PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Food and Drug Administration unveiled new guidelines to standardize sunscreen labels. They hope to make it easier for consumers to know how much sun protection they are getting.
No more SPF numbers higher than 50—unless there’s proof of better sun protection. That’s just one of the changes in the new FDA sunscreen regulations.
“It can be confusing with all the brands out there,” said Jason Flamendorf, a consumer.
Also going will be what the FDA calls “exaggerations of performance,” words like “waterproof,” “sweat-proof” and “sunblock.”
“Because we don’t want to give the false impression that complete sun protection it provided,” said Dr. Janet Woodcock, with the FDA. The FDA is now requiring manufacturers to test for both types of ultraviolet rays, UVA rays that can lead to cancer and UVB that cause sunburn.
“You need broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection that will protect you against aging as well as skin cancer,” said Dr. Ellen Marmur, a dermatologist.
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Sunscreens that are not broad spectrum or with an SPF under 15 will have to carry new warning labels that say they only help prevent sunburns, not skin cancer or aging.
“They help consumers make a more informed choice,” said Jason.
Until the new FDA regulations go into effect next year, the best advice for this summer is to use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 that guards against both UVA and UVB rays.
For more on the FDA’s sunscreen guidelines, click here.
Reported by Stephanie Stahl, CBS3