May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month. You know I harp about sunscreen every year because the incidence of skin cancers is rising exponentially. The FDA has just released new standards for sunscreen labeling.
The SPF in your sunscreen only measures UVB protection. The higher the number, the longer you can be in the sun without burning or having to reapply the sunscreen. However, UVA rays are the deeply penetrating ones that cause accelerated skin aging and increases your risk of skin cancer.
"Waterproof" and "Sweat-proof" labeling will be no more. New regulations require sunscreens to be labeled as water resistant and clearly state how often they need to be reapplied. .
Sunscreens that protect against UVA and UVB rays will now be labelled "Broad-Spectrum". This is what you want.
All sunscreens must stop their SPF at 50 and give a warning if they are less than 15.
Two types of sunscreens........chemical and physical. It's your preference.
Chemical sunscreens contain synthetic compounds that absorb sun rays before they cause damage. . They often contain Parsol, PABA, and Meroxyl XL. These sunscreens need to be reapplied frequently
Physical sunscreens contain fine mineral particles like titanium dioxide, zinc oxide and iron oxide. They create a thin film on the skin that reflects the sun's rays. Not as popular in the past because they left a white film on the skin.....Think........white noses on lifeguards...... Today's formulations, though, leave little to no residue.
New regulations are supposed to go into effect this summer. We'll see if it's pushed back. Many companies are already complying. At Sei Bella we have sunscreens from Obagi and Sonya Dakar that meet the new guidelines, smell great and have other health benefits for your skin. Ask us about them.....