I tend to distrust new guidelines. They are often painfully bureaucratic and tend to makes things less understandable and more expensive–eg food pyramid to food plate But these new FDA sunscreen guidelines make good sense. Whoever came up with these revisions, decided to focus on five important areas:
1. The term “Broad Spectrum”- this means that the sunscreen protects against against both UVA rays ( which cause skin aging) and UV B rays ( which produce tanning)– and both cause skin cancer. Currently there are no guidelines as to what this has to mean for a product. The new guidelines requires thatfor a sunscreen to be broad spectrum it must contain agents that provide protection against both types of rays and to state that degree of protection on the label. So you might see a label that says SPF15 for UVA and 20SPF for UVB. I thinks its more likely that the manufacturers will provide equal protection against both rays.
2. Sunscreens will now have to provide at least a 15 SPF in order to make sun protection claims.
3. A suncreen cannot have more than a 50SPFplus since these higher numbers may not offer more protection and can give consumers a misleading sense of security in the sun.
4. Suncreens can no longer claim they are water resistant, sweat-proof and waterproof without studies that demonstrate its effectiveness. ( and I had thought they had already had done that)
5. Products can no longer call themselves sunblocks because it can convey a too strong sense of protection.
Keep in mind that these regulations won’t go into effect for 12 months. I don’t think that the upcoming regulations will effect what you are currently using. However it has made me more aware that I need to try to use more sunscreen and apply more frequently. In the morning I apply sunscreen on face, hands and neck. I also now carry a small tube of Cetaphil UVA/UVB Defense SPF50 in my purse. Its oil and fragrance free and I slather it again on my neck and hands sometime during the day.
I’m probably not the poster child for sun protection, but I am certainly more mindful in my daily useage. How often do you reapply sunscreen? Do you reapply it to your face and then redo make-up?