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FDA Regulations on Sunscreen Yet to Be Defined

I grew up in the 80's and have very few summer memories that don’t involve time spent on a lake in Minnesota.  I also have memories of my mother and her friends "frying" themselves all summer long.  Back then, the suntan lotion of choice was Johnson's Baby Oil mixed in a precise ratio with iodine. In fact, I can't think of a single adult who wore sunscreen. One thing is for sure, they definitely got enough of the "Sunshine Vitamin."

The only reason I wore sunscreen was because I was forced to. I hated the way it felt, and dirt stuck to me way too easily. 
Now that I have a daughter of my own, I am on a mission to keep her skin as healthy as possible as long as I can. Luckily for her, she has a wider selection of good skin health products to choose from. 

All the fun we're having at our own lake place this summer started my wheels turning.  What are the actual FDA regulations on sunscreen?  I've heard things throughout the years, but never looked into it.  So I took to the Internet to find out. It turns out, there are no current FDA regulations on sunscreen.  The FDA has yet to finalize its plan for sunscreen regulations, and most surprising to me, they've been promising to finalize regulations since 1978!  They even failed to come to agreement by yet another deadline in 2009, so we better not hold our breath.

Some potential regulations include:

  • Prohibiting manufactures from claiming sun protection factors (SPF) of more than 50+
  • Terms “sunblock,” “waterproof,” “sweat-proof” and “all day protection” would also be prohibited
  • All sunscreens would be subject to lab and human skin tests
  • A four-star rating system was also proposed

Until something is finalized, sunscreen companies are free to make misleading statements about their products. That is very scary to me. It makes me glad I work for a natural health company, where I have access to high-quality products my family and I can trust. What would you like to see in future FDA regulations on sunscreen?



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