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FDA Extends Sunscreen Labeling Deadline; AAD Understands

Posted: May 15, 2012

The American Academy of Dermatology Association (Academy) understands the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) decision to extend the compliance dates six months for the sunscreen labeling and testing requirements in the interest of protecting public health.

Research has shown that broad-spectrum protection in sunscreen helps reduce the risk of skin cancer and is essential to protecting the public from UV radiation. Extending the compliance date allows manufacturers the necessary time to test their products for broad-spectrum protection and properly label them. The Academy joins the FDA in encouraging manufacturers to bring products into compliance as soon as possible in order to help the public make informed choices regarding the most effective sunscreens for prevention of sunburn and skin cancer.

Until sunscreens meet the FDA's new labeling and testing requirements, the Academy recommends that the public take these steps to protect themselves from the sun:

Read the label on your sunscreen. Use only sunscreen that tells you it offers:

  • Broad-spectrum coverage (label may say "broad spectrum," "protects against UVA/UVB" or "UVA/UVB protection").
  • SPF 30 or higher.
  • Water resistance.
  • Re-apply the sunscreen every two hours when outdoors.
  • Seek shade whenever you are taller than your shadow.
  • Wear protective clothing, which includes long sleeves, pants, wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.