After 33 years of consideration – yes, you heard right — the Food and Drug Administration earlier this week announced significant new sunscreen guidelines.
The new guidelines in place are meant to help people decide how to buy and use sunscreen, and allow them to more effectively protect themselves and their families from sun-induced damage. A few of the new rules to go in effect in a year include:
- Look for “Broad Spectrum” protection. Sunscreens must protect equally against two kinds of the sun’s radiation, UVB and UVA, to earn the coveted designation of offering “broad spectrum” protection.
- Waterproof and sweatproof don’t mean anything. Sunscreen manufacturers cannot claim their products are waterproof or sweatproof because these claims are false.
- Use sunscreens with SPF 15 or higher. Only sunscreens that have a sun protection factor, or SPF, of 15 or higher, will be allowed to say that they help prevent sunburn and reduce the risks of skin cancer and early skin aging.
The FDA said it has yet to decide whether sunscreens with SPF of higher than 50 should be taken off the market since currently, there is not enough data to show that they actually provide more protection than SPF 50. The issue is currently open for public comment.
What do you think? Will these changes help you make better decisions about your sunscreen purchases?
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