"After 33 years of consideration, the Food and Drug Administration took steps on Tuesday to sort out the confusing world of sunscreens, with new rules that specify which lotions provide the best protection against the sun and ending claims that they are truly waterproof.
The F.D.A. said sunscreens must protect equally against two kinds of the sun’s radiation, UVB and UVA, to earn the coveted designation of offering “broad spectrum” protection. UVB rays cause burning; UVA rays cause wrinkling; and both cause cancer.
The rules, which go into effect in a year, will also ban sunscreen manufacturers from claiming their products are waterproof or sweatproof because such claims are false. Instead, they will be allowed to claim in minutes the amount of time in which the product is water resistant, depending upon test results.
And only sunscreens that have a sun protection factor, or SPF, of 15 or higher will be allowed to maintain that they help prevent sunburn and reduce the risks of skin cancer and early skin aging."