In 2012, sunscreen labels and products will see significant changes to help consumers buy and utilize them, also aiming to better protect against cancer-causing UV rays. The Food and Drug Administration's final regulations on sunscreen will become effective next summer once a test has been established and used on products to determine which can be labeled as "broad spectrum" - those sunscreens that protect against both ultraviolet B and A radiation.
For those products that do not receive a "broad spectrum" label, a warning label will be instituted informing shoppers that the sunscreen only protects against burns and not skin cancer or early signs of aging, Packaging Digest noted.
"The new labeling will also tell consumers on the back of the product that sunscreens labeled as both 'broad spectrum' and 'SPF 15' or higher not only protect against sunburn, but, if used as directed with other sun protection measures, can reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging," the FDA noted.
Other changes will also be rolled out. For example, if a product is water- or sweat-proof, it must be labeled as "water/sweat resistant" and inform consumers to reapply in 40-minute increments. Manufacturers may also no longer label a product as a "sunblock."