Updates on sunscreens – still unfounded claims

Sunscreens

Sunscreen safety hasn’t improved since the FDA set new rules on advertising in 2011. photo by Joe Shlabotnik, flickr

The past few years there have been studies on sunscreens and the news hasn’t been great. A myriad of false marketing claims have led consumers into a false sense of security about protection from harmful UV rays.

In late 2011, the FDA issued long-awaited sunscreen labeling standards promised since 1978. The new rules prohibited companies from making misleading advertising claims such as “sunblock,” “waterproof” and “sweat-proof.” The FDA also set the first-ever standards for sunscreens that claim to provide broad-spectrum protection.

The problem is the agency now allows most sunscreens on the American market to make claims that they help lower the risk of skin cancer and sun-related skin aging. And the FDA hasn’t yet issued final rules on excessively high SPF claims, potentially harmful chemical ingredients and sunscreen sprays that may be dangerous when inhaled.

Beach time, photo by Zanthia, flickrWith Memorial Day around the corner, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) today released its seventh annual Sunscreen Guide rating the safety and efficacy of more than 1,400 sunscreens, lotions, lip products and makeups that advertise sun protection. EWG researchers found that only 25 percent of products on the market in 2013 offer strong and broad UV protection and pose few safety concerns. Analyzing 750 beach and sport sunscreens, the EWG found that the new FDA rules haven’t led to dramatically better sunscreens than those offered in previous years.

Check out more details on this as well as the list of 4 key things NOT to bring to the beach, pool or on vacation. It’s a real eye opener.

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