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FDA Regulations Are Changing Sunscreen Labels For the Better.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is taking steps to help protect consumers from skin damage caused by excessive sun exposure. To help consumers quickly locate information they need to make informed choices when selecting sunscreens, the FDA has instituted new testing measures to determine a product’s effectiveness, along with labeling requirements that reflect those results.

To help consumers select and use sunscreens appropriately, the final regulations include these additional labeling provisions:

  • Sunscreen products that are not broad spectrum or that are broad spectrum with SPF values from 2 to14 will be labeled with a warning that reads: “Skin Cancer/Skin Aging Alert:  Spending time in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. This product has been shown only to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early skin aging.” 

  • Water resistance claims on the product's front label must tell how much time a user can expect to get the declared SPF level of protection while swimming or sweating, based on standard testing. Two times will be permitted on labels: 40 minutes or 80 minutes.

  • Manufacturers cannot make claims that sunscreens are “waterproof” or “sweatproof” or identify their products as “sunblocks.”   Also, sunscreens cannot claim protection immediately on application (for example, “instant protection”) or protection for more than two hours without reapplication, unless they submit data and get approval from FDA.

Look for Ocean Potion products featuring new FDA-approved labels beginning in January 2013.