Screen the Sun with Sunscreen

FDA updates regulations for modern sunscreen

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) It’s time to pull out your bathing suit, beach towel and most importantly sunscreen because summer fun has finally come!

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has provided new guidelines for sunscreen products that are designed to make it easier for you to choose the right sun protection.

"Choose a sunscreen labeled broad spectrum and SPF 15 or higher."

The FDA has updated regulations so that you'll know which sunscreen products provide better protection against sunburns, skin cancer and skin aging from exposure to sun. In addition to sunscreen, using other sun protection measures will provide the most effective sun protection.

You want products that protect from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB). Products that protect against both can now be labeled as broad spectrum. Sunscreen that's labeled both broad spectrum and SPF 15 (or higher) will reduce your chances of sunburn, skin cancer and skin aging.

Keep in mind that products can only be effective when used as directed.

Products that are not labeled broad spectrum or are lower than SPF 15 must have a warning label that states the product has not been shown to help prevent skin cancer or skin aging.

With these new regulations consumers can be well-informed and able to choose the products that can benefit them the most says Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

For absolute best protection, you should use sunscreen and other sun protection measures, including wearing long sleeved garments, brimmed hats and sunglasses.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
June 17, 2011
Last Updated:
June 19, 2011