The FDA’s new sunscreen labeling regulations take effect this summer. Announced last year, FDA is hoping this labeling overhaul will help users make more informed decisions about choosing the right sun protection. (Here’s a link to FDA’s answers to frequently asked questions on the topic.)
Here’s a round up of the changes we’ll be seeing because of the new regulations:
- Only sunscreens that block both UVA and UVB rays can be labeled “broad-spectrum“
- Only broad-spectrum sunscreens with SPF 15 or higher can claim to reduce the risk of skin cancer of early skin aging. Products with lower SPFs can only claim to prevent sunburn.
- Sunscreens cannot be labeled “waterproof” or “sweatproof,” or be called “sunblocks,” since the FDA feels these labels overstate the product’s effectiveness.
- If sunscreens claim to be water resistant, they must state for how long it will be resistant while swimming or sweating, based on standard testing.
- All sunscreens must now include a Drug Facts panel on the label, including moisturizers and cosmetics.
We hope that these new regulations will indeed make it easier for consumers to choose their sunscreen. Ask a Pharmaca practitioner if you have further questions about the new labeling.