Today I’ll talk about the very important new FDA sunscreen regulations…
But first, I want to give you all a very sincere and heartfelt thanks for the outpouring of support and excitement in the comments section of the BeautyRx episode. To express my appreciation, I’ll be doing some giveaways in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.
But back to the new FDA sunscreen regulations…
Choosing skincare products is very complicated and sunscreens are no exception. But I’m happy to tell you that after decades of delay, the FDA finally acted last week to make sunscreen labeling at least a little less confusing. The changes, which take effect in a year, prevent sunscreen manufactures from making misleading claims concerning both the degree of sun protection offered by the sunscreen as well as whether it’s waterproof.
The waterproof issue is easy since no sunscreen is waterproof. Sunscreen manufacturers are now prohibited from claiming their products are waterproof or sweat proof, which makes sense since no sunscreen is either waterproof or sweat proof… not even mine! Instead, they will be allowed to claim for how long… in minutes… the product is water resistant.
But more important is the regulations pertaining to the degree of protection. As you’ve heard me say in dozens of episodes of DermTV, choose a sunscreen with an SPF of between 15 and 30. That’s because below an SPF of 15, you don’t get adequate protection. Finally the FDA agrees. Now only those sunscreens with an SPF of at least 15 can claim that they reduce the risks of skin cancer and premature skin aging, as well as helping to prevent sunburn. If the SPF is less than 15, it can still claim to help prevent sunburn, which it does, but it no longer can make any claim about reducing the risk of skin cancer or reducing premature skin aging.
Unfortunately, the one place that these regulations can’t help is with the most common reason why people don’t get adequate protection from sunscreens… Which is that most people just don’t use enough. So the new regulations will make labels easier to understand so you have better chances of getting effective sun protection, and for an easy and brief demonstration of how to get the full rated protection from your sunscreen, check out DermTV episodes 11, How to Properly Apply Sunscreen, and 196, How Much Sunscreen to Put On.