This year there has been a clarification on the rules and guidelines concerning sun care products designed to protect and better inform the consumer about what they can realistically expect from their sun care product. No longer to be used in sun care labeling are the terms sunblock, waterproof and sweatproof as these terms have been determined to be misleading. The only true sun block would completely block all possible sun rays which would be extremely difficult to achieve in a spray, gel or lotion formula. Sweatproof and water proof has been replaced with the more accurate term water resistant. To classify as a water resistant sun screen, the product must be able to remain on the skin as a protectant for at least 40 minutes or 80 minutes as indicated on the packaging. Regardless of what sun care protectant you chose whether in the water or not it should be re-applied every two hours.
There are also new guidelines on the SPF rating or Sun Protection Factor listed on sunscreens. An SPF rating of 60 blocks 98% of the suns UV rays while an SPF rating of 30 blocks 95% of the suns UV rays. You would think twice the SPF than twice the protection but this not the case; therefore the FDA has now banned the labeling of a sunscreen SPF 50 or above to avoid misleading the consumer. Any SPF of 15 or less will now come with a warning on the label that while they will provide some protection against sunburn when applied properly and in accordance with the directions, they do not provide protection from skin cancer or premature aging of the skin. Any SPF sunscreen of 15 will also recommend the consumer wear long sleeves, long pants, sunglasses, a hat to shield the face and refrain from exposure in the midday sun.
The new sunscreen label will also now be required to list a DRUG FACTS section on the package. This list will advise consumers about the active ingredients, risks, side effects and any potential for drug interactions with other medications. Many of the ingredients commonly found in sunscreens have the potential risk of causing skin irritation in those with rosacea sensitive skin.