The FDA is proposing a major overhaul on all things SPF related. This is slated to take effect this summer. The new FDA regulations will force products to disclose the protection level against each type of radiation. UVA leads to skin cancer and premature aging. UVB causes sunburn. SPF currently only measures UVB protection. The higher the SPF number, the longer you can be in the sun without burning or reapplying. However, it’s the UVA rays that are deeper penetrating and contribute to accelerated skin aging, while increasing your risk of skin cancer.
*Tip: Try remembering that A=aging rays; B=burning rays
Regardless of what the SPF is, if it does not state broad-spectrum on the bottle, you are not fully protected. That’s the prime objective of the new FDA labeling.
What to look for on the new labels:
Formulation: Will no longer read waterproof, sweat-proof, etc. Manufacturers must market their products as water-resistant and clearly indicate how often the product should be applied to be effective
Broad-Spectrum: Products that protect against both UVA and UVB rays will get a “broad-spectrum” label; these products shield against wavelengths that cause both burning and premature aging
SPF: All sunscreens must stop their SPF at 50 (indicated by SPF 50+) and give warning if less than 15