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The FDA intends to make some big changes to your sunscreen



Photo: Orbon Alija / Getty Images

Despite the constant adoption of new formulas, sunscreen regulations, which are classed as drugs and as such controlled by the FDA, have remained largely unchanged since 90s. While your fashion choices, hairstyle and the rest of your skin care protocol have probably evolved since then, your screen is still in the past.

In 2012, there were a few new guidelines, the most important of which is that formulas that protect against UVA and UVB rays are referred to as broad spectrum. Apart from that, the rules for sunscreen are a bit dated.

Enter the last FDA-proposed rule that will make some significant changes across the product category. Among them: updated labeling requirements as well as capping the maximum SPF to 60+ as there is no data to show that anything above (i.e., an SPF 75 or SPF 1

00) provides any meaningful additional benefits. It would also change which types of products could actually be classified as sunscreens. Oils, creams, lotions, pens, sprays, and powders can do this, but products such as towels and terry towels (which are less studied and therefore less effective) no longer fall under the sunscreen category and are instead considered a "new" drug. "

The other major change that has been buzzing all around is the efficacy of active sunscreens." In the study of 16 of the most common, only two – zinc oxide and titanium dioxide – were considered GRASE, which is an FDA proverb for "generally considered Two were considered ineffective, though outdated ingredients that almost no companies used, notes Steven Q. Wang, MD, chair of the Skin Cancer Foundation's Photobiology Committee, leaving a dozen to be investigated These are the ingredients contained in chemical sunscreens, many of which surround other controversies, such as oxybenzone can damage coral reefs. (See also: Is natural sunscreen resistant to normal sunscreens?)

The Skin Cancer Foundation is with them Potential changes on board. "As science and technology have increased in recent years to dramatically improve the effectiveness of sunscreens requires an ongoing assessment of the associated regulations, as well as the evaluation of new UV filters currently available outside the US, "they said in a statement.

"From a dermatologist's perspective, I think this revision is a good thing," says Mona Gohara, MD, a professor of dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine. "It's important to constantly reassess and recommend sunscreen, which we recommend to people based on legitimate scientific data." (For information, here's why Dr. Gohara says "sunscreen pills" are really a terrible idea.)

What does that mean for you? It should be noted that all of these changes are only suggested for the moment and it may take some time for the final decision to be made, says Drs. Wang. When these new guidelines come into force, it means that buying sunscreen is much easier and more transparent. You know exactly what you get and how you protect your skin.

In the meantime, dr. Gohara intends to stay with mineral sunscreens (and for the most effective protection the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends a broad spectrum) spectrum formula with at least one SPF 30). "They use ingredients that are proven, no question, and the FDA considers them safe and effective," she says.

Not to mention that these formulas offer other benefits, namely protection from visible light and, in general, are less likely to cause irritation and breakouts, she adds. (If you are looking for a good option, this Murad sunscreen with multitasking feature is one of our favorites.)

And of course, it is always a good step to supplement your usual sunscreen habit by following other sunscreen behaviors to practice. B. Stay in the shade and wear protective clothing, including hats and sunglasses Wang firmly.


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