SPF isn’t enough anymore. The Food and Drug Administration has been working for four years on a new sunscreen label and it’s finally here!
The new labels, approved by the FDA, will introduce the first standard for ultraviolet radiation a or UVA rays and products without at least an SPF of 15 plus UVA protection will have to be labeled with a warning for consumers.
SPF simply refers to the ultraviolet radiation b or UVB rays and not UVA rays, so the new label can only indicate that it is “broad spectrum” if it is able to protect against both UVA and UVB rays.
Sunscreen products will also not be allowed to call themselves “sunblocks” as that may be misleading, or “waterproof.” Products can indicate if they are “water resistant” for either 40 or 80 minutes.
The FDA is also proposing a rule that would ban brands from claiming that their sunscreens have a higher SPF than 50, saying only that the product is SPF 50+, as it cannot be proven that the sunscreens with an SPF higher than 50 provide anymore protection than products with SPF 50.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a product with SPF 30 or high, reapplying every 2 hours or right after swimming or sweating, and choosing a “broad spectrum” product.