FDA Announces Actions to Keep Consumers Safe When Using Sunscreens

On May 22, the U.S. FDA announced new efforts to help protect consumers from sun protection products. There are 3 major steps they are taking:

1. They are going to make sure that the products actually deliver their advertised benefits, and don’t take advantage of people’s desire to protect themselves. After doing an investigation, the FDA sent warning letters to supplement companies that were failing to provide the protection they claimed. Warning letters were issues to the following: Advanced Skin Brightening Formula, Sunsafe Rx, Solaricare and Sunergetic, saying that these companies “are putting people’s health at risk by giving consumers a false sense of security that a dietary supplement could prevent sunburn, reduce early skin aging caused by the sun, or protect from the risks of skin cancer.”

2. After noting that the active ingredients in sunscreens may be absorbed through the skin, the FDA says this has given rise to new questions about safety and effectiveness, so they are encouraging the industry to conduct research on additional sunscreen active ingredients to answer critical questions about their safety. Why should you care? Because this has given rise to new questions about the safety and effectiveness of sunscreen products, which was previous thought not to penetrate the skin. Once it goes below the skin’s surface and enters the bloodstream, it can potentially cause hormonal side effects and cell damage.

3. The FDA issued a new guidance to the industry describing its enforcement policy for over-the-counter sunscreen products which includes rules that needs to be followed with SPF testing, product labeling and dosage forms.

I have summarized this in layman’s terms, but feel free to read the full report here.

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