What you need to know about new sunscreen labels

7:24 PM, Jul 5, 2011   |    comments
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Sunscreen labels are getting a major overhaul.

The changes were 30 years in the making.

On tonight's eight ways to prevent cancer segment, what you really need to look for when buying sun protection.

"As dermatologists, we are very excited about the FDA taking this stance," says Dr. Lynn Cornelius, a dermatologist with the Siteman Cancer Center.

The changes take effect in one year, all an effort to level the very crowded playing field.

"What the FDA has done has made it very much better for the consumer understanding how to choose a sunscreen and distill it all down," says Dr. Cornelius.

If you're looking for maximum skin cancer protection look for two things.

"Sunscreen will be labeled as 'broad spectrum,'" says Dr. Cornelius. "It's protective against skin cancer and skin aging only if they are broad spectrum and an SPF of 15 or higher. That is huge in when you go to the drugstore and see so many choices in front of you."

Look for the word "waterproof" to disappear from labels.

Under the new rules, only the words water resistant will be allowed.

"They will give you a time, 40 minutes, 80 minutes," says Dr. Cornelius, with the knowledge that we know that you have to apply and re-apply at least every 2 hours. So that is very helpful for the consumer so that they don't have that false sense of security."


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