You’ve heard me say many times that because no sunscreen is waterproof, it must be reapplied every 2 to 3 hours and immediately after swimming or sweating. Well, now you don’t have to just take my word for it: The FDA agrees, and we know this because in the new sunscreen regulations, that were issued last month, sunscreens can no longer be labeled as “waterproof". They can however be called water resistant, if they meet specific criteria. In today’s episode of DermTV, I’m going to discuss that criteria but first I wanted to make a quick comment.
As I’ve said before, I’ve been truly overwhelmed by the response to BeautyRx Skincare. In fact, I’ve been getting lots of questions about products in episode comments. In an attempt to keep it separate from DermTV, I’m going to start doing live, streaming-video BeautyRx Q&A sessions called BeautyRx Live. And today will be the first, at 3pm eastern standard time, over at BeautyRx.com slash Live.
But back to water resistant sunscreens…
To be labeled as water resistant, the manufacturer must demonstrate in standardized sunscreen lab tests that the level of sun protection claimed for the product is still effective after the skin it's been applied to is immersed in water for either 40 or 80 minutes, depending on how long they say it’s water resistant for.
So this begs a question. If you’re swimming for only 10 minutes, after having properly applied a water resistant sunscreen rated at 40 minutes, do you need to reapply the sunscreen as soon as you dry off?
And you thought this was going to be easy?
You see, there's no way to compare how much agitation of the water there was in the FDA test compared to your activity or agitation in the water. The more agitation or activity there is, the faster something dissolves off. So if you’re splashing a lot and very active in the water, your sunscreen may not really last 40 minutes. Also, how much sunscreen did you wipe off when you toweled off to dry.
Bottom line. I can’t tell you, and no one can tell you exactly when your sunscreen is going to fail or stop working after swimming, soooooooooo….
Just reapply it after you swim to stay safe and protected.
And FYI… The new FDA regulations will become effective in 1 year for most sunscreen manufacturers and 2 years for smaller companies.