Reporting Justin Udo
By Justin Udo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Tis the season to buy sunblock and you might notice the bottles are presented a little differently this year.
There are several changes to how sunscreens are labeled. Under new FDA regulations companies can’t label their sunscreens as “waterproof” or “sun block.”
The SPF number now tells you how long the product will protect you from UVB-rays. These are the ultraviolet rays that are the main culprit for causing skin cancer.
Dr. Antony Benedetto, a dermatologist on staff at the University of Pennsylvania, says the change is a step in the right direction.
“They’re trying to make sense for the public, to make it simple for them. But I think they’ve fallen a little short with the designation on the labels,” he tells KYW Newsradio.
He says that when picking a sunscreen, consumers need to take their time and read the small print before deciding what’s best for them.
Wearing sun protection is also important on cloudy days. Dr. Benedetto says the sun’s rays are being filtered through the clouds, so certain waves the sun makes that burn the skin more than others, are the main ones getting through the clouds.
“It’s really more important on cloudy days to apply sunscreens. The cloud cover is making a person feel cool but they’re getting burned more so because they’re being fooled.”
He says on cloudy days people tend to stay outside longer because they don’t feel that immediate threat from the sun — they are not sensing that heat that they would have if it was full sun.