What you need to know about the new FDA Sunscreen guidelines. Written by Rachael Pontillo for Dermascope
There is a great amount of confusion regarding the use of sunscreen. There is a myriad of different products on the market with SPF (sun protection factor) values ranging from 2 to over 100. Products claiming they are waterproof; products offering protection from UVA and UVB rays. Furthermore, these products are available in many different price ranges, in many different places: dollar stores, drug stores, department stores, spas and even in some physician’s offices. All of these factors make it difficult for consumers to know which sunscreen to buy, how much and how often to apply it, and how long they can stay out in the sun while wearing it.
For example, is it better to buy the SPF 100+ waterproof broad spectrum product from the local pharmacy for $9.99? Or is it better to purchase the organic SPF 20 tinted moisturizer with antioxidants and peptides for $65 at the spa? Do higher SPFs mean better protection, or does a higher price tag from a trusted professional mean a higher quality and a more effective product? Along the same lines, how are aestheticians and spa owners supposed to make the decision of which sun protection products to recommend to their clients and carry for retail sale?
New Sunscreen Testing And Labeling Regulations
In June of 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that starting in the summer of 2012, sunscreen products will have to undergo different tests to determine how they will be allowed to be labeled and marketed. Prior to this announcement, there had not been any parameters regarding what kind of claims manufacturers could make, what buzz words they could print on their labels, or how they could market their products in 33 years.
Think about that: Thirty-three years ago, most people thought of “sun care” as oiling up with baby oil and using those wacky foil reflectors to get as tan as possible. Sunscreens only offered SPF (UVB) protection, because people wanted to tan, but did not want to burn. Even so, it was rare to see a sunscreen product with anything higher than an SPF 15. Between then and now, sunscreen manufacturers did not have many rules regarding marketing, labeling and making certain claims about their products’ functionality and efficacy.
Times Have Changed
We have now what we did not have back then: Scientific evidence that overexposure to UVA and UVB rays cause skin cancer and are responsible for the majority of how the skin ages. The new FDA guidelines will make sure that the different claims made by manufacturers undergo thorough and standard tests, and that the products are labeled accordingly.
I recently had the opportunity to learn about these new guidelines during my interview with Timothy J. Turnham, the executive director of the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF). Turnham is very pleased with the new guidelines, feels that they are solid, and that the laws are finally catching up to all of the information science has uncovered.
The most significant changes:
- There will be an established floor and ceiling for SPF with a minimum of 15 and a maximum of 50.
- In order to use the term “broad spectrum SPF” on a product, the amount of UVA protection must be proportional to the amount of UVB protection.
- There will be no more claims that sunscreen is “waterproof” or “sweat proof”, because these claims make people believe that they can apply the product once, then be in and out of the water all and not have to reapply.
- There will be new application recommendations as well. No sunscreen will be allowed to claim protection for longer than two hours.
- All over-the-counter sunscreen products and cosmetics, must be labeled as drug products and state the Drug Facts on the back or side of the package/product.
Marion Simms, owner of SkinSense Wellness Spa in Los Angeles, explains the role pH-balancing and probiotics have on healthy skin.
In the skin care business, it is not unusual to talk about the pH of a product. The letters “pH” stand for potential hydrogen, as hydrogen is the element that controls the levels of either alkalinity or acidity in a formulation. Acidic products range from 0–6.9 and are often used to exfoliate or peel the skin; alkaline products range from 7.1–14 and can be used in cleansers or to neutralize acidity and, very often, moisturizers are formulated to be neutral (a pH of 7) to bring the skin back into balance. Too much acidity or alkalinity is irritating for the skin, so the pH should always be carefully calibrated.
More recently, the principle of pH-balancing has been applied to the body. This holistic approach is based on the belief that the foundation of a strong digestion is built on a simple eating system that maintains an ideal acid/alkaline (pH) balance in the body. How is that done? The suggested pH-ratio would be a diet of two-thirds alkaline and one-third acid-forming foods. This takes some adjustment. So, to take a step in the right direction, let’s outline a few alkaline foods that can be incorporated in greater quantities, and some acidic foods that can be eliminated. Raw, green, leafy vegetables, such as chard, kale and spinach are all excellent at maintaining a more alkaline system. So are avocados, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, coconuts, cherries, grapefruits, lemons and watermelons. Obviously, exercise and relaxation are essential and, as already mentioned, drinking the right amount of water. Men need more water than women on a daily basis, but if you eat plenty of the aforementioned vegetables and two or three fresh fruits a day, you can fill half of your required fluid quota. A healthy way to start and end each day, for example, would be with a cup of warm water flavored with half of a fresh lemon.
Foods you can recommend for clients to minimize or avoid are white flour, red meat, processed food, coffee, too much alcohol and artificial sweeteners. These create a lot of acidity in the body. Too much acidity triggers eczema, acne, cysts, rosacea and wrinkles; so all of these conditions may be greatly improved by a diet that contains alkaline-rich foods.
As any good esthetician knows, the skin is an important part of the body’s immune system and will reflect inner stress and poor lifestyle choices. Topically, the skin produces antimicrobial peptides that keep bacteria in check. But when certain conditions are present, such as psoriasis, acne, atopic dermatitis and rosacea, the skin’s defenses are over-ridden, and bacteria and fungi proliferate. Harsh cleansers, highly acidic formulas and prescription medications, both oral and topical, often exacerbate the problem, so correct analysis and product recommendations at this stage are vital.
