So for the second momentous time in the ten years I have been an esthetician, the FDA is attempting to change their guidelines for sunscreens. A few years ago, they made a big to do about it…and then never followed through. I imagine the lobbying power against consumer advocacy is immense.
The big date is June 18th, 2012!
In any case, I’m hoping to shed some light (no pun intended!) on these changes coming our way. According to the FDA,
#1 The highest SPF protection that may be published is a 50. Remember that SPF only refers to the damage caused by the UVB rays. Which brings me to…
#2 Sunscreens that protect our skin from both UVA and UVB rays will be labeled “Broad Spectrum.” This is so important! Buy only broad spectrum protection.
#3 Sunscreens may not be labeled as a “sunblock,” as “waterproof,” or “sweatproof.” Any claims of water resistance will be backed up by studies and listed on the labeling. For example, Tizo has been tested to be water resistant for 80 minutes in the water.
#5 Sunscreens must include a standard “Drug Facts” box on the outer packaging. This allows you to quickly identify which ingredients are providing sun protection and at what percentage.
Now, the only last sticking point that I know of is in regards to Mineral Powder Makeup. I guess it was not an existing product when the FDA created their lists way back when (in the 30’s?), and so it is not recognized as SPF now. To my understanding, mineral makeup will not have SPF ratings listed although their existing formulations and protection are not any different.
I’m a huge promoter of sun smarts! You can find various high quality sunscreens at Purely Skin. Please send me your questions about this topic.
Keep tuned as I’ll start to expand on some of the points listed above!