The Federal Food and Drug Administration released its final regulations for labeling sunscreen this week. Marta VanBeek, at the University of Iowa’s Holden Cancer Center, says there is one notable change. She says the sunscreens must now have a label that tells you if they protect you from U-V-B rays along with information on U-V-A rays which were already required.
Both types of rays are know to cause skin cancer. VanBeek is an associate professor or dermatology. She says it is important to look at the label closely. VanBeek says not all sunscreens protect you from U-V-A, as historically most sunscreens have protected against U-V-B rays and the protection level is indicated by its SPF number. She says you should always choose the best protection available.
“The higher the SPF the better, and the reason we recommend that is because really nobody puts on enough sunscreen to get the SPF that’s stated on the bottle,” VanBeek says. She says you should put one ounce, or a shot glass full of sunscreen on exposed areas. You are also better off to toss last year’s sunscreen and buy new for this year.
VanBeek says they recommend that buy new sunscreen every year, especially if it has been in a car or other area where there are extreme temperatures, as those can make it less effective. And she says they’re hoping the everyone uses enough sunscreen through the season so they don’t have any left over at the end of the summer.
The new regulations for sunscreen will be mandatory next summer.