New sunscreen labeling rules take affect in June
A new sunscreen labeling rule will take effect in June, requiring sunscreen manufacturers to use labels with simplified language to help consumers better understand what they are buying.
Dermatologists at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center are happy with the Food and Drug Administration’s new changes.
“This is good news because choosing the right sunscreen — and applying it correctly — can help protect your skin from harmful UV rays that can cause skin cancer,” said Carol Drucker, M.D., associate professor at MD Anderson’s Department of Dermatology, in the press release.
The new labels will prohibit companies from labeling sunscreen as “sunblock,” since no product completely protects users from the sun.
Sunscreen labels will also have to be clear about the sun protection factor (SPF) on the product, plainly stating whether or not the product can protect from skin cancer or aging or simply prevent sunburns.
Broad-spectrum sunscreens will have to provide equal protection against both of the sun’s radiation types, UVB rays and UVA rays. Claims that a product is “waterproof” and “sweatproof” will have to be changed to “water resistant.” Finally, sunscreens can no longer claim to provide “instant protection” or protect skin for more than two hours unless approved by the FDA.
“Even after these changes go into effect, the single most important factor in picking a sunscreen is finding one you like,” Drucker said in the press release. “To really protect your skin, you should apply one ounce of sunscreen — the size of a golf ball — to every part of your body exposed to the sun. That includes your ears, feet and back of the neck.”
For more information about sun safety, visit www.mdanderson.org/focused.
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