In November, the Sunscreen Innovation Act (SIA) was signed into law. Hopefully, this will bring the U.S. up to par with Canada and Europe for sun protection. The impetus for the Act was the lack of attention by the FDA to sunscreen products.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. It can be prevented by avoiding Ultraviolet (UV) rays, but the sunscreens we have today often do not cover the full UV spectrum. You may be surprised to learn that the last sunscreen ingredient approved by the FDA was in 1990. Almost 25 years since any new products have been approved. Now, that would be fine if there just weren’t any advances since then, but there have been. There are several products available in Canada and Europe that we cannot get here and they provide a broader range protection. In fact, since 2002, the FDA has been sitting on 8 applications. The FDA has not provided any comments or guidance as to why those 8 products have not been approved.
The SIA forces the FDA to act on new applications for sunscreen products quickly. Hopefully, this means within 6 months we will have some new products available. That should be just in time for our summer vacations!
Until then, I continue to recommend using a product with Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide as those are broad spectrum UV blockers. We carry the EltaMD line of products in the office, next time you are in pick up a sample to try.
You can read more about the SIA at the Congress’ web site.