With new rules and guidelines, set by FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in relation to the production and consumption of sunscreens, it will become easy for the consumers to select a defense against the harsh UVA or UVB rays of the sun. At the same time, it will deter the manufacturers from slapping their products with beguiling labels in the market to lure the customers. The new rules announced by FDA will be implemented from 2012 onwards.
The new rules and guidelines are a great step towards improvement from FDA in making the good sunscreen more visible easily accessible so that consumers are not misled. Dr Ariel Ostad a professor of dermatology at the medical centre of New York University agreed at the goodwill of this step of the FDA.
The FDA specified in its issue that the ultra violet A rays (UVA) of the sun cause wrinkles and aging while the Ultra violet B (UVB) rays cause mostly sun burns. Bothe these rays are harmful for your skin and can contribute to skin cancer as well.
According to Ostad a sunscreen should be Broad spectrum that could shield one against both UVA and UVB rays. And this claim shall be validated only after FDA tests.
SPF is a criterion to measure the extent to which the sunscreen can protect ones skin. But dermatologists vary in this regard. Ostad says that SPF 30 does not make much difference to protect against sun damage.
FDA however has laid its rule book saying that a broad spectrum sunscreen with a t least 15 SPF can make the claim that it can defend you against the risk of skin cancer and prevent sun burns.
However FDA is considering limiting the maximum advisable dosage of SPF from 50+. As there is no concrete evidence saying that this much SPF can really provide better sun protection.
The Ingredients to look for in a sunscreen are- titanium dioxide, zinc oxide and ecamsule also called Mexoryl. According to Ostad, these contents provide broad spectrum sun protection and therefore these should also be mentioned on the labels.
Sunscreen can be labeled as Water Resistant but only if they are effective for at least 40-80 minutes while sweating or swimming. However terms like ‘waterproof’ and ‘sweat proof’ and even ‘sun blocks’ are not allowed any longer.
But the fact of the facts is that no matter how meticulous the label system is on your sunscreen, if your do not apply it in the right amount it will not help you. Almost a shot glass of sunscreen will suffice for your entire body. At the same time, a sunscreen needs to be reapplied every one and a half hour.