False Claims Banned
The Food and Drug Administration unveiled new rules about sunscreen claims, banning for example, manufacturers from saying their products are water- or sweatproof. The rules, which go into effect next year, also say that sunscreens must protect against both UVB and UVA rays to earn the designation of “broad spectrum” protection. In addition, only sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher can say that they help prevent sunburn and reduce the risks of skin cancer and premature aging. The new rules, which will standardize the UVA testing manufacturers must conduct on their products, have been under consideration since 1978 and are being lauded by dermatologists. “Now, we’ll be able to tell patients which sunscreens to get,” says Dr. Henry W. Lim, American Academy of Dermatology.
Don’t Forget Sunscreen
Think your beach umbrella protects you from the sun’s rays? A U of Valencia study, which found that 34 percent of UV radiation filters through under beach umbrellas, cautions you to think again. While canvas has a high capacity to absorb radiation, it can’t prevent diffuse radiation from penetrating through. Researchers hope this study can shed light on the epidemiology of some skin cancers as well as photoaging, cataracts, and other ailments caused by sun exposure. While scientists know that some sun exposure is beneficial, especially for the production of Vitamin D, experts recommend using umbrellas, protective clothing, hats with wide brims, sunglasses and sunscreen to lessen the damage from sun exposure. Try to avoid the sun between noon and 4 pm when it’s most damaging.