New FDA Regulations Regarding Sunscreen

By: Mona Green

New labeling and testing requirements are effective for all sunscreen products;

Many common phrases used on sunscreen products, such as sunblock, waterproof, or prevents skin cancer are no longer permitted by the United States FDA. Furthermore, specific testing must be done for each sunscreen before other claims about the products UVA and UVB protection can be made.

This should dramatically improve the quality and claims of all sunscreens which have been very confusing and misleading to the public in the past.

The formula for figuring what SPF means is as follows:

SPF15 means each person’s MED (maximum exposure direct sunlight before burning) x 15

So if you burn in 20 minutes in the sun, your sunscreen protection of SPF15 is 15 x 20 minutes which equals 300 minutes or 5 hours protection. After 5 hours you would need to reapply, of course immediately if you come in contact with water or experience sweating.

You see very quickly how sunscreens of SPF 50 and higher become almost silly (50×20=1000.00 min. or 16 hours and 40 minutes). They offer longer coverage but less than 1% additional protection.

As we begin to dream about sunny days, it’s important to remember that UV ray exposure happens every day with any daylight regardless of rain or snow or cloudy days. SPF protection should be part of our daily routine after every washing in order to slow down the effects of sun exposure aging and sun exposure skin problems.

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