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HHS HealthBeat (July 29, 2011)

Not waterproof


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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Nicholas Garlow with HHS HealthBeat.

Even if sunscreens say they’re waterproof, they’re not. Sunscreens can wash off with sweat, or just being in the water. When this happens, their sun protection washes off, too, leaving users at greater risk for burns, premature skin aging and possibly even skin cancer.

So the Food and Drug Administration has set new rules to help people know what they’re getting and when to use it. FDA dermatologist Jill Lindstrom:

``Sunscreens may only use the term `water resistant,’ and must clearly indicate how long water resistance actually lasts.’’ (7 seconds)

You might not see the change on the labels just yet because the rule is new – it’ll take effect by the summer of 2012 – so there’s a lot of product on the shelves that doesn’t have the information.

Learn more at hhs.gov.

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Nicholas Garlow.

Last revised: July 28, 2011