Now that the weather in the northwest is beginning to improve, we Seattleites are starting to bring out our sunglasses, bicycles, running shoes, and spending a lot more of our time outdoors in general. It’s also time to bring out old bottles of sunscreen, check expiration dates and get rid of the bad stuff and if necessary replace it with new sunscreen.
Recently the FDA has made changes to improve consumer understanding of sunscreen and what to expect in terms of sun protection. It’s important that you are aware of the changes when you’re purchasing sunscreen for the summer. As a result of the changes, the FDA has required a change in labeling. Some of the things you will see:
- Broad-Spectrum: “Broad-Spectrum” indicates that this particular sunscreen protects against both UVB and UVA, both of which can cause sunburn, skin cancer, and premature aging. These sunscreens must also be a SPF 15 or higher. If a product is not labeled “Broad-Spectrum” or it’s SPF 4-14 it has only been shown to help prevent sunburn.
- Labeling on Broad-Spectrum and SPF15 (or higher) will state that it protects against sunburn but can also reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging.
- Limitation on the level of SPF allowed is now “SPF 50+”
- Sunscreen will no longer be able to claim water-proof or sweat-proof. They will now show water-resistant or sweat-resistant, as well as listing the time in which the product is still delivering the indicated level of SPF when sweating or swimming. The two times allowed are 40 minutes and 80 minutes.
SSL recommends the following sunscreens:
- Epionce Ultra Shield SPF 50 (Broad-Spectrum UVA/ UVB and water- resistant 80 minutes)
- Solbar SF Liquid SPF 30 (Broad-Spectrum UVA/UVB
*These sunscreens are available at both clinic locations for purchase.
For more detailed information check out this website: