How a Product Earns Our Seal


To earn the Seal of Recommendation, a manufacturer must provide scientific data showing that its product sufficiently and safely "aids in the prevention of sun-induced damage to the skin." The data are reviewed by a volunteer committee of photobiologists - experts in the study of the interaction between ultraviolet radiation and the skin.

The Seal is granted to sun protective products including sunscreens, moisturizers, cosmetics, sunglasses and window glass film, awnings, and umbrellas, sun-protective clothing, and laundry products that provide UV protection for fabrics. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends more than 80 brands within the U.S. and internationally. Please note that applications for combination sunscreen and insect repellent products are not accepted.

The Seal of Recommendation requirements listed by sun protective category:

Sunscreens:
 

Daily Use Seal of Recommendation

  • UVB protection: A sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Validation of the SPF number by testing on 10 human subjects.
  • UVA Protection: A critical wavelength of 370. Learn more about this test.
  • Acceptable results for phototoxic reactions and contact irritancy testing on 20 human subjects.
  • Testing data for any claims that a sunscreen is water- or sweat-resistant.
  • “Sport” sunscreens, or those labeled with similar language are not eligible for the Daily Use Seal of Recommendation.


Active Seal of Recommendation

  • UVB protection: A sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. Validation of the SPF number by testing on 10 human subjects.
  • UVA Protection: A critical wavelength of 370. Learn more about this test.
  • Acceptable results for both phototoxic reactions and contact irritancy testing on 20 human subjects.
  • Proof of water resistance.


International Seal of Recommendation

  • A sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher
  • Validation of SPF number testing on 10 subjects
  • Substantiation for any claims that a sunscreen is water- or sweat-resistant
  • Acceptable results for both phototoxic reactions and contact irritancy testing on 20 subjects


Clothing, Sunshades, Umbrellas, Fabric and Fabric Treatment:

Traditional Seal of Recommendation

  • An ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 30 or higher
  • Acceptable test results according to the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists method or AS/NZS Standard
  • For hats, in addition to the fabric requirements specified above, a minimum brim width of 3 inches


UV Film and UV Glass:

Traditional Seal of Recommendation

  • 99% or greater blockage of UVA and UVB radiation


Sunglasses:

Traditional Seal of Recommendation

  • 99% or greater blockage of UVA and UVB radiation


For information on how to apply for The Seal of Recommendation, please contact Nancy Helman at (212) 725- 5176 or nhelman@skincancer.org.