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FDA’s New Sunscreen Regulations Hope To Provide More Clarity

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(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

Monique Griego 370x278 Monique Griego
Monique Griego joined the WJZ News Team in July 2011 as a General...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—With the hope of protecting consumers from skin damage, the FDA is making major changes to the way sunscreens are labeled.

Monique Griego spoke with a dermatologist to find out what you need to know.

Patricia Granata-Eisner is an avid sunscreen user. But even she admits picking the right product isn’t always easy.

“You look at anything from SPF 10 to SPF 75 and the prices range. You really don’t know what you’re looking for,” she said.

The FDA is hoping to help consumers with new sunscreen regulations that go into effect this month.

“It’s supposed to make sunscreen buying an easier and more straight forward experience,” said Dr. Noelle Sherber.

Sherber says the regulations do away with what many considered to be confusing and even misleading labels.

“One of the most misleading terms is waterproof because none of these products are truly, truly waterproof,” Sherber said.

In addition to getting rid of waterproof, the FDA is requiring sunscreens with an SPF lower than 15 to be labeled with a warning that they do not prevent skin cancer or early aging.

Sunscreens will also no longer carry a SPF label higher than 50.

“Because really you’re blocking almost all rays anyway,” Sherber said. “So the difference between 50, 85 and 100 was minimal.”

Melanoma, which is the deadliest form of skin cancer, kills one person every hour. And for sun lovers like Granata-Eisner, that sobering statistic makes her thankful for better regulations.

“I’m glad that there’s that clarity now,” Granata-Eisner said.

Sherber says consumers need to look for products labeled “broad spectrum.” That means it protects against both types of sun rays.

The doctor also recommends parents use a non-chemical sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or higher on children.

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