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Sunscreen Labels

June 15th, 2012

FDA, UVB, UVA, Broad Spectrum, Waterproof, Sweat proof…. You might be wondering what all of those things have to do with labels and printing?  It’s starting to be that time of year where we are all outside soaking up the warm summer sun. That means we should all be lathering ourselves with sunscreen to protect our skin from harmful sunrays. Where does labels and printing fall into play? Sunscreen bottles fall into MR Label Co.’s consumer packaging labels.

These labels are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and the FDA is cracking down the whip on the verbiage printed on these labels. Apparently the FDA says companies have been advertising misleading products and demands the wording on the labels be revised by the summer of 2012. Smaller companies were given until December 2013 to make these changes in their production. In the eyes of the FDA, this is a great idea because it protects consumers from misleading product descriptions, such as waterproof or sweat proof; whereas it’s a costly and enduring process for companies. There is a lot of design and production planning that must be accounted for.

New regulations indicate that sunscreen labels can no longer use words like “sweat proof” or “waterproof”, but replace it with “water resistant.” The FDA goes even further and requires the sunscreen label to specify how long that lotion is water resistant (up to 40 or 80 minutes). The actual levels of sun protection factor (SPF) have also changed. Under the new revisions SPF 15 blocks 94% of rays, SPF 30 blocks 97%, SPF 50 blocks 98% and anything above 50 doesn’t really exist. Sunscreen labels must use the word broad spectrum to indicate it blocks UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreen can only advertise being cancer preventative or anti skin again, if it’s SPF 15 AND broad spectrum.

If you are a smaller company that is still working on these changes and needs help with designing a new label for your product contact one of our sales representatives today and they would be glad to help you. This can be a great time to consider re-branding your product and updating your labels with new graphics. Your company might want to incorporate a QR code, print on fluorescent or metallic material, change the shape of your label etc.