New sunscreen labels will hit shelves in June, making it easier to stay safe from the sun's harmful rays while understanding exactly what kind of protection you're buying.
Soaking up the sun feels great -- especially after a long Minnesota winter, but skin cancer is still the most common form of cancer in the country. About 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers and 65 percent of melanomas are associated with exposure to UV radiation from the sun.
That means sunblock is essential to protecting yourself, but with so many different types and strengths, it can be confusing -- even with the FDA's new labeling standards.
The FDA hopes to clear up confusion about the strength of sunscreen products and the claims manufacturers make -- such as labeling a product sweat- or water-proof. Now, the new labels will tell consumers what kind of protection they are getting and how long it will last.
There will still be a wide range of SPF strengths available and the number of varieties isn't expected to decrease. That's why FOX 9 News invited Jodi Zastrow, regional dean of nursing with Rasmussen College, