In The News: FDA to Enforce Stricter Labeling for Sunscreens
Santa Barbara cosmetic surgeon Dr. Terry Perkins (and owner of Evolutions Medical Spa Santa Barbara) always reinforces the very important role that sun protection plays whenever people ask him how to prevent wrinkles (or prevent further wrinkles). Being regimented about your sun protection – which includes using a sunscreen that blocks out both UVA and UVB rays and reapplying it after excessive exposure to the sun, swimming or sweating, and using additional protection (such as hats or sun-protective clothing with SPF) – will not only help to prevent wrinkles, premature aging, and hyperpigmentation (darker spots on the skin) but also plays a great role in the prevention of skin cancer.
Dr. Perkins is not alone in advocating that people be diligent about sun protection. In fact, in the news this morning, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now taking a more active role in how well a sunscreen product protects users against ultraviolet A rays (UVA). UVB rays make people burn, whereas UVA rays penetrate deeper, which can be more damaging in the long run.
According to an article on ABC.com “World News with Diane Sawyer”, the FDA will begin to enforce more rigid standards on the manufacturers of sunscreens. Those that promote a “broad spectrum” claim (meaning they protect against UVA and UVB rays) “will have to show that the amount of UVA protection proportionally increases as the SPF level increases” and “the product will also need to be SPF 15 or higher”. Additionally, “sunscreens will have to include a drug facts box on the back of the bottle”, they no longer will be identified as “sun block” because this implication is inaccurate, and they can no longer claim the product offers more than two hours of protection or “claim the product as water-proof or sweat-proof without indicating the length of time it can provide full protection”.
The article also included input from Dr. Mark Abdelmalek, chief of dermatology and ABC News medical contributor who was quoted as saying that “zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are physical sunscreens which are already known to reliably protect against UVA and UVB rays”.