FDA: No More “Sunblock”

In June of this year, new FDA rules about labeling for sunscreen and sunblock go into effect, forever changing the face of what you put on your skin when you go out into the summer sun. The new rules are intended to better inform consumers of the ingredients contained in sunscreens and to be more accurate in describing these products.

Truth in Labeling

The new rules prevent the use of the term “sunblock” for sun protection products. Instead, labels must only call these products “sunscreen,” since, in reality, they only screen out damaging sun rays.

Labels are also changing regarding resistance to water and sweat. Currently, the FDA allows sunscreens and sunblocks to have labels claiming they are sweat and water proof. However, the truth is that you still have to periodically reapply them due to exposure to water or sweat. Effective as of June, labels must say “sweat resistant” or “water resistant” and state the amount of time needed before the product must be reapplied.

Ingredient Labels

Another big change for sun protection products is how ingredients are listed. Manufacturers must list every single ingredient contained in the product on the label with the new regulations. This will allow consumers to avoid products containing dangerous or questionable chemicals, such as oxybenzone, vitamin A or sunscreens with insect repellant added. Instead, consumers should look for labels which list zinc, mexoryl SX, titanium dioxide or avobenzone, since these ingredients are known to be helpful in protecting from sun damage.

Wearing cover ups and hats every time you go outside is the best preventative measure for UV rays. However, on the occasion you will be out at the beach or on the boat this summer and you need to use sunscreen, there will be better labels on sun protection products so you can buy sunscreens with more accurate labels and avoid products with harmful ingredients in them.

– The Alternative Daily

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