Changes to sunscreen packaging rules

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - When faced with a wall full of different types and brands of sunscreen in your local store, it's hard to know which is the best to choose.

"I tend to go for the highest SPF and for waterproof," said Lillie Head who was playing with her daughter in Charlotte's Freedom Park.

That's a pretty typical response but one area dermatologist says it's not easy to find on the bottle all of the information you need to keep your skin safe.

"These new rules from the FDA will really cut through the marketing and put all sunscreens on a level playing field." said Dr. Gilly Munavalli with Dermatology, Laser, and Vein Specialists of the Carolinas.

The FDA is mandating that all sunscreens, makeup or lotion which make an SPF claim have standardized wording and labeling that is very specific.

"For example, this bottle of children's sunscreen I got at a big box store says it's Tike Proof.  That's not a medical claim and it won't be allowed on the new bottles," said Dr. Munavalli.

That's just one change.  All of the writing on the bottles must be in similar font sizes.  You won't have to search the package to see if it covers UVA and UVB rays.  It will say Broad Spectrum right on the front.

There will also be an SPF cap of 50 and if it says water resistant it has to be 40 or 80 minute and it will be tested by the FDA.

To read all of the new regulations click here.

Dr. Munavalli says this does not mean you should throw away the sunscreen you have now.  It contains all of the same ingredients and the FDA still considers any previously approved sunscreens safe.

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