPF 34, 2.9 oz. – $16

 

SUNGLASSES

If UVA reaches your skin, it reaches your eyes too. Look for shades that block 100% of UVA and UVB or are rated UV400. Sunglasses may help keep your eyes moist too!

Coolibar UV Sunglasses – $49 to $119

 

LIP PROTECTION

Your lips have some of the thinnest skin on your body. Because lips do not contain oil glands, they tend to dry out easily and become chapped. Additionally, the sun only causes chapped lips to worsen. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying a lip balm or lipstick that contains sunscreen rated SPF 15 or higher.

Our favorite SPF lip balms:

Vanicream Lip Protectant SPF 30, 0.35 oz. – $5

CoTZ Lips SPF 45, 0.14 oz. – $7

 

LOTION OR HYDRATING MIST

Spritzing will help your skin stay moist temporarily, but it’s not a necessity. Future Derm beauty blogger Nicki Zevola and guest blogger Jana Levin have two varying opinions on when to use hydrating mist. 1) Before take-off lightly spray the mist on your face and apply sunscreen over top; or 2) when arriving at your final destination remove all makeup and sunscreen, give your skin a spritz and then reapply sunscreen.

Our favorite hydrating products:

Blue Lizard Sorbolene Cream, 2 oz. – $14

Galen Labs Hydrosols (travel size 5 pack) – $16.99

Colorescience Pro Achromatherapy Gem Spritzers, 4 oz. (you’ll have to use this one before or after travel) – $10 to $35

Soothing Travels!

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EWG Sunscreen Ratings

Have you heard of the Environmental Working Group (EWG)? The mission of the EWG is to use the power of public information to protect public health and the environment. One of the EWG’s specialties is providing useful resources to consumers such as information on the safety and effectiveness of sunscreen ingredients. Coolibar sunscreens are top-rated by the EWG for broad-spectrum protection with fewer hazardous ingredients.

The EWG says, “the best sunscreen is a hat and a shirt. No chemicals to absorb through the skin, no questions about whether they work. But when you can’t get away from exposing your skin to the sun, use broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) protection with fewer hazardous chemicals that penetrate the skin…All EWG top-rated products contain either zinc or titanium minerals to help cut UVA exposures for sunscreen users.”

EWG’s 6th annual analysis of sunscreens includes safety and effectiveness ratings for 1,800 SPF products (that’s 100 more than last year)! Their ratings are based on an in-house compilation of standard industry, government and academic data sources and models that the EWG has constructed over the past seven years, and on a thorough review of the technical literature for sunscreen. Read more on EWG’s sunscreen rating methodology.

We’ve taken the time to list Coolibar sunscreens that are considered to be safer broad-spectrum options by the EWG, so you can easily find the perfect sunscreen.

EWG Top-Rated Coolibar Sunscreens (listed alphabetically)

All Terrain

All Terrain Aquasport Performance Sunscreen, SPF 30 (Score: 2)

All Terrain KidSport Performance Sunscreen, SPF 30 (Score: 2)

All Terrain TerraSport Performance Sunscreen, SPF 30 (Score: 2)

 

Badger

Badger Baby Sunscreen, SPF 30+ (Score: 1)

Badger Sunscreen Face Stick, Unscented, SPF 30+ (Score: 1)

Badger Sunscreen, Lightly Scented Lavender, SPF 30+ (Score: 1)

Badger Sunscreen, Unscented, SPF 30+ (Score: 1)

Badger Sunscreen Lip Balm, Unscented, SPF 15 (Score: 2)

 

Blue Lizard

Blue Lizard Australian Suncreen, Face, SPF 30+ (Score: 2)

 

Cotz

Fallene Cotz 20% Zinc Oxide Vanishing Formula Pure Mineral Sun Protection, SPF 35 (Score: 2)

Fallene Cotz Face Water Resistant Sun Protection, SPF 40 (Score: 2)

Fallene Cotz LipCotz, Ultra High Sun Protection, SPF 45 (Score: 2)

 

Raw Elements USA

Raw Elements USA Eco Formula, SPF 30+ (Score: 1)

Raw Elements USA Eco Stick, SPF 30+ (Score: 1)

 

Solbar

Solbar Shield Sunscreen, SPF 40 (Score: 2)

 

Vanicream

Vanicream Sport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 35 (Score: 2)

 

Search for a specific sunscreen on the EWG website.

Download the FREE EWG Sunscreen Rating App for iPhone® on iTunes®.

Shop all sunscreens at Coolibar.com.

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Learn what to look for when buying sunscreen

Choosing a sunscreen can be a daunting task, but it’s important to know how to choose reliable sun protection.

