FDA Blew The Whistle On Cosmetic SPF Hype
People fear skin cancer. So people buy SPF creams, SPF make up, SPF sprays, SPF everything… Today you may find toothpastes with SPF labels on them.. The skin care products manufacturers found the new marketing hype, the SPF. This week the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has called for new regulations concerning these products.
SPF 140 Sun Block Creams Hype
When standing in front of the sun block products at the pharm shelves you may think there is a race for the highest SPF label count on products. While we once knew only the SPF 15 products and their big brother SPF 30 or 45. Searching the sun block section will reveal SPF figures which are so high that a person may think he is under some magic skin shield.
Because people do not understand the SPF and there is a lot of misleading information coming from the skin care manufacturers, the easiest thing these companies could do to sell more products is to place a large label shouting ‘SPF 90’ somewhere on the box.
What Is Really SPF
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. Which may sound great but it is far from delivering up to it’s name. there are two main risks coming from the sun, these are the sun harmful rays, the UVA and UVB. you can read more about UVA and UVB at the article on ‘sun tanning risks for skin cancer’.
In short the UVB rays are the SHORT rays which are causing us the skin burns when lying hours at the beach or at the pool side sun bathing. The UVB are stronger at the summer when earth is spinning closer to the sun. UVB rays can be easily blocked, even a thin layer of cloth will block UVB rays. Because UVB sun rays cause the burns, the SPF ‘sun protection factor’ was made to protect the skin from the UVB rays.
UVB sun rays main damage is that they ‘only’ burn the skin.
UVA are the longer sun rays, this is actually ‘sun light’ and these rays are reaching earth all year long, summer or winter. UVA is harmful at the 21 December just as they are harmful at 21 June.
Why Did The FDA Made New Rules For SPF
Because SPF is protecting the skin against UVB rays which as mentioned ‘only’ burn the skin (the epidermis), while SPF does not block UVA sun rays at all! And what the skin care manufacturers never mention is that: It is the UVA sun rays which cause skin cancer! So while people buy SPF protection makeup or even SPF sun guard creams, these are actually non effective and serve zero protection from skin cancer!
SPF Does Not Protect From Skin Cancer
Manufacturers took the SPF hype too far, and the FDA has just called their bluff.
How Much Cream Is SPF Effective? First of all when the skin care products say their product is good for 30 minutes, they say at ‘lab conditions’. These lab conditions mean that the amount of SPF cream used to cover the face is equivalent to a 1 full teaspoon! While most people rub some sun block cream as if it was toothpaste on their finger tip and rub it at the cheeks and forehead, and think they are protected, they are actually not! Because the SPF is effective only when used generously!
Is SPF 8 Protective? Well the FDA thinks it’s not! So from now on, skin care manufacturers could not label products with SPF lower than 15 as sun protective or skin cancer preventing. These products will carry a warning to protect from the sun.
FDA Rule Clear New SPF Guidelines
Is SPF 90 Better Than SPF 70? The FDA thinks not! The FDA rules that over SPF 50 there is no proof that the high figures have any evidence of being more protective! So the highest SPF count will be 50. You may see signs like SPF 50+ which indicate higher than 50, but the exact figure will not be shown as they did not prove to be better protective.
Did You Buy “waterproof” or “sweat-proof” Cream? Well FDA thinks there is a lot of misleading and overstated issues on this subject too. Manufacturers will need to clearly state how long will the cream stay protective for. Will it protect you after 30 minutes of swimming or 60 minutes of sweating. Writing SPF ‘sweat-proof’ on products without further details is no longer accepted.
Sun Block Sprays. the FDA is checking further the new SPF sun block sprays, the FDA mentions that sprays have less coverage and protection than creams, and they are evaluating further steps regarding these new sun guard solutions.
Buy Broad Spectrum Protection Only
The FDA does not allow SPF creams without UVA protection to claim they are ‘broad spectrum’ or protective against skin cancer Melanoma or anti-aging. These claims are allowed only for sun screen creams which are BOTH – UVA & UVB screening, and SPF 15 or higher.
These new FDA rules will take effect by summer 2012. Many manufacturers may begin right away to change the labels and gain back the customers trust after this SPF scam which the FDA had to stop.
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