The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced new regulations for labeling of sunscreen products. Look for products labeled "Broad Spectrum" for protection against both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Both UVB and UVA radiation contribute to sunburn, skin cancer, and premature skin aging. Sunburn is primarily caused by UVB radiation.
Under the new labeling, sunscreens labeled as both Broad Spectrum and SPF 15 (or higher), if used regularly, as directed, and in combination with other sun protection measures will help prevent sunburn, reduce the risk of skin cancer, and reduce the risk of early skin aging.
Products that have SPF values between 2 and 14 may be labeled as Broad Spectrum if they pass the required test, but only products that are labeled both as Broad Spectrum with SPF values of 15 or higher may state that they reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging, when used as directed.
Any product that is not Broad Spectrum, or that is Broad Spectrum but has an SPF between 2 to 14, will be required to have a warning stating that the product has not been shown to help prevent skin cancer or early skin aging.
View more information for consumers on the FDA labeling requirements for sunscreens here:http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm258416.htm
The FDA has a series of videos on sunscreens. Click here to view the FDA YouTube Channel.