New regulations for sunscreen products

 The FDA is completing sunscreen label changes designed to give consumers a better idea of the sun protection they’re getting.

The highpoints

  • Sunscreens will be subjected to lab and human skin tests using a standardized sun simulator.
  • Manufacturers must provide information on the amount of ultraviolet A (UVA) screening provided by their products.
    • UVA rays don’t cause sunburn, but contribute to skin cancer and sun-related skin aging.
  • Manufacturers will be prohibited from claiming sun protection factors (SPF) of more than 50+.
    • Very high SPF sunscreens will disappear from stores.
    • Although manufacturers might challenge this one.
  • The terms “sunblock,” “waterproof,” “sweat-proof,” and “all-day protection” will no longer be allowed on sunscreen labels.

The bottom line?
The FDA has also proposed a 4-star rating system to classify sunscreens.

Sunscreen manufacturers will have a year to 18 months after the new rules are enacted to make the label changes or provide scientific evidence justifying a higher SPF rating.

5/26/09 15:11 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.