FDA Issues New Guidelines For Sunscreen Labeling

DENVER (CBS4) This summer will bring new guidelines for labeling sunscreen. While long sleeves, long pants and hats offer the best protection, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to make it easier to choose the right protection.

Don’t expect a change in the actual product. “The ingredients are the same,” explained Dr. Theresa Pacheco with the University of Colorado Hospital. “It’s the just labels are going to be uniform.”

That means labels will have a number between 15 and 50 for the best UVB protection.

Manufacturers won’t be able to make claims their products are sunblocks nor can they say they are sweat-proof or water-proof.

However, labels can say “water resistant” but they must include how much time a user can spend in the water, either 40 or 80 minutes.

And the labels will also give more information about the protection the creams and lotions provide, specifically if it is broad spectrum.

“Broad spectrum assures to the consumer that not only are you protected against the UVB light but also the UVA light,” Pacheco said. “That’s the one that goes deeper and causes aging and cancer.”

The idea is to make sure users know how to stop skin problems by getting the right products off the shelf and making sure they are using them properly, that means re-applying sunscreen regularly.

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