With the introduction of new sunscreen regulations from the FDA, it's not surprising that Americans are looking for more education on sun safety and what these recent regulations mean for them.

The makers of COPPERTONE® products surveyed more than 1,000 adults across the U.S. to uncover their awareness of new sunscreen regulations that are designed to help consumers make more educated choices.

Sun protection can be a complex topic, but if you are interested in learning more about sun safety as well as how the FDA regulations may affect your sunscreen habits, you are not alone:

  • While 71 percent of households with children use sunscreen, only 44 percent were aware of the new FDA rules.
  • A strong public interest in sun protection exists. More than three-fourths of Americans (83 percent) expressed interest in learning more about sun care topics such as preventing skin cancer (72 percent), UVA protection (64 percent) and how to choose an SPF value right for you (62 percent).
  • Only half of those surveyed knew that broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher provides added benefits when used as a part of a complete sun protection program.

The COPPERTONE Solar Research Center continuously seeks to educate consumers on sun protection so that they can continue to embrace the sun™ with confidence.

Jumpstart your education in sun protection by exploring these tips from Dr. Elizabeth Hale, expert dermatologist and consultant to the makers of COPPERTONE®. And for more information on the FDA’s new sunscreen regulations, browse this Q & A.


TIP 1: Brush up on your knowledge of broad spectrum protection

Sunscreen products that are broad spectrum offer protection against the two types of ultraviolet radiation, UVA and UVB rays. Most of my patients are familiar with UVB rays, which can cause sunburn and skin cancer, but it’s also important to understand the potential risks associated with UVA rays that can contribute to early skin aging and wrinkling. Under the FDA’s 2011 requirements for sunscreen testing and labeling, simply look for the words “broad spectrum” on the label in order to know that your sunscreen protects against both UVB and UVA rays. All Coppertone® lotions and sprays labeled SPF 15 and higher already meet the FDA’s broad spectrum standard.*

*Use as directed

TIP 2: Make sun protection a priority for the whole family

Take the time to educate your family on the importance of sun protection. Because significant sun damage occurs before people reach age 18, sun safety habits should start at an early age. I make sunscreen application part of my family’s morning routine before running out the door for errands or outdoor activities. If children resist putting on sunscreen, find ways to make the process more fun such as a “sunscreen challenge” or rewards for remembering to reapply.

TIP 3: Be aware of skin sensitivities

Because babies have such delicate skin, I advise that parents avoid sun exposure for infants younger than six months. For children six months and older, try lotion formulas that are hypoallergenic such as tear-free WaterBABIES Pure & Simple Sunscreen Lotion. Also, be sure to use gentle products if you have sensitive skin. Fragrances and dyes can trigger skin irritation, which is why I recommend that patients with conditions such as rosacea or acne choose sunscreen options that contain zinc oxide. Coppertone® Sensitive Skin Sunscreen Lotion is clinically proven to be appropriate for individuals with sensitive skin including rosacea, and won’t clog pores.

TIP 4: Match your sunscreen with your activity level

Choose a sunscreen that best complements your activities. For example, if you’re going to be swimming or sweating, opt for water resistant formulas. Under the FDA’s regulations, sunscreen labels may indicate that they are water resistant for either 40 or 80 minutes. No matter what kind of activity you’re doing, whether swimming or just enjoying the outdoors, it’s important to make sure you are reapplying sunscreen frequently.

TIP 5: Boost your protection beyond sunscreen

The best sun safety strategy encompasses several aspects of protection. Wear sunglasses to help protect your eyes and don a wide-brimmed hat to add another layer of protection. Sun-protective clothing is becoming more popular among my patients, and many designs are quite stylish! UPF clothing is now available in dresses, skirts and fashionable tops, so you can keep covered – and “on-trend”. Seeking shade, especially during the sun’s peak intensity hours between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., is also helpful. With a little bit of planning, you can help your family enjoy outdoor activities and stay safe in the sun.

Brush Up on Sunscreen Labels

the makers of COPPERTONE® products Introduce New Packaging for 2012 Suncare Season

A new COPPERTONE® look features a modern
and refreshing logo and package design

Introducing a unified color scheme across
each COPPERTONE® line promotes easy
recognition and decision making

New FDA-compliant labeling
meets 2012 sunscreen final rule

New ghosted SPF numbers make it easier
for customers to find and choose their

All COPPERTONE® lotions and sprays with an SPF 15 or greater
in stores today already meet the newly announced 2012 standard
for "broad spectrum" protection.

SUNSCREEN resources

Consumer Relations
MSD Consumer Care, INC.
P.O. Box 377
Memphis, TN 38151-0001

The following list provides additional sources for information on suncare, skin cancer, the UV Index, ozone depletion and related issues.

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