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What are the FDA’s guidelines for sunscreen labels?

The FDA has determined that consumers need far more clarification when it comes to what these products can do. So if you buy a product for sun protection, look for the following:

Broad spectrum—In order to claim this, a product must contain a certain percentage of blocking agent that reduces exposure to both UVA and UVB rays, so you have some protection against wrinkling/aging and skin cancers.

SPF—If the SPF of a product is 15 or less, it will now have to indicate that because of this lower number, it has not been shown to protect against skin cancer.  Remember that SPF represents the product’s ability to protect against skin’s reddening or burning for “x” amount of time.

Use as directed will now be spelled out—Use an ounce at least each time you apply to your body; apply 15 minutes prior to sun exposure; re-apply every two hours if you’re dry, otherwise follow the specific guidelines if you get wet.

Waterproof can no longer be used—It can say water-resistant for “x” amount of time with a recommendation of re-application intervals.

Look for some indication that the product you use is now following the new guidelines.

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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.