At the end of 2012, the new Food and Drug Administration’s regulation for sunscreen labeling finally went into effect. What does it actual entail?
Well for one thing, only sunscreen that offers protection against both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays can be labeled as “Broad Spectrum.” It’s important to use choose sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB. In the past, sunscreens primarily focused on UVB protection which is designated by SPF or sun protection factor. This is because sunburns are primarily the result of UVB rays. BUT, we now know that BOTH UVA and UVB can contribute to sunburns, skin cancer, and premature skin aging.
Secondly, manufacturer’s cannot make claims that their product will reduce the risk of skin cancer or early skin aging unless they have an SPF of 15 or higher. Products with SPF less than 15 must have a warning that states it has NOT been show to prevent skin cancer or early skin aging.
I am excited about these new ruling, as I think this will help consumers find the right product to protect themselves from the harmful rays of the sun. Even better, I always advocate for limiting our sun exposure by staying in the shade and wearing sun protective clothing!