On sunscreen labels, what does water resistant mean?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
No sunscreen is truly waterproof, and FDA rules announced in 2011 ban manufacturers from making that claim. Manufacturers may use the term "water resistant" if the sunscreen has been proven to remain effective in water for a certain time period, usually 40 or 80 minutes, based on standardized testing. According to the FDA rules, sunscreen labels must indicate how long you can wear the product while swimming or sweating before you need to reapply.

Sunscreens that are not water resistant must recommend on the label that you use a water resistant sunscreen when swimming or sweating.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.