Summer fun means time outside with family and friends, great workouts where you can breathe fresh air and the warm sun on your back. Or does it mean the sun blaring down on you and 90% humidity? Wherever you are this summer you might want to check the expiration date on your sunscreen. This year the Food and Drug Administration is taking further steps to help protect consumers from sun-damage caused by excessive sun exposure.
Setting a New Standard
The new regulations include stricter final regulations which establish the standards of efficacy testing for all sunscreen products. The FDA also proposed a new regulation that would limit the maximum SPF to spf 50.
The new regulations become effective June 18, 2012 and all sunscreen products sold over the counter (without a prescription) will be also allowed to display a label that reads, “Broad Spectrum.” This simply means that sunscreens able to protect against all types of skin damage caused by sun exposure will be labeled as such and have an SPF of 15 or higher, clearly labeled on the front. Any sunscreen not labeled “Broad Spectrum” or with an SPF less than 14, has only been shown to help prevent sunburn. (1) This year, products will also not be able to make the claim that their products are “waterproof” or “sweatproof” and can no longer be called “sunblock.” Check out what the new label will look like here.
If you are concerned about protecting your skin from premature aging, sun-damage, or just prefer to cover up in the sun you can take care of your skin by following the tips below.
Follow these tips for healthy, and safe summer skin:
- Use broad spectrum sunscreens that have values of at least 30
- Limit your time in the sun, especially during peak hours (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.)
- Wear protective clothing like SPF clothing, and a wide-rimmed hat
- Apply sunscreen every 2 hours and more often if you are in and out of the water
Not-So Scary Sunscreen
SPF products can contain ingredients that have been known to cause potential side effects. Check your sunscreen label for the following ingredients and avoid these synthetic ingredients that are absorbed into your skin to filter and absorb UV rays. Chemical sunscreens that contain these compounds can cause skin irritation and other reactions including cell damage caused by free radicals in your skin.
Try to avoid products which contain:
Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate), Homosalate, Octocrylene and all Paraben Preservatives including the butyl-, ethyl-, methyl-, and propyl- variations.
Products that made the top 5 list for affordability and natural ingredients are …
- MexiTan and Tropical Sands Sunscreens- Contains all-natural ingredients, provides UVA and UVB protection and it’s hypoallergenic.
- Purple Prairie SunStuff Natural Sunscreen- An all-natural sunscreen made with organic, eco-friendly ingredients including zinc and cocoa butter.
- Nature’s Gate Mineral Sportblock- A fragrance-free sunscreen made with natural paraben-free ingredients including seaweed extract, that provides both UVA and UVB protection.
- Solbar Zinc Sun Protection Cream- Broad spectrum sunscreen thats one of the best-rated natural sunscreens.
- Alba Botanica Mineral Sunscreen- Mineral sunblock that provides both UVA and UVB protection. It’s paraben free, and one of the best choices for natural sunscreen without harmful ingredients.