Skin that is dehydrated or broken out won’t respond well to immediately aggressive peels or exfoliating treatments, so the skin is balanced with enzymes and aromatherapy before attempting anything more advanced. Meanwhile, the client should use a home-care routine that is also gently re-balancing, including vitamins A, C, and B-5, with plenty of ceramides and hyaluronic acid to calm and hydrate. Consistent and diligent morning and evening routines are always important, but never more so than at this particular stage. It is also interesting to note that probiotics have now started showing up in product formulations for topical use where they can encourage cell renewal, improve barrier function and retain surface moisture. This builds new tissue and gives the skin a glow.
SUNDÃRI has been announced as the winner of the 2011 Professional’s Choice Award for ‘Favorite Ayurvedic Line’
I am excited to share that SUNDÃRI has been announced as the winner of the 2011 Professional’s Choice Award for ‘Favorite Ayurvedic Line’ given by American Spa magazine. This award recognizes the amazing products and treatments that SUNDÃRI brings to the spa industry around the world.
Of all the anti-aging spa products on the market out there, those packed with Vitamin C are some of the most beneficial. Vitamin C has been proven to stimulate the production of collagen, which helps restore skin tone, fight wrinkles, reduce inflammation and strengthen the skin — giving it a youthful glow. Serums penetrate the skin further than moisturizers and are packed with more benefits.
This active Vitamin C Serum (hydra-stabilized L-Ascorbic Acid) helps to reduce the visible signs of photo aging by helping to fight destructive free radicals. In addition the skin acquires important protection from damaging ultra-violet rays. These productive functions result in retextured, toned, and younger looking skin. The Vitamin-C Serum is made from organic citrus fruit concentrates, that are rich in vitamin C, and amino acids.
Great article by Stephanie Frey
“Microcurrent has been called the nonsurgical, or lunchtime face lift, and is a safe and effective, low-cost treatment that counteracts environmental damage, aging skin and poor dietary habits, without invasive surgery.
What is microcurrent?
Microcurrent technology is a low-level electrical current that mimics the body’s own biological current. Despite its low electrical vibration—one millionth of an amp—microcurrent treatments are very effective. It helps increase protein synthesis, promote waste removal, stimulate healing, regenerate tissue, balance free radical damage, boost cell growth, enhance natural collagen and elastin production, provide circulatory benefits, and work directly on the nerves and muscle fibers. Its mild frequency does not stimulate sensory nerves, is pain-free and causes no client discomfort.
Also known as facial toning, microcurrent is an esthetic treatment that physically firms and tones the skin through muscle re-education. This process, according to the online article “ATP and Cellular Ageing” by David Suzuki, is achieved by stimulating 32 of the 53 facial muscles at traditional acupuncture points with tiny amounts of electricity to re-energize their biological currents and re-establish muscle memory. The result can be a reduction of fine lines, creases and wrinkles; restored healthy glow of youthful skin; visible firming, contouring and lifting; and the tightening of sagging jowls, double chins and fatty cheeks.
As people age, the body’s biological current and chemical energy slows down, cellular renewal takes longer and skin cells stop performing efficiently. This leads to multiple skin problems: loss of tone, elasticity and firmness; fine lines; wrinkles; sagging—all signs of aging. Microcurrent can help reverse this process by re-energizing the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
Because microcurrent stimulates the production of ATP, it can be used to treat virtually any skin condition and can be added to any treatment protocol. Microcurrent brings relief to clients with acne by aiding in the elimination of the Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) bacteria, and in the reduction of acne scarring. For clients with fine lines, wrinkles, dark circles, baggy eyes and an overall loss of definition, microcurrent can be used as a stand-alone treatment or combined with LED, microdermabrasion or chemical peels to accelerate the reappearance of youthful, beautiful skin.
Using SUNDÃRI a distinctive collection of anti-aging skincare products created from the purest ingredients and rarest essences distilled from nature, SUNDÃRI blends modern science for immediate results with botanicals known through ancient wisdom. This facial combines adherence to Ayurvedic principles based on an ancient eastern philosophy with the finest quality ingredients from nature, delivering a holistic approach to wellness that results in outer radiance and inner serenity.
Are you a Vata, Pitta or Kapha? Test your dosha here. http://www.sundari.com
Clients who come to me saying they have sensitive skin may simply be suffering from dehydration. Once skin is properly hydrated, many sensitivity issues disappear. External and internal hydration are both necessary to glowing skin.
Be particularly careful with mechanical exfoliants — too many people are overusing them and causing skin irritation and lesions. Mechanical exfoliants loosen skin that’s not ready to be loosened yet, so you shouldn’t use them more than once a week. An enzyme exfoliant is different — it only loosens skin cells that are already dead. Remember, skin is a living organ and it will fight back!
If you end up with a sunburn this summer, soothing remedies can be grown right in your own garden.
The gel in aloe plants, for instance, lubricates and heals the skin. Cucumbers cool the skin and reduce swelling. Shred one to make a poultice for affected areas, or place slices of chilled cucumber on closed eyelids for 20 minutes to reduce puffiness.
The bright orange flower calendula (also called pot marigold) is anti-inflammatory and can help reduce the pain of sunburn. It is best applied up to three times a day, as a cream or an ointment. You can find calendula and other garden products at most health food stores or by doing a simple search online.
Just last year, the European Union passed a directive dictating that personal care products must be free of chemicals known or strongly suspected to cause cancer, genetic mutations, or birth defects. As a result, over 1,200 chemicals were banned. But almost all of them are still authorized for use in the United States. Believe it or not, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require makers of shampoos, soaps, or deodorants to test products for safety before they’re sold. Among the roughly 10,500 ingredients used in personal care products, only 11 percent have been evaluated for safety.