Sunscreen Labels Get a Facelift Due to New FDA Standards
Does your sunscreen meet the new requirements?
Is it already springtime? Colorful tulip displays and fresh air compel the little ones to tear through the doors and soak up the sunshine. With warm weather here the playground is teaming with excited children who can’t wait to go exploring. And that’s why it’s so important that everyone remembers to wear their sunscreen everyday.
Whether you live in Philadelphia, St. Louis or San Bernardino, the spring and summer months prompt all of us to slather on the sunscreen and reapply it every two hours. While you already know the two hour rule, now it’s part of the new FDA June 2012 sunscreen guidelines that will become effective June 18, 2012.
New FDA standards do more than protect the consumers’ skin— they protect consumers from slippery advertising claims that may not hold much truth, according to David Erickson, president of Rocky Mountain Sunscreen. “We have waited a long time and are glad to see these changes coming from the FDA. It clarifies and substantiates the safety of today’s sunscreen ingredients and eliminates a lot of false marketing claims that had no formal FDA testing criteria,” Erickson says.
Banned marketing terms include: All day protection, instant protection, waterproof, sweatproof, and sunblock. New FDA guidelines have ultimately redefined sunscreen. Take Broad Spectrum sunscreen, which is a classification reserved for products that protect skin from both UVA and UVB rays. Under new FDA guidelines, sunscreens labeled as Broad Spectrum and with at least 15 SPF may advertise that when used as directed, along with additional sun protection, (hats, sunglasses and/or long sleeves) it may help prevent premature aging and minimize skin cancer risks.
Non-broad spectrum sunscreens or the broad spectrum products with less than 15 SPF must place a warning on the label that says: “The product has not been shown to help prevent skin cancer or early skin aging,” according to an FDA press release.
New regulations and testing helps consumers weed out inferior products, says Erickson. Not all sunscreens will meet the FDA guidelines needed for the Broad Spectrum category, for example. That’s their choice. But which product would you rather have on your skin? Want one with a full range of protection (UVA and UVB rays) or one that only protects skin partially? Products that meet FDA standards for Broad Spectrum and use high quality ingredients will simply offer better protection when you’re having fun on the golf course, on the playground or in the sand, says Erickson.
Need a little proof? Now the FDA requires sunscreen manufacturers to put products to the test—literally.
To make it a little easier for you to sift through the new FDA guidelines, Rocky Mountain Sunscreen has summarized some of the key points you might want to consider before placing sunscreen renewal orders.
- Broad Spectrum Sunscreen—signifies that products protect the skin from both UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreens must go through rigorous testing standards that meet FDA regulations.
- Water Resistant Formulas—must now specify the protection factor in terms of minutes. Watch for Water Resistant 40 minutes and 80 minutes, among the different sunscreen varieties on the market.
- Drug Facts Box—now listed on all products with SPF 15 and greater
- Prohibited Marketing Claims—All day protection, Waterproof, sweatproof, sunblock and instant protection.
- UVB-SPF Connection—SPF values protect skin from UVB rays which cause sunburn.
- Sunscreen—your best defense against wrinkles and skin cancer--Sunscreen manufacturers who meet FDA standards (products with both Broad Spectrum and SPF 15) can use the following FDA approved statement, “When used as directed, this sunscreen helps prevent skin cancer and early skin aging.”
- Combined with other sun protection, sunscreen saves lives—Always wear hats, sunglasses and sun safety clothing with outside activities.
Information provided courtesy of Rocky Mountain Sunscreen.Rocky Mountain Sunscreen manufactures skin care products such as broad spectrum and water resistant sunscreens, lip balms and insect repellants. To ensure our products exceed the new FDA standards, company President David Erickson, says they’ve manufactured broad spectrum sunscreen with 400 nanometers of UVA protection.
12 | THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHILD CARE PROFESSIONALS | Spring 2012 Issue