Sunscreen and You

To avoid the damaging effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays, we’re often advised to wear sunscreen whenever we go outside. And, with skin cancer being the most common type of cancer in the United States, wearing sunscreen is of the utmost importance.

Recent changes mandated by the Food and Drug Administration have made sunscreen selection a lot easier. Under the new rules, sunscreen can only claim to reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging if it is both broad-spectrum and has an SPF of 15 or higher.

Sunscreen that is not broad-spectrum or has an SPF of less than 15 can only claim to prevent sunburn and must include a warning stating it cannot prevent skin cancer or early aging. Sunscreen products also can no longer claim to be waterproof, only water-resistant, and labels must note a time limit of either 40 or 80 minutes before the sunscreen is ineffective.

For more information on sunscreen, visit the American Academy of Dermatology’s website.

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