Jeff Bedard began his career in dermatology in 1984 and has spent the last 28 years developing and marketing some of the most innovative skin care solutions in the world. He’s the current CEO of Crown Laborieties, Inc., manufacturer of Blue Lizard sunscreen. Jeff answers common questions about Blue Lizard and sunscreen in general.

The FDA is telling sunscreen manufacturers to change their labels. Does Blue Lizard already meet the FDA’s new requirements for December 2012? What are these new requirements? 
Blue Lizard is making only minor modifications to its current labels to be fully compliant.  The biggest changes you will see on other labels is the removal of terms like “waterproof, sweatproof, all-day protection” along with the removal of the term “broad spectrum” protection unless the product has a critical wave length greater than 370 nm.  Some other changes you will see are the alphabetical listing of inactive ingredients and additional warnings on the label.

How do your products rate on the EWG (Environmental Working Group) safety data base?
Since EWG has started rating sunscreens, we have always been listed in the top 10 sunscreens, available in the U.S.  We have continued to innovate and formulate products that meet the highest safety standards, while providing the best protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays.

Why don’t you carry anything higher than an SPF 30?
The reality is, if applied properly, an SPF 30+ sunscreen is all anyone needs.  While higher SPF products provide slightly better protection (less than 1% in most cases), the trade-off is a formula with large amounts of chemical absorbers needed to reach levels of SPF 50 or greater.  In most cases, this trade-off is not worth the benefit. Those ingredients, at those concentrations, can lead to allergic reactions and also negatively impact the cosmetic feel of the product. In the near future Crown Laboratories, Inc. will be introducing a higher SPF line that focuses on the active segment but without the pitfalls discussed above.

How do I know that the sunscreen is offering UVA protection as well as UVB? 
Currently there are only three ingredients approved by the FDA that cover past the 370 nm baseline, needed to provide true broad-spectrum protection.  Those are Avobenzone, Mexoryl and Zinc Oxide. If you want true broad spectrum protection, look for those active ingredients in your sunscreen of choice.  In reality, however, make sure to ask if the product has been tested and has passed the UVA test showing coverage past 370 nm. Blue Lizard has and covers past 370 nm.

Most sunscreen burns my face, so I have to use fragrance free sensitive skin types on my arms & chest but cannot find a brand that does not burn sensitive facial skin. Any tips? 
You are in luck, Blue Lizard Face is an oil free formula designed specifically for daily use on the face, neck and hands.  It is formulated with Zinc Oxide and Octinoxate to provide SPF 30+ protection. It also contains three powerful antioxidants: Green Tea, Caffeine and Vitamin E.  Hyaluronic Acid is also included in the Blue Lizard Face formula, which is a powerful humectant, keeping your skin moisturized.  More importantly, is what Blue Lizard Face does not contain. It is paraben free, fragrance free and oil free. Used daily your face will see remarkable improvement in the fight against the signs of aging.

Is there a way to reduce the white residue some zinc based sunscreens leave behind? It can be especially bad when I’m running outside and I start to sweat. 
Always apply sunscreen to dry skin prior to activity. If possible, massage the sunscreen into the skin and let the product absorb into the skin for at least 20 minutes prior to activity. When reapplying make sure the skin is dry and you have stopped perspiring prior to reapplication.

Are your products safe to use on babies/toddlers?
Our products are safe and effective for children above the age of 6 months. For children under 6 months you should always ask your physician.

Do your sunscreens contain nano-particles? If so, is this a concern?
Nano-particles seem to be a hot button of late. There is no credible scientific evidence that should raise a concern regarding these particles. Blue Lizard uses micronized Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. These particles are coated to allow even dispersion on the skin, which provides superior protection without the white residue.

What are the most effective sunscreen components/things to look for in a sunscreen? 
The best sunscreens are those that provide a physical barrier from the sun while also staying on the skin during activity. Look for sunscreens that have passed UVA testing and that are free of ingredients that can cause allergic reactions.

Do your products use chemical sunscreen filters or only physical? 
Our Sensitive and Baby formulas are physical protection only (Zinc and Titanium), while the Regular, Sport and Face are a combination of physical and chemical absorbers.

What makes Blue Lizard different from other sunscreen? 
Blue Lizard has stayed true to its heritage by providing Australian grade sun protection. Australia’s standards of water resistance and UVA protection lead the world. Blue Lizard uses patented active minerals to provide the best natural reflective protection available. We also test our products for 240 minutes in whirlpooled water to ensure they stay on during activity.

Blue Lizard was a joint venture between Premium Pharmaceuticals (Sydney, Australia) and Crown Laboratories, Inc. (Johnson City, TN) that began in 1998.  The company set out to change the way people, at risk of skin cancer, protected their skin from harmful UV exposure.  All of the research, development and manufacturing is now done in Crown’s 180,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility in TN.

