FDA Sunscreen labeling changes! June 2012

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.

And lastly,

#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!


Fresh Ideas for Hydration

Hydration for the body and skin has been hard to come by this winter.  We’ve experienced freezing temperatures, snow, and wind over the last two months leading us into long hours inside with forced heat working overtime.  And we are thankful for that heat!

We all have been trained to drink water to increase hydration.  We carry water bottles everywhere.  Eight eight ounce glasses a day to drink minimum…and more if we drink coffee or alcoholic beverages or exercise.   And yet, for many of us, our skin is still dry.

So here are a couple of fresh ideas.  Do your work both inside and out.

  • Eat juicy fruits and vegetables.  It turns out and just makes sense that the fiber found in juicy fruits and vegetables provides a slow release of water into our body as it digests. The best example I came across was watermelon.
  • Chia seeds were another surprise to me as a source of hydration.  From what I understand, these are even being used by athletes to maintain hydration during extreme atheletic events such a marathons.  The chia seeds create a gel during digestion, again providing a slow and steady release of fluid through the body.  Its purported to have little flavor and is easily added into our diet in our food or eaten on their own.
  • Use topicals boosting water levels in the skin, like Hyaluronic Acid, which holds 1,000 times its weight in water!  Even oily skin can be dehydrated.
  • Then follow it with an emollient moistuizer that will create a barrier for the skin and hold in that hydration.  Oils and salves in heavier moisturizers prevent evaporation of water through the skin.  You can even add a couple of drops to your favorite lotions and creams to increase that barrier on the skin.

Our skin is the last of the organs in our body to receive moisture and nutrients.  Feed your body well and apply effective skincare products for your needs.

My top picks from Purely Skin are Dermist, a pure hyaluronic acid serum, or Eminence’s new Firm Mask which contains marshmallow root to lock in hydration. Facials are an excellent remedy!