The FDA is requiring changes to how sunscreens are marketed
within the United States. This is to ensure that the products
marketed meet the standards and safety expectations of the
consumer. Some of the key areas the FDA is requiring include
specific testing and label changes:
• Protection against UVA and UVB radiation – If product
passes the requirements, the label will mention “Broad
Spectrum”. This label language claims to reduce the risk of
skin cancer and early skin aging if used properly.
• SPF values – Products will be tested to determine necessary
value. The SPF value maximum will top out at 50. Any values
that exceed the 50 mark will be labeled as 50+. Non-Broad
Spectrum sunscreens and Broad Spectrum sunscreens with
an SPF value between 2 and 14 can only claim to help
• Water resistance – Waterproof or sweatproof can no
longer be claimed on a label. The future label-claims can
only mention water resistance. With the test requirements,
product has to claim it remains effective for 40 – 80 minutes
while swimming or sweating, based on the specific testing
requirements of the FDA.
The FDA requires all product labels to be updated by
June 18, 2012. As we continue to get closer to this date, you’ll
see different manufacturers updating labels. Please note that this
date is only specific to the manufacturers. Product already for sale
in a warehouse, in a distribution center or on retail shelves can
continue to be sold. For more information, please visit the FDA
website at www.fda.gov/sunscreen.
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