I just watched this clip on The Today show, as they discussed the new laws when it comes to sunscreen! Starting in the summer of 2012, the packaging on sunblock will look MUCH different.
One thing that stood out in the video above is that the FDA says that we “under use” sunblock. That adults should be wearing a golf ball-sized amount of sunblock while in the sun. And not only that – it needs to be reapplied every 2 hours! That’s crazy to me! I can’t believe we have to use that much – and that often!
Here we’ve broken down the new, stricter FDA sunscreen guidelines for you:
*Sunscreen manufacturers will have to follow stricter guidelines when describing how well their products block ultraviolet B rays.
*Sunscreens that don’t protect against both ultraviolet A and B rays and have a sun protection factor, or SPF, below 15 will have to carry warning label: “This product has been shown only to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early skin aging.”
*FDA will also prohibit sunscreen marketing claims like “waterproof” and “sweatproof,” which the agency said “are exaggerations of performance.”
*Products that protect against UVA and UVB will be labeled “broad spectrum.” In an effort to clear up the confusing mix of numbers, acronyms and symbols on sunscreen labels, the FDA says manufacturers must phase out a four-star system currently used by some companies to rate UVA protection.
*Only sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher can claim to lower the risk of cancer. The FDA also proposed capping the highest SPF value at 50, unless companies can provide results of further testing that support a higher number. Some products on the market claim to offer SPF protection of a 100 or higher.
Last year an estimated 68,130 people in the U.S. were diagnosed with melanoma – the most dangerous form of skin cancer – and an estimated 8,700 died, according to the National Cancer Institute. Nearly $2 billion is spent treating the disease each year.