You have to admit: this Summer season has been dramatically hot & annoying (Hello…Fall? Can you hear me?). For those of us that have to encounter time outside in the Summer sun, hopefully you know it’s important to wear sunscreen and protect yourself. For those of us with those beautiful year-round tans, this includes you!

A Bullseye View has a wonderful outline of the new FDA regulations and what you need to know to be protected this season. The post states:

Summer has a new set of rules. Effective June 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations for over-the-counter sunscreens will change the way you prep for days spent in the sun. Even the name is changing—manufacturers can no longer identify products as “sunblock” or claim sunscreens as “waterproof” and “sweatproof.” Now, only the term “water resistant” may be used on labeling.

Why the label changes? By changing the way sunscreens are tested and marketed, the FDA is looking to achieve a single standard of safety and effectiveness, so people can choose the right sun protection for themselves and their families.

UVA, UVB, SPF, Broad Spectrum—what do they all really mean anyway? Below, two New York-based pharmacists—Uday Dave of the West Nyack Target store and Gule Rahi of the College Point Target store—clued us in. Here’s all you need to know.

1. Products that do not pass the new ”Broad Spectrum” testing requirements or have a SPF value less than 15 are required to include a warning that states, “Skin Cancer/Skin Aging Alert: Spending time in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. This product has been shown only to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early skin aging.”

2. Broad Spectrum sunscreens can include a label that states that using the product “as directed with other sun protection measures decreases the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging caused by the sun.”

3. Only the term “water resistant” may now be used on labeling.

4. Labels must include the duration of water resistance provided by the product in two time periods: 40 minutes or 80 minutes.

5. Products that claim to provide sun protection at a value higher than SPF 50 may only be labeled as SPF 50+ and not with a numerical SPF value higher than 50. There is no compelling evidence that an SPF greater than 50 provides better protection than an SPF of 50.

Read more here.

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