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Published May 24, 2013, 10:05 PM

Sunscreen bottles to become less misleading with changes

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Most people will be stocking up on sunscreen, but what you see in the store may look a little different.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Most people will be stocking up on sunscreen, but what you see in the store may look a little different.

Sunscreen bottles with different labels are already making their way to store shelves, thanks to new labeling rules mandated by the FDA.

Dr. Nor Chiao, Dermatologist, Catalyst Medical Center: “The purpose is to ensure that the public has realistic expectations.”

Catalyst Medical Center Dermatologist Dr. Nor Chiao says the changes are good for consumers. The new guidelines are making sunscreens more informative and less misleading.

Chiao: “Previously there were claims on the labels that were not entirely accurate.”

One of the main changes, the term “sunblock” is now banned because none of these products can block all of the sun's ultraviolet rays. The term “waterproof” is also banned, replaced by with the word “water-resistant”. Bottles must also shave the amount of time the product will last.

Chiao: “Ones that are labeled 80 minutes, they will provide protection for 80 minutes, so we would want to reapply every 80 minutes.”

And, if a label says broad spectrum, the product must pass tests proving that it truly protects against both UVA and UVB rays. If it doesn't you’re not protected against both. Another thing, no more SPF 100 plus.

Chiao: “SPF 50 plus will now be the highest that's allowed on the sunscreen labels, because the SPF does not increase proportionately with the degree of photo protection.”

Along with better informing the public, Dr. Chiao hopes these changes will lead to less skin cancer cases this sunny summer.

Sunscreen products that don't meet an SPF of 15 or higher for both UVA and UVB must now carry an alert warning of “Skin Cancer” and “Skin Aging”.

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