New rules for sunscreens - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

New rules for sunscreens

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Kim Hunt had melanoma four years ago. She says sunscreen was not a priority when she was younger.

"I wouldn't reapply all the time because although I knew that, I wasn't really going to get tan. There was some hope I would get a little bit of color," she said.

Dermatologists hope new labels on sunscreen products will help consumers make better choices about the products they use to block the sun's harmful rays. New label requirements from the Food and Drug Administration do away with words like sunblock, waterproof and sweatproof.

"You should see sweat resistant or water resistant plus 40 minutes or 80 minutes, meaning reapply that 40 or 80 minutes," said Dr. Ellen Marmur of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Products will only get the water resistant label if they pass testing. Same goes for "broad spectrum," which means the sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays.

"Anything off the shelf that says broad spectrum 30-50 and you should use it and reapply it and that should take all the confusion away," Marmur said.

Under the new rules, a product with an SPF below 15 has a warning saying it only helps prevent sunburn and does not protect against skin cancer or skin aging.

Dermatologists also recommend putting on sunscreen 15 minutes before going out, wearing hats and protective clothing and staying in the shade when you can.

Hunt is now vigilant about protecting her skin from the sun.

"I don't walk out of the house with anything less than 30. My moisturizer has SPF in it, my makeup has SPF in it," Hunt said.

The new regulations will also apply to cosmetics and moisturizers that have sun protection.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a sunscreen that's water resistant, offers broad spectrum protection and has an SPF of 30 or greater.

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