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Sunscreen Smarts

By Laura J. Goodman
Posted: March 26, 2008, from the April 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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       Therefore, if a product scores high in one UVA efficacy test measurement and medium in the other, the product will receive an overall labeling description of UVA medium. However, to achieve the highest rating, a product must have scored the highest ranking using both in vitro and in vivo test methods.
       Other labeling changes would necessitate the inclusion of the following sunscreen statement on product packaging: “UV rays from the sun are made of UVB and UVA. It is important to protect against both UVB and UVA rays.” An OTC Drug Facts box will be required on all packages, as well, and anti-aging and anti-cancer claims attributed to sunscreen products will be prohibited. Additionally, directions will be required that instruct consumers to apply the sunscreen either “liberally” or “generously” and note that the sunscreen should be reapplied at least every two hours.

Emotional attitudes and behaviors toward sunscreen use
       Studies show that while people are aware of the risks of exposure to UV radiation, few regularly use UV protection. Research by P&G Beauty indicates 70% of consumers believe sunlight causes premature aging, yet only 18% use a daily UV moisturizer. And even in the summer, when the risk of burning is most obvious, only 58% of women report using sunscreen daily, and 26% say they never use a sunscreen.10 With statistics such as these, it is important to know it has been shown that skipping sun protection on just one day out of four is enough to lower the skin’s defense mechanisms and increase endpoints related to photo-aging.11
       Additionally, studies have shown the aesthetics of a sunscreen product are extremely important for achieving usage and compliance among both women and men. Many people complain that sunscreens are heavy, greasy and have an unpleasant odor, and P&G Beauty scientists have studied sunscreen usage comparing consumer application habits when using an SPF 30 product versus an SPF 15. The researchers found heavy-feeling products with a higher SPF were applied much more sparingly, whereas cosmetically formulated products with a lower SPF were applied more generously and used more consistently.12 (For more informative sun-related statistics, see More on Sunscreen Advancements.)

Spreading the sunscreen word
       Dermatologists and scientists throughout the world agree that the daily use of at least an SPF 15 broad-spectrum sunscreen product as part of a sun-safe strategy will help to diminish acute and chronic damage to the skin. And although UV radiation is a fundamental concern year-round, it seems to enter people’s minds and conversations much more frequently in the quickly approaching summer months.
       As a skin care professional, you have the perfect opportunity to speak with clients about the damaging effects of UV exposure, as well as what they can do to protect their skin against these effects with appropriate sunscreens. Take the time to make sure they have the facts straight when it comes to sunscreens, UV exposure, cancer risks and skin care. Your clients will thank you for it.

*Comments submitted to the FDA by the Personal Care Products Council object to this, as it is technically incorrect. SPF is a measure of protection against erythemally weighted UV, which includes UVB and UVA.

REFERENCES
1. B Gilchrest, A review of skin aging and its medical therapy. Br J Dermatol 135 867–75 (1996)
2. RP Gallagher, GB Hill, CD Bajdick, S Fincham, AJ Coldman, DI McLean, et al. Sunlight exposure, pigmentary factors, and risk
of nonmelanocytic skin cancer, I: basal cell carcinoma. Arch Dermatol 131 157–63 (1995)
3. RP Gallagher, GB Hill, CD Bajdick, AJ Coldman, S Fincham, DI McLean, et al, Sunlight exposure, pigmentary factors, and risk
of nonmelanocytic skin cancer, II: squamous cell carcinoma. Arch Dermatol 131 164–9 (1996)
4. B Gilchrest, MS Eller, AC Geller, M Yaar, The pathogenesis of melanoma induced by ultraviolet radiation. N Engl J Med 340 1341–8 (1999)
5. DR Bickers, DE DeWitt, RS Gilgor, PE Grimes, KA Holbrook, R Katz, et al, National Institutes of Health summary of the consensus development conference on sunlight, ultraviolet radiation, and the skin: Bethesda, Maryland, May 8–10, 1989. J Am Acad Dermatol 24 608–12 (1991)
6. HW Lim, W Bergfeld, Prevention strategies. J Am Acad Dermatol 41 95–6 (1999)
7. BA Gilchrest, Sunscreens: a public health opportunity. N Engl J Med 329 1193–4 (1993)
8. TJ Philips, J Bhawan, M Yaar, Y Bello, D Piccolo, JF Nash, Effect of daily versus intermittent sunscreen application on solar simulated UV radiation-induced skin response in humans. J Am Acad Dermatol 43(4) 610–18 (2000)
9. P&G Beauty Science, UV & Sunscreen Research Update
10. Procter & Gamble Beauty, Data on file
11. TJ Philips, J Bhawan, M Yaar, Y Bello, D Piccolo, JF Nash, Effect of daily versus intermittent sunscreen application on solar simulated UV radiation-induced skin response in humans. J Am Acad Dermatol 43(4) 610–18 (2000)
12. TL Grosick and PR Tanner, Efficacy as used, not as tested, is true measure of sunscreen performance. Proceedings of the 62nd American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, Feb 6–11, 2004

Related articles:
Sunscreen Technology, Regulations and Formulations by Ken Klein (April 2007)

Related news items:
L'Oreal Grants to Promote Sun Safety (February 12, 2008)
AAD Addresses New Developments in Skin Cancer Prevention (December 31, 2007)
FDA Extends Comment Period for Proposed Sunscreen Rule (December 5, 2007)