WTAP @ 5: To Your Health Report: Suncreen Labels

By: Susan Hendricks Email
By: Susan Hendricks Email

Sunscreen is probably on your shopping list this summer but if those labels leave your head spinning, Listen Up.

The Food and Drug Administration has changed the requirements on labels- so that you can make a truly informed choice.

Susan Hendricks has more in today's Health Minute

Choosing an effective sunscreen can be downright confusing ...

But experts say it's critically important, as part of good defense against the sun's harmful rays.

"We know that people who, at any age, start being more aggressive about their sun protection, decrease the number of sun spots, they decrease the skin cancers that they develop."

So, what should you look for?

Here's a breakdown of the new labeling requirements of the Food and Drug Administration.

They recommend a sunscreen with a minimum 15 spf, or sun protection factor, others suggest higher.

"The American Academy of Dermatology really urges people to not use anything less than an SPF 30."

Make sure it is labeled "broad spectrum." The term means...

"That sunscreen was good not only for uvb, which burns you, as well as the uva, which is what ages your skin."

And you can find more information on the back.

"The FDA has asked the manufacturers to discuss skin cancer and aging because these are factors that are part of sun protection which we really want people to think about when they think they want a little color."

You'll no longer see the word "waterproof." instead, sunscreens will now be labeled "water resistant"- while you're swimming or sweating- for either forty or eighty minutes.

If you don't see these terms on all sunscreen labels, soon you will.

For today's Health Minute, I'm Susan Hendricks.

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