Shop Blue Lizard Sunscreen

Learn more about Blue Lizard on Facebook: www.facebook.com/bluelizardsunscreen
Learn more about sun protective clothing on Facebook: www.facebook.com/coolibar

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FDA Sunscreen Label Changes Postponed

Sunscreen Label Changes

Consumer, beware of misleading sunscreen labels in your local drug stores this summer. Last Friday (May 11, 2012) the Food and Drug Administration announced it will no longer force sunscreen manufactures to change their labels to better inform consumers by June 18, 2012. Manufactures now have until December 2012, a six month extension, and smaller manufactures will have as long as December 2013. The decision to extend the deadline stemmed from a concern that sunscreen demand would outweigh supply of sunscreen if bottles had to be removed from shelves due to inaccurate labeling. This gives sunscreen manufactures more time to change over to the new guidelines without diminishing supply.

Over the summer, expect to see labels that state “waterproof”, “sweatproof” or “sunblock”, even though dermatologists claim them to be misleading. Board Certified Dermatologist Jamie Davis, M.D, says, “No sunscreen blocks 100% of ultraviolet radiation from the sun, so calling it sunblock provides a false sense of security to consumers. Also, the SPF rating on sunscreen only rates UVB (burning) rays, not UVA (aging) rays. Consumers will need to look for labels that state ‘broad spectrum’ on the bottle for UVA and UVB protection and at least a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 plus to prevent sunburn and skin cancer.” On new labels, only sunscreens with an SPF 15 or higher that also pass a broad spectrum test will be able to claim “prevents skin cancer”. A mix of old and new labels will appear on the shelves throughout summer as some manufactures have already changed their labeling standards.

To protect skin, Dr. Davis recommends purchasing sunscreens that are SPF 30 or higher, broad spectrum and water or sweat-resistant. Also look for active ingredients zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. Apply at least a shot glass full to exposed skin (not applying enough is a common mistake). Continue to reapply throughout the day. For the best protection, members of the American Academy of Dermatology recommend using sun protective clothing as the primary form of protection in the sun including a wide brim hat, sunglasses and clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 50.

Disclaimer: The information provided by Coolibar and its contributors is general skin care information and should not be a substitute for obtaining medical advice from your physician and is not intended to diagnose or treat any specific medical problem.

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New FDA Sunscreen Guidelines Effective June 18th

Last summer (June 17th, 2011) the FDA published a final rule regarding labeling and effectiveness testing for over-the-counter sunscreen products, marketed without an approved application.  The final rule and compliance guidelines (listed below) are fast approaching and go into effect on Monday, June 18, 2012, which is only 8 weeks away.

Consumers need to be aware that there is some lag time between the effective date of the new guidelines and what is available at your local pharmacy or sunscreen retailer.   The FDA does not expect non-compliant products delivered or introduced prior to June 18, 2012, to be removed from the market.  Therefore, product delivered to customers, even if they are in the manufacturers’ warehouse prior to the effective date, can continue to be shipped and sold.  For products with annual sales of less than $25,000, the compliance date is extended to June 17, 2013.

Sunscreen in combination with other measures, including sun protective clothing can help prevent skin cancer and early skin aging.  The new requirements are intended to assist consumers in making informed purchasing decisions and to avoid overvaluing the radiation protection provided by certain sunscreen products.   For the greatest protection from your sunscreen, look for the following:

Broad Spectrum – indicates protection from UVA

Minimum of SPF 15 – indicates protection from UVB the sunburn causing rays (SPF does not give any indication of UVA protection).

The final rule includes the following requirements:

  • Water resistance claims on the principal display panel must specify either 40 or 80 minutes of effectiveness while swimming or sweating, based on testing.  “Waterproof,” “sweatproof,” and “sunblock” claims are not permitted.
  • Claims that the product, in combination with other sun protection measure, reduces the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging are permitted only for broad spectrum products with SPF 15 and higher, and those concepts may also be reflected in the “Use” sections of these products’ Drug Facts boxes.  Non-broad spectrum products and product with SPF values below 15 can only claim to prevent sunburn and must include a skin cancer/skin aging warning.
  • All sunscreen products, including all cosmetic products making an SPF claim, must include the standard Drug Facts information.  The only exception to his requirement under the final rule is the standard “small package” reduced labeling permitted by the Drug Facts rule.

Learn more about labeling requirements from our post FDA Updates Sunscreen Regulations.

Learn more about top rated sunscreens from the Environmeal Working Group.

Learn more about Coolibar Suncreens, which are all Broad Spectrum and SPF 30 or higher.

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