Memorial Day is the official start to summer and the Environmental Working Group recently released its report on sunscreens for 2012.
This is the sixth year the agency has looked at the effectiveness of sunscreens on the market here in this country.
New FDA rules were supposed to take effect June 18th, but they’ve been pushed back until December 2012 to give manufacturers more time to comply. We’ll see if that stands. Some lawmakers are pushing to have those standards in place sooner.
When those new rules take effect, sunscreens will only be able to carry a “broad spectrum” label if they have been proven to block UVA and UVB rays. The waterproof ones will also have to tell you how long they remain waterproof before you need to reapply them. Many brands are already using those labels.
The EWG recommended one in four sunscreens this year. That’s an improvement over last year when it recommended one in five. However, what’s interesting is that half of the sunscreens sold here in the U.S. would not meet be allowed to be sold in Europe because they fail to meet the E.U.’s strict standards.
I just did a story with a 16 year Austin teen who was diagnosed with Melanoma at the age of 14. Pretty frightening.
So keep this in mind -- dermatologists recommend you use a sunscreen that is at least an SPF of 30, one that is broad spectrum and that you reapply it frequently. They also recommend you don’t solely rely on sunscreen. Limit your time in the sun, especially between the hours of 10am and 2pm. Do your best to wear hats, clothing and sunglasses whenever possible regardless of your age.
As one doctor from Duke University said, “too many people still like the look of a tan or believe it protects their skin — when it really is a sign that damage has begun.”
To see how the EWG rated your sunscreen go here.