FDA announces new regulations on sunscreen labelling
US cosmetic regulations body the Food and Drug Administration has announced new labelling regulations for sunscreen that will come into force next year. The rules are designed to help people decide how to buy and use sunscreen, and allow them to more effectively protect themselves and include labelling regulation that advises on a product's SPF rating, water resistance and whether it is 'broad spectrum' in its protection. While these regulations will come into force in the US only they are likely to have a knock on effect in the UK market because many brands allow all products to comply with FDA regulations. To be labelled 'broad spectrum' products will be required to prove that they provide protection against both UVB burning and UVA ageing rays. Under the new regulations, sunscreen products that protect against all types ofsun-induced skin damage will be labelled with both 'broad spectrum' and 'SPF 15' (or higher) on the front. Sunscreen products that are not broad spectrum or that are broad spectrum with SPF values from two to 14 will have to be labelled with a warning that reads: 'Skin Cancer/Skin Ageing Alert: Spending time in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer and early skin ageing. This product has been shown only to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early skin ageing.' From next year, water resistance claims on the product's front label will have to tell how much time a user can expect to get the declared SPF level of protection while swimming or sweating. Claims of either 40 minutes or 80 minutes will be permitted on labels. Manufacturers will not be allowed to claim that sunscreens are 'waterproof' or 'sweat proof, or call their products 'sunblocks.' Also, sunscreens cannot claim 'instant protection' or protection for more than two hours without reapplication, unless they submit data and get approval from the FDA. In addition to these final regulations, the FDA is proposing a regulation that would require sunscreen products that have SPF values higher than 50 to be labelled as 'SPF 50+.' The association said it does not have adequate data demonstrating that products with SPF values higher than 50 provide additional protection compared to products with SPF values of 50.