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FDA Sunscreen Regulations.

Did you know that last year, the FDA implemented a new set of regulations in regards to sunscreen labeling? It is all really confusing, I know. Hopefully some of this information that I got from my friends at behind the scenes at Target will help.

1.  Products that do not pass the new ”Broad Spectrum” testing requirements or have a SPF value less than 15 are required to include a warning that states, “Skin Cancer/Skin Aging Alert: Spending time in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. This product has been shown only to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early skin aging.”

2. Broad Spectrum sunscreens can include a label that states that using the product “as directed with other sun protection measures decreases the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging caused by the sun.”

3. Only the term “water resistant” may now be used on labeling.

4. Labels must include the duration of water resistance provided by the product in two time periods: 40 minutes or 80 minutes.

5. Products that claim to provide sun protection at a value higher than SPF 50 may only be labeled as SPF 50+ and not with a numerical SPF value higher than 50.  There is no compelling evidence that an SPF greater than 50 provides better protection than an SPF of 50.


Hopefully this will help when making your important sunscreen purchases. No matter what the label or warning, sunscreen daily, with at least an SPF 15 is a must. Ask your doctor or dermatologist for their specific recommendation for your skin.

Reader Comments (3)

This is good to know because I must spend ten minutes trying to weed through all the suntan lotions in the aisle.
I am so picky about sunscreen. I like it to be higher than 30 but not leave me all white and have it be hard to rub in. I wish the label would have to tell you that.
Very informative. It is so hard to find an spf that lasts all day and doesn't feel gross on my skin. There are so many to choose from!

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