FDA’s new sunscreen guidelines warn of labeling differences

    Careful what you get when you go sunblock shopping. The FDA has changed its guidelines, and under them, your sweatproof, waterproof, high SPF, downright magical sunscreen could be missing the mark.

    The main change will highlight the difference between UVA and UVB rays. If your bottle doesn’t promise “broad spectrum SPF,” it doesn’t meet FDA standards for protecting from both types of rays. Everything else — and low-level SPFs between 2 and 14 — will only help you avoid sunburn, not skin cancer and wrinkles.

    Levels will be capped at 50, so that bottle of 75 SPF in your linen closet might not be giving you any extra protection. There isn’t enough data yet to determine if higher levels yield better protection.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.