FDA Announces New Sunscreen Regulations

Posted by June 14, 2011 7:20 pm

Melanoma statistics have been on the rise and are getting downright scary. Currently, one American dies of the disease every single hour equaling a staggering 3.5 million cases of skin cancer diagnosed in the U.S. every year. Skin cancer is also the most common cancer for women who are in their early twenties, even though there have been incessant warnings about the disease from dermatologists, press (me!) and our loved ones.

This morning, the FDA spoke up as well. They held a press conference to announce new regulations for the sunscreen industry. Below are a few of the major changes that will be coming soon, and what they will mean for you.

  • SPFs may be capped at 50 soon.

Due to the fact that there still isn’t enough data to prove that SPFs over 50 offer greater protection, the FDA may put a cap on sunscreens. Experts often say that the larger numbers wind up giving consumers a higher sense of security and lead to less frequent applications (which obviously results in less protection).

  • The multiple terms used on SPF bottles will go away, such as sunblock, waterproof and sweatproof.

These are also being eliminated due to the false sense of protection. Any sunscreens that are currently labeled waterproof or sweatproof will be labeled “water resistant” in the future. But even better, they will also list how long you can wear the SPF until you need to reapply.

  • They promise more accurate labeling in the near future.

Currently sunscreens are able to claim a high SPF which measures UVB protection but could claim low UVA protections. Once the regulations have been changed, sunscreens must contain proportional broad spectrum protection.

  • Sunscreens have been tested, and ruled as safe.

Sunscreens have recently come into question for containing nanoparticles, so the FDA conducted its own investigation on animals (um, excuse me?) but found that the nanoparticles in zinc oxide and titanium oxide actually don’t penetrate your skin and are perfectly safe.

[Daily Beauty Reporter]

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  1. Eva says:

    It’s odd that in Europe, we don’t hear all that much about skincancer and such, in fact, our healthorganization in the Netherlands (though, keep in mind this is a cold and rainy country in general) is now saying you should get 10-15 minutes of unprotected sun exposure everyday for your vitamin D levels and preferably between 12 and 3 pm, otherwise it won’t be effective. Also, no one would think of putting on sunscreen in the winter or when it’s cloudy, really no one.

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