Very much in tune with the season, now that the sun is really biting and we all tend to spend more time outdoors, whether it's on the beach, by the pool, or walking in the parks, the US Food and Drug Administration United States (FDA) has just announced new rules for regulating sunscreen labels.
The FDA thus increases the requirements about what can and should be insured on lotion labels, with the aim of helping consumers find products that protect them from the sun and thus reduce the risks of skin cancer., premature aging and burns. Under the new regulations, labels must specify, among other things, whether the sunscreen protects against ultraviolet A rays (those that cause burns) and ultraviolet B rays (which cause skin cancer). If they protect against both, they will carry the “broad spectrum” label, but if they only protect against burns, they must also specify it.
Similarly, lotions with a sun protection factor (SPF) less than 15 and no broad spectrum should note that they offer no protection against skin cancer or aging. Although the regulations will take effect in 12 months, they can serve as an incentive to be more selective when choosing sunscreen for this summer. Here are some factors to keep in mind:
• Look for a lotion that protects against UVA and UVB rays.
• Sunscreen must have an SPF of 15 or higher, but numbers above 50 do not mean more protection, at least to a significant extent.
• Lotions should be applied liberally and frequently. Even if the label claims it is waterproof and sweatproof, it is true for only an hour or two at best.
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