The FDA (Finally) Cracks Down on SPF Rules!

It’s hard to believe that until now, the FDA’s rules were so utterly and completely lack luster.  I consider myself a connoisseur of sunscreen; friends, family and sometimes strangers ask me questions on a regular basis and I try not to go on a long 20 minute rant about how no, they should not use tanning oil with SPF 8 as their daily sun protection and no, they should not use the bottle of Hawaiian Tropic they’ve been using since 1998.

After 33 years with no major sunscreen label changes, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finally decided to set some rules – waaay behind Europe, I might add.  2012 is going to be a big, HUGE year for SPF awareness!  Here are the main changes:

  • Broad Spectrum: Only sunscreens that pass a test proving they shield from both UVA and UVB bays can be called broad spectrum.
  • SPF Ratings: Only those sunscreens with an SPF rating of 15 or higher can claim protection against wrinkles, skin cancer and sun damage and they must include the following: “Skin Cancer/Skin Aging Alert: Spending time in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer and early aging.  This product has been shown to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early aging.”
  • Is it waterproof? Manufacturers can no longer use the terms “sunblock,” “waterproof,” or “sweatproof.”   Water-resistant WILL be allowed, as long as the label clarifies whether it will last for 40 or 80 minutes.
  • How long does it last? Sunscreens can no longer make claims that they provide immediate protection OR provide protection for more than two hours without reapplication, unless approved by the FDA.
  • How much is too much SPF? Due to lack of evidence that SPFs over 50 provide extra protection, the FDA also plans on banning sunscreens with an over 50 SPF label.
  • And how does that SPF come? Unique SPF products such as wipes, towelettes, powders, etc. can no longer be marketed without special approval.  As for sprays (one of my personal faves!), the FDA will require manufacturers to submit data on their effectiveness and whether or not they pose safety concerns due to inhalation.

Labor Day, LA style…

So this Labor Day weekend was my first (well, my first with actual plans) in sunny Los Angeles.  In fact, it’s now officially been ONE YEAR since I moved to the gold coast and believe me, I’m still in shock. It’s funny to think back to a year ago and remember that terrified feeling I had about being in a completely new environment knowing only a few people with no real certainty of what would happen.  And now, well…I guess crazy and fate are two words that come to mind.

After a crazy Friday at Raging Waters, Sydne had friends over for a Saturday pool party where the hit of the party was undoubtedly Shiseido Extra Smooth Sun Protection Lotion SPF 38 PA++ for Face and Body.  I had been sent this sunblock awhile back and decided to give it a try…and omg, I’m obsessed.  We all sat around the pool sipping sangria and I couldn’t shut up about how good the sunblock smelled and how soft and silky it was when I applied it.  It got to the point where everyone was like “ok, well we have to try this stuff too if it’s so amazing.”  The verdict?  Even the BOYS were impressed.  One particularly impressed guy at the party, Andy, said how he liked that it was smooth like a lotion but almost had the consistency of an oil.  Not kidding.  He actually said that and I think he’s been secretly moonlighting as a beauty editor.

Friends aside, the product is, as its name says, “extra smooth” and is formulated with rose apple leaf extract, which delivers an excellent boost of antioxidants…plus it’s sand-proof, sweat-proof and water-resistant.


me (with my Shiseido on)