Skin Cancer xxix, 2011 : Page 50

HEALTH Introducing the New Seal of Recommendation W hen you’re shopping for sunscreen, choosing from among the dozens of brands lining the shelves, with their countless ingredients, can be quite daunting. Since 1979, The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation Program has been a beacon for consumers, helping them select the safest and most effective sunscreen products. Now, just as sunscreens have evolved for the better, so has the Seal of Recommendation. In January 2011, The Skin Cancer Foundation introduced several key innovations — the first since the program began. In addition to new sunscreen standards, including rigorous ultraviolet A (UVA) protection requirements, the Founda-tion unveiled a new labeling system classifying sunscreens as either “Daily Use” or “Active,” depending on their intended purpose. The Seal of Recommendation is the only labeling program worldwide that not only sets rigorous standards for sun protection products, but scru-pulously verifies they are met. The Foundation’s volunteer Photobiology Committee, whose physician members are experts in the study of the interac-tion between ultraviolet (UV) radiation 50 The Seal of Recommendation is the only labeling program worldwide that not only sets rigorous standards for sun protection products, but scrupulously verifies they are met. and the skin, reviews all the safety and efficacy data for every single product before it can be awarded the Seal. This program enables the Foundation to educate consumers when they are making important decisions about sun protection that directly affect the health of their skin. The program has set the standard for safe, effective, and photostable sun protection products, including sunscreens, sunglasses, sun-protective clothing, specially treated auto and residential window film, shade umbrellas, and more. The improvements made to the Seal program are major steps for-ward, because after more than three decades updating its requirements (its “Monograph”) for sunscreen, the FDA still has not published them. Even when it does, they will serve only as rating and labeling guidelines. In contrast, the Foundation’s updated Seal requires scientific verification of the sunscreen’s UVA protection along with the existing UVB requirement. (For more information on gauging UV defense, see “Measuring UVA Protection,” right.) “After extensive planning and market research, we are implementing a program that requires even more stringent sun protection standards and simplifies product labeling,” said Warwick L. Morison, MD, MB, Chair-man of the Foundation’s Photobiology Committee. “Selecting effective sun protection products is a matter of public health, and this is, above all, a consumer education program.” The new Seal of Recommendation standards take into account the sig-nificant improvements in sunscreens in recent decades. “Daily Use” products are intended to protect consumers from incidental sun exposure that occurs over short periods of time, during activities such as shopping and short drives. Examples of such sun-screen products might include daily moisturizers, cosmetics, foundations, eye creams and lip products. S K I N CA N C E R F O UND A T I O N J O URN A L

Introducing The New Seal Of Recommendation

When you're shopping for sunscreen, choosing from among the dozens of brands lining the shelves, with their countless ingredients, can be quite daunting. Since 1979, The Skin Cancer Foundation's Seal of Recommendation Program has been a beacon for consumers, helping them select the safest and most effective sunscreen products.<br /> <br /> Now, just as sunscreens have evolved for the better, so has the Seal of Recommendation. In January 2011, The Skin Cancer Foundation introduced several key innovations – the first since the program began. In addition to new sunscreen standards, including rigorous ultraviolet A (UVA) protection requirements, the Foundation unveiled a new labeling system classifying sunscreens as either "Daily Use" or "Active," depending on their intended purpose.<br /> <br /> The Seal of Recommendation is the only labeling program worldwide that not only sets rigorous standards for sun protection products, but scrupulously verifies they are met. The Foundation's volunteer Photobiology Committee, whose physician members are experts in the study of the interaction between ultraviolet (UV) radiation and the skin, reviews all the safety and efficacy data for every single product before it can be awarded the Seal. This program enables the Foundation to educate consumers when they are making important decisions about sun protection that directly affect the health of their skin. The program has set the standard for safe, effective, and photostable sun protection products, including sunscreens, sunglasses, sunprotective clothing, specially treated auto and residential window film, shade umbrellas, and more.<br /> <br /> The improvements made to the Seal program are major steps forward, because after more than three decades updating its requirements (its "Monograph") for sunscreen, the FDA still has not published them. Even when it does, they will serve only as rating and labeling guidelines. In contrast, the Foundation's updated Seal requires scientific verification of the sunscreen's UVA protection along with the existing UVB requirement. (For more information on gauging UV defense, see "Measuring UVA Protection," right.)<br /> <br /> "After extensive planning and market research, we are implementing a program that requires even more stringent sun protection standards and simplifies product labeling," said Warwick L. Morison, MD, MB, Chairman of the Foundation's Photobiology Committee. "Selecting effective sun protection products is a matter of public health, and this is, above all, a consumer education program."<br /> <br /> The new Seal of Recommendation standards take into account the significant improvements in sunscreens in recent decades. "Daily Use" products are intended to protect consumers from incidental sun exposure that occurs over short periods of time, during activities such as shopping and short drives. Examples of such sunscreen products might include daily moisturizers, cosmetics, foundations, eye creams and lip products.<br /> <br /> "Daily Use" products must have:<br /> • An SPF (sun protection factor) of 15 or higher [SPF specifically measures UVB protection]<br /> • Validation of the SPF number by testing on 20 people<br /> • A critical wavelength of 370 or Persistent Pigment Darkening (PPD) of 5, as tested on 10 people [critical wavelength and PPD measure UVA protection] <br /> • Acceptable results for phototoxic reactions and contact irritancy testing on 20 people <br /> • Proof of photostability (the ability to retain adequate potency for some time without breaking down in the sun)<br /> • Substantiation for any claims that a sunscreen is water- or sweat-resistant <br /> <br /> "Active" products are designed to protect consumers from extended sun exposure and during recreational activities such as outdoor sports, picnics and pool parties. Examples might include sport sunscreens and baby products.<br /> <br /> "Active" products must have:<br /> • An SPF of 30 or higher<br /> • Validation of the SPF number by testing on 20 people<br /> • A critical wavelength of 370 or Persistent Pigment Darkening (PPD) of 10, as tested on 10 people<br /> • Acceptable results for phototoxic reactions and contact irritancy testing on 20 people<br /> • Proof of photostability<br /> • Proof of water resistance<br /> <br /> The transition to the new Seal program will be complete by May 2012. Until then, the more than 1,000 products that currently carry the Seal of Recommendation may display either one of the new Seals or the traditional Seal.<br /> <br /> The members of The Skin Cancer Foundation's Photobiology Committee are chairman Warwick L. Morison, MD, Professor of Dermatology, Johns Hopkins Medical School, Lutherville, MD; Henry W. Lim, MD, Chairman and Clarence S. Livingood Chair, Department of Dermatology, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit; John Epstein, MD, Clinical Professor of Dermatology, University of California at San Francisco; Heidi Jacobe, MD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, and Steven Q. Wang, MD, Director, Dermatology Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New Jersey.<br /> <br /> Measuring UVA Protection<br /> Several test methods can be used to evaluate the UVA protection level of a sunscreen product. Two of the most common methods are the Critical Wavelength test and Persistent Pigment Darkening (PPD).<br /> <br /> Critical Wavelength is a laboratory test method using specially formulated tape that measures UV transmission with and without sunscreen. In this method, the absorption spectrum of the sunscreen is measured against wavelength. The wavelength where 90 percent of absorption occurs is defined as the critical wavelength. The more potent the UVA protection, the longer the critical wavelength.<br /> <br /> The PPD method is modeled after the SPF test, which measures UVB protection. Human subjects are exposed to UVA wavelengths (320 to 400 nanometers) both with and without sunscreen. The appearance of pigment darkening of the exposed skin two to 24 hours after exposure is used as a biological endpoint; theoretically, a sunscreen with a PPD rating of 10 should allow you to endure 10 times as much UVA exposure before darkening as you would without protection.<br />

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