February 20, 2019
One thing is clear—consumers and many skin care professionals do not know as much about safe sun as they should. Our profession needs to embrace educating clients on sunscreens, and safe sun needs to become more paramount. There are a myriad of popular misconceptions, even about SPF ratings. It is amazing to think that many consumers and skin care professionals thought an SPF rating of 15 meant that one could safely stay in the sun for 15 hours. SPF is not related to time of solar exposure, but rather the amount of solar exposure which varies based on the time of day. One hour in the sun at 9 am may equate to 15 minutes at 1 pm.
The goal of this article is to provide a primer on sunscreen rules and regulations, what is allowed and what is not coupled with the tortuous and still pending litany of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations governing sunscreens, which are classified as over the counter (OTC) drugs. Our personal safety and the environmental health of the planet are greatly impacted by sun care as is the spiraling cost of health care for increased skin cancer, which is becoming an expensive aspect of health care.