The FDA recently announced final regulations regarding labeling of sunscreen products. Sunscreen which passes the FDA's test for protection against UVA and UVB rays may be labeled as "broad spectrum sunscreen." Additionally, sunscreens labeled "broad spectrum" with an SPF 15 (or higher), may also claim that they will help prevent sunburn, reduce the risk of skin cancer, and reduce the risk of early skin aging. Sunscreens with an SPF under 15, even if they are labeled as "broad spectrum," may not claim that they reduce the risk of skin cancer or early aging. Additionally, the FDA will now require that products which are not "broad spectrum," or are "broad spectrum" but less than SPF 15, disclose a warning stating that the sunscreen has not been shown to prevent skin cancer or early skin aging. The new regulations will become effective for most manufacturers in one year.
TIP: Manufacturers of sunscreen should review their labels to ensure compliance with the new FDA regulations. In addition, the FTC will look to FDA guidance in reviewing advertising for products regulated by the FDA, so advertisers should avoid making sunburn, aging and cancer prevention claims in advertising as well unless those claims also comply with these new FDA regulations.