FDA Cracks Down on Sunscreen Manufacturers

New rules about SPF can help you decide what to buy now.


Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.

The Food and Drug Administration—after 33 years of deliberation—is finally cracking down on sunscreens that embellish SPF ratings and fail to provide protection from ultraviolet A rays, the ones scientists think may cause cancer. Most sunblocks provide protection from UVB rays, which cause sunburn, but many don’t block the more-dangerous UVA rays. Beginning next summer, sunscreens with both broad-spectrum UVA and UVB coverage, plus an SPF rating of between 15 and 50, will get the administration’s seal of approval. The FDA doesn’t believe a rating of greater than SPF 50 is possible and will ask sunscreen manufacturers to cap the number there. Claims that sunscreens are water- and sweat-proof, which FDA scientists call “exaggerations,” will also be prohibited. 

Read More from the Associated Press.