Spending time in the sun increases the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. To reduce this risk, consumers should regularly use sun protection measures including:
- Limit time in the sun, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun’s rays are most intense.
- Wear clothing to cover skin exposed to the sun; for example, long-sleeved shirts, pants, sunglasses, and broad-brimmed hats
- Use Broad Spectrum sunscreens with SPF values of 15 or higher regularly and as directed
- Reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours, more often if you're sweating or jumping in and out of the water.
The ABCs of sun protection
Additional Consumer Information
In June 2011 FDA announced significant changes to sunscreen products that will help consumers decide how to buy and use sunscreen, and allow them to more effectively protect themselves and their families from sun-induced damage. For more information about these changes, see Questions and Answers and FDA Regulatory Action on Sunscreen.
How Sunscreen Works
Not all sunscreen are created equal. Listen to the reasons why some work - and others don't.
Sunscreen: Stronger Rules, Better Protection
This video outlines the new steps FDA is taking to protect consumers from sun damage to the skin.
A sunscreen with broad spectrum UV protection and SPF 15 or higher is one skin-protecting tool. High-res versions of this graphic—and another on products with less protection—are available in PDF5 or via Flickr6.
- Sunscreen Innovation Act
- Delay of Compliance Dates: Labeling and Effectiveness Testing; Sunscreen Drug Products for Over-the-Counter Human Use
Federal Register Notice (5/11/2012)
- Final Rule: Labeling and Effectiveness Testing; Sunscreen Drug Products for Over-the-Counter Human Use
- Proposed Rule: Revised Effectiveness Determination; Sunscreen Drug Products for Over-the-Counter Human Use
- Notice of Availability: Draft Guidance for Industry on Enforcement Policy for Over-the-Counter Sunscreen Drug Products Marketed Without an Approved Application
- Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Sunscreen Drug Products for Over-the-Counter Human Use; Request for Data and Information Regarding Dosage Forms
- Comment Request: SPF Labeling and Testing Requirements and Drug Facts Labeling for Over-the-Counter Sunscreen Drug Products; Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection
- Guidance for Industry: Enforcement Policy -- OTC Sunscreen Drug Products Marketed Without an Approved Application (PDF - 83KB)