Yesterday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced new requirements for over-the-counter sunscreens. These new policies will likely change how consumers buy and use non-prescription sunscreens.
Why the new regulations? Under the prior rules, sunscreens almost exclusively addressed protection against the sun’s UVB rays, not skin-cancer-causing UVA rays. Today, there is enough data and information to establish a standard broad-spectrum test procedure that measures protection from both UVA and UVB radiation. Under these new requirements, consumers will have more information on which sunscreens offer the most protection from sun exposure that can increase one’s risk of skin cancer.
While you may see changes earlier, these new regulations won’t completely take effect until next summer (2012). In the mean time, remember that spending time in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer and early aging. The FDA wants to remind you in order to reduce these risks, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 and reapply every two hours.
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