It’s officially Summer (can you tell by this LA heatwave?) and things are going to look a little different in the sunblock aisle….because starting this season, THERE IS NO SUNBLOCK AISLE.
WHAT? How DARE “they” get rid of the sunblock aisle! S-p-F THEM.
Wait! It’s a GOOD thing…
This month, the FDA’s new labeling regulations kick in, so buying sunscreen will be more of a snap.
NO MORE SUNBLOCKS:
The FDA has decided the term “sunblock” is too misleading since no sunscreen can block 100 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. All products will simply be called sunscreens from now on. SNAP.
Also 86’ed are the words “waterproof,” “sweatproof,” and “all-day protection.” SNAP.
Any water resistance claims on the product’s front label must tell how much time a user can expect to get the SPF level of protection while swimming or sweating. Two times are allowed – 40 minutes and 80 minutes. Okay, I’ll stop writing SNAP after each thing. I’m over it. Don’t ask me how they decided those two times over others.
Product labels can’t say “instant protection” – (nor should you think you are instantly protected once you slather on your sunscreen – definitely apply 30 minutes before going out into the sun.)
NO MORE SPF 100:
Remember your spinning head not too far back from seeing all the products that were SPF 70, SPF 90, and even SPF 100? It was mind melting! Well POOF, those puppies are GONE. The FDA has decided that “SPF 50+” will be the highest rating allowed on a product.
The FDA website states: “FDA does not have adequate data demonstrating that products with SPF values higher than 50 provide additional protection compared to products with SPF values of 50.”
THANK YOU. In my opinion, those high double digit and triple digit SPF numbers were the sunscreen manufacturers preying on our FEAR of cancer AND giving consumers a false sense of protection.
The FDA will allow an SPF of higher than 50 if the company can prove that a product provides more protection than SPF 50. That’s right, no more willy nilly claims – now they have to BACK IT UP.
Also under the new rules, sunscreen products that protect against all types of sun-induced skin damage will be labeled “Broad Spectrum” and “SPF 15” (or higher) on the front.
Products with an SPF lower than 15 and those that don’t meet “broad-spectrum” criteria will be labeled with THIS:
“Skin Cancer/Skin Aging Alert: Spending time in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. This product has been shown only to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early skin aging.”
THAT’S a mouthful.
Well, FDA, good start. Now if you can get off your butts and BAN harmful ingredients from sunscreen like the chemical oxybenzone!
And let’s get BPA (bisphenol A) out of the lining of canned goods!
I digress: Here’s what the FDA posted on their website about safe sun:
The FDA’s Sun Safety Tips
Spending time in the sun increases the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. To reduce this risk, consumers should regularly use sun protection measures including:
Use sunscreens with broad spectrum SPF values of 15 or higher regularly and as directed.
Limit time in the sun, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun’s rays are most intense.
Wear clothing to cover skin exposed to the sun; for example, long-sleeved shirts, pants, sunglasses, and broad-brimmed hats.
Reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours, more often if you’re sweating or jumping in and out of the water.
And finally, an “LA” tip from me: one round of SPF 15, then another round of SPF 15 do NOT equal SPF 30.
~The Anti-Aging Analyst