Sunscreen labeling overhaul is long overdue

David Bellm

January 29, 2014

1 Min Read
Sunscreen labeling overhaul is long overdue

Sssssssss! Is that your skin sizzling in the sun? Could be, no matter how diligently you check the labels on sunscreens. Contrary to what most consumers believe, sunscreen labeling is nowhere near as clear-cut and simple as the familiar SPF rating system would lead one to believe.

"The SPF number was devised by scientists studying the skin,'' Dr. James Spencer president of the Florida Society of Dermatology told newspaper The St. Petersburg times. “It was never really meant to be a consumer-friendly thing to put on the label.”

For years the Food and Drug Administration, sunscreen marketers and doctors have been wrangling over new labeling guidelines. But so far there has been little actual change in the rules.

The FDA is proposing a new system based on a four-star rating, with each sunscreen given a number of stars based on its sun protection. Additionally, claims such as "waterproof" or "sweatproof" would no longer be allowed. Instead, consumers would be encouraged to reapply sunblock every couple of hours.

According to The St. Petersburg Times, the FDA had hoped to have a new system in place by this summer. But that isn’t likely to happen. And even then, there will probably be at least another year and a half for packagers to comply.

Source: The St. Petersburg Times



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