Sunday, December 2, 2012

Avoid the Sunscreen Smokescreen

With the recent delay in FDA sunscreen labeling requirements, the tanning bed debate heating up and a recent Mayo Clinic report indicating that skin cancer rates have increased eight times in young women and four times in young men in just the past forty years, the need for proper sunscreen coverage is more critical than ever. Sun protection clothing company, UV Skinz, is addressing sunscreen confusion in the market by helping consumers know the important standards to seek in a sunscreen.

On the heels of Skin Cancer and Melanoma Awareness Month, the FDA has announced that new sunscreen labeling regulations will not be enforced until December of 2012 rather than June 2012 as originally planned. The FDA claims this is in response to a concern of having enough sunscreen available for consumers this summer. Sunscreen manufacturers now have another six months before having to comply with full disclosure as to the actual sun protection their brands provide, or do not provide.

In the meantime, consumers should beware that sunscreen manufacturers may be making claims that are not true indicators of the level of protection their sunscreens provide. The new FDA requirements mandate that:

  •     a sunscreen labeled 'broad spectrum' must be at least SPF 15 and must protect against UVA rays as well as sunburn-causing UVB rays.
  •     a sunscreen that has an SPF 2-14 or is not broad spectrum must include a "skin cancer/skin aging alert" on the label showing that it has been shown only to help prevent sunburn and not skin cancer or early skin aging.
  •     manufacturers will no longer be able to use 'sunblock,' 'sweat proof' or 'waterproof' in their marketing because no sunscreen provides this level of protection.
  •     'water resistance' claims must be supported by testing to validate that a sunscreen is still effective after either 40 minutes or 80 minutes while the user is swimming or sweating.
  •     any sunscreen with an SPF higher than 50 will have to be labeled SPF 50+.
  •     manufacturers cannot claim 'instant protection' or protection for more than 2 hours without reapplication unless data is submitted and the FDA approves such claims.

But, until December 2012, these clarifications are not required which may leave many sunscreen users with a false sense of protection.

Even when these labeling changes go into effect, consumers still need to be conscious of sunscreen ingredients. Many studies and experts indicate that synthetic chemicals and other ingredients commonly found in most sun women's coats screens can actually introduce harmful carcinogenics into the body. At best, these chemicals are absorbed into the skin and bloodstream and could cause skin irritations or trigger allergies. At worst, chemicals such as dioxybenzone, also an active ingredient in many sunscreens, can react with sunlight to produce free radicals, which are carcinogenic, within the body. Oxybenzone is a paraben found in many personal care products, including sunscreens, which mimics estrogen, potentially interrupting normal hormone production, and, ultimately, possibly contributing to some cancers.

Dermatologists are recommending sun protective clothing to help take much of the guesswork out of making sure consumers are properly covered and to minimize the potential risks in relying on topical sunscreens. UPF 50+ protective sunwear, such as UV Skinz, helps to ensure maximum coverage over large parts of the body, requiring less topical sunscreen. UV Skinz, however, has taken it a step further in trying to keep the company's customers covered from head to toe by recently making available on their website many top rated sunscreens that have been evaluated by various sources as having broad spectrum coverage and fewer potentially harmful ingredients that could penetrate the skin. UV Skinz founder, Rhonda Sparks, says "We wanted to provide an extra measure of value to our customers by doing some of the homework on sunscreens for them. We carry sun protective clothing, sunscreen and a great selection of hats so that our customers can feel confident that they are getting the best sun protection available."

Sparks has built UV Skinz' foundation on creating products that allow consumers to enjoy the outdoor venues in which they live without being concerned about skin damage from UVA and UVB rays. "We are by no means saying that consumers should not use sunscreen. We would just like consumers to be more discerning in their choices to buy organic, natural and mineral based sun protection that doesn't contain ingredients that could potentially harm them."

About UV Skinz

UV Skinz is a leading provider of fun and affordable UV protective sunwear, swim shirts and accessories for the entire family. By providing the highest quality and most fashionable designs at competitive prices, UV Skinz aims to make sun protection effortless. For more information about UV Skinz, interviews, product samples and/or jpg photos, go to, call 1 (877) 887-5469 or email

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