U.S. flag An official website of the United States government
  1. Home
  2. Drugs
  3. Resources | Drugs
  4. Information for Consumers and Patients | Drugs
  5. Buying & Using Medicine Safely
  6. Understanding Over-the-Counter Medicines
  7. Sunscreen: How to Help Protect Your Skin from the Sun
  1. Understanding Over-the-Counter Medicines

Sunscreen: How to Help Protect Your Skin from the Sun

Get consumer information about sunscreen and sun protection


Latest News

Just as it does with other nonprescription drug products, FDA regulates sunscreens to ensure they meet safety and effectiveness standards. To improve the quality, safety, and effectiveness of sunscreens, FDA proposed updated requirements for sunscreens in September 2021 as directed by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES Act). These same proposed requirements were originally described in a proposed rule issued by FDA in 2019. The 2021 proposed order was used to transition FDA’s sunscreen proposals to the new administrative order process established by the CARES Act.

Given the recognized public health benefits of sunscreen use, Americans should continue to use sunscreen with other sun protective measures as this important effort moves forward.

Sun Safety Tips

How you use sunscreens, and what other protective measures you take, make a difference in how well you are able to protect yourself and your family from sunburn, skin cancer, early skin aging and other risks of overexposure to the sun. Some key sun safety tips include:


  • 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, such as 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 two hours, and more often if you're sweating or swimming.

Get More Sun Safety Tips

Questions About Sunscreen

Related Resources

Back to Top