Skin Cancer Foundation revamps sunscreen seal

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Ultraviolet Uva

The US Skin Cancer Foundation has taken the decision to update its Seal of Recommendation for sunscreen products to reflect more stringent industry standards.

The organization says it has updated the seal following its introduction 30 years ago. Since then it has become a recognized household logo that is claimed to be used on over 800 products, both nationally and internationally.

As well as sun care creams, those products also include UV treatments for products such as sunglasses, umbrellas, laundry products, clothing and films for residential windows.

The seal is being updated in an attempt to meet tougher minimum sun protection recommendations for the latest sunscreen products on the market, which are designed to optimize against over exposure to the sun’s UVA and UVB rays.

Focus on UVA rays

In particular, the new seal concentrates on ensuring that all products bearing the seal comply with the organization’s agreed standards for UVA protection.

In recent years UVA rays have become an integral part of sunscreen protection, following on from the increasing body of scientific evidence suggesting that these rays also pose a risk to the onset of skin cancer.

In 2007 the FDA introduced a new rating system for UVA protection as well as the recommendation that all sunscreens include a warning label about the dangers of sun exposure.

Proof of photostability

Following on from this, the revamped seal stresses minimum UVA and UVB requirements, as well as ensuring proof of the formulation’s photostability.

“Our goal, now more than ever, is for the seal to help consumers easily identify safe and effective sunscreens amid varying claims and labeling practices,”​ said Perry Robins, president of the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Further to this, the seal has also been divided into two key categories – Daily Use, intended to give consumers protection to every day incidental sun exposure, and Active, intended to give minimum recommendations for individuals exposed to the sun for longer periods of time.

Daily Use and Active recommendations

The requirements for the Daily Use seal include minimum UVB protection SPF 15 and UVA protection to a critical wavelength of 370 or PPC 5, together with proof of formulation stability.

For the Active seal, manufacturers have to prove a minimum UVB protection SPF 30, and UVA protection to a critical wavelength of 370 or PPD 10, combined with proof of photostability and proof water resistance.

The organization began to accept applications for the new seal back in July and says it will require full compliance by all current seal holders by May 2012.

Related topics Formulation & Science

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