But that’s about to change: This summer the new FDA-mandated labeling information goes into effect. Now only sunscreens with an SPF 15 or higher that have passed new, stricter testing guidelines can be classified as “broad spectrum.” If you only remember one thing about sunscreen, make it this: Broad spectrum is your assurance the formulation offers enough UVA and UVB protection to shield you from sunburn and reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging when used as directed. Furthermore, brands can no longer claim to be “waterproof,” “sweatproof,” a “sunblock,” or promise to last longer than two hours without the necessary reapplication. The term “water resistant” is A-OK, so long as it notes how long the lotion stays effective (40 or 80 minutes) post-swim or sweat.
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