Two Seals for Sunscreen

With the plethora of sunprotective products available today, it can be hard to choose the right ones. The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation program can
guide consumers by guaranteeing the safety and effectiveness of sunscreens offering two different types of protection.

While the U.S. Food and Drug administration requires sunscreen manufacturers to test their products, it does not verify the results. The Skin Cancer Foundation filled this void by establishing the Seal of Recommendation.
A Photobiology Committee of five independent, volunteer dermatologists reviews each product to ensure that it meets acceptable standards for sun protection. To earn the Seal, manufacturers must submit data showing that its product effectively and safely “aids in the prevention of sun-induced damage to the skin.”

All sunscreens holding the Seal provide both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) protection. These broad spectrum products have also undergone testing to verify that they do not cause skin reactions or irritation. Sunscreens are divided into two Seal categories according to intended use.

Daily Use calls for a minimum SPF (sun protection factor) of 15. These products are ideal for brief sun exposures such as heading to and from the car or running local errands. Examples of Daily Use sunscreens include those included in moisturizers, foundations, eye creams and lip products.

Active sunscreens require a minimum SPF of 30 and are ideal for extended, intense sun exposure, such as when engaging in sports outdoors or enjoying a day at the beach or pool. This Seal also requires products to offer proper water resistance. Examples of Active Use items include sport sunscreens, face sticks and baby products.

The Seal program also includes criteria for sun-protective clothing and hats, sunglasses, auto and residential window film and other sun protection products.

Published on August 13, 2014