The New Rules

Health & Fitness // Zinzi Edmundson // 03/19/12
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Kat Borchart
Think you're protected from the sun? Make sure...

Last year, the FDA rolled out a major overhaul on sunscreen regulations. FOAM read the fine print to keep you scorch-free all summer long.

UVA
-Ages your skin
-95% reaches the ground

UVB
-Burns your skin
-5% reaches the ground

Decoding SPF (Sun Protection Factor)
A sunscreen's SPF rating is baded on a test that determines how well a product protects you from burns (remember: that's only UVB rays). A sunscreen's SPF number multiplies your skin's burn threshold. So...

SPF 15: 1/15 of the sun's rays will reach your skin
X Light Skin= 150 min before you burn
X Medium Skin= 250 min before you burn
X Dark Skin= 300 min before you burn

Old Rule: SPF protects against UVB burn time only
New Rule: SPF protects against UVA and UVB protection

The New Rules
Sunscreens used to get away with only protecting against UVB rays, but now if it says "SPF," they have to shield from both. Also, they can no longer say "waterproof," "sweatproof," or advertise an SPF rating higher than 50.

Look For:
• SPF 15+
• The phrase "broad spectrum"
• Sunblock: literally "blocks" the sun with zinc rather than absorbing into your skin
• Titanium Dioxide: In lab tests the rats who inhaled this chemical contracted cancer. Use zinc instead!
• Oxybenzone: When the sun hits this chemical, it causes a reaction that releases free radicals.

For more FOAM-approved sunblocks, check out BEAUTY



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