A new ruling by Food & Drug Administration (FDA) will provide consumers in USA with clearer guidance about UV protection. From 18th June 2012, only sunscreens that have a SPF 15 or higher will be able to claim that they help prevent sunburn and reduce the risks of skin cancer and early skin ageing. Also from this date, only sunscreens that protect against UVA and UVB rays will be able to claim 'broad spectrum' on pack. The new rules align with the European Commission Recommendation of 2006.
The FDA ruling favours a simpler classification system for measuring UVA protection which is similar to the UVA label claim currently used in Europe. A previously proposed star rating system has been dropped.
The agency also takes a strong positive stance on inorganic sunscreens that reassures the safety of nanoparticle UV filters and confirms the titanium dioxide and zinc oxide do not penetrate the skin.