New sunscreen rules that won't burn you - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

New sunscreen rules that won't burn you

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

We wear sunscreen for protection, but it turns out we also needed some protection from the marketing on the labels.

Remember those bottles of waterproof sun block you bought last year? Well, they were lying to you.

"A lot of claims were made," said Dr. Ronea Harris, MD Dermatologist.

Claims that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration say caused confusion with consumers.

"With regards to how much protection they were receiving with the use of products," said Dr. Harris.

The FDA has called for mandatory sunscreen changes to help consumers better understand what they're buying.

The rules went into effect earlier this month and some companies have already made the switch.

"If a product claims that it's going to protect a consumer from the sun it should be at least SPF 15," said Dr. Harris.

She says another big change products won't be able to claim they are sweat proof, water proof or sun block any longer.

And if a brand states it's water resistant a specific amount of time has to be associated with that resistance.

"Reapply it after a specific amount of time which is usually 80 minutes," added Harris.

If the sun protection factor is below 15, then products will have to carry a warning that it's not safe.

Sunscreens' will now have to pass a UVA and an SPF protection test to carry THIS label.

"It's important to be looking for broad spectrum sunscreens that will ensure that you are getting both UVA and UVB protection," said pharmacist Tiarra Britton with Target stores.

And remember to keep reapplying the sunscreen throughout the day.

"Anytime that you are going to be outside in the sun specifically between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm," said Britton.

Dermatologists recommend you use about an ounce of lotion to cover your entire body, every two hours. 

The FDA is evaluating whether to put a cap on this number at SPF 50-plus, since anything over 50 doesn't give you that much more protection. For now, the higher numbers stay on the label.

In the event that you do get minor sunburn, doctors say you can apply a cool compress to the burned area.   You can also apply aloe vera, which has a cooling effect. 

If you feel that the sunburn is more severe,  you may want to seek medical attention.

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