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New Sunscreen Labeling for 2013

By Michele Blacksberg RN HERWriter
 
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New Sunscreen Labeling for 2013 2 5 5
2013 sunscreen labeling updates
Auremar/PhotoSpin

Sunscreen guidelines were finally revised for 2012 by the FDA to reflect changes that have been in progress for over 20 years. However, due to difficulties on the part of sunscreen manufacturers in making the revisions in time for last summer, the mandated changes were extended until December 2012.

This summer, sunscreens are expected to meet the new guidelines. That means, any sunscreen made before December 2012 may not reflect the new requirements in their labeling. In fact, my drug store still has some older labeled products on the shelves so make sure you take a close look before buying.

Here are the standards which new sunscreens labeling must meet:

1. Broad Spectrum:

Any sunscreen that carries a “broad spectrum” designation means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. An SPF 15 rating only indicates the protection level against UVB rays.

The proposed regulation states that the labeling should not be allowed to claim an SPF above 50 so that the highest rating will be SPF 50+.

People mistakenly believe that an SPF 30 rating gives twice as much sun protection as an SPF 15 and an SPF 50 offers more than three times that much. This is untrue.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, SPF 15 sunscreens filter out 93 percent of UVB rays, while SPF 30 protects against 97 percent and SPF 50 98 percent.

2. Use Claim:

Only products that are broad spectrum and have a SPF 15 and above may state, “If used as directed with other sun protection measures, this product reduces the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging, as well as helps prevent sunburn.” Sunscreen manufacturers have never before been able to make this claim.

Sunscreen with a SPF of 2-14 rating cannot claim protection against skin cancer or early aging, only that they protect against sunburn.

3. Waterproof, Sweatproof and Sunblock claims:

Sunscreens can no longer claim to be sweatproof or waterproof. Nor can a sunscreen claime to be a sunblock.

Add a Comment1 Comments

Jenny Housh HERWriter

Hey Michelle,

Great article! We wanted to let you know you were featured in the EmpowHER weekly newsletter! 

You can see it here:

tinyurl.com/d9g7y89

Talk to you soon!

May 16, 2013 - 2:11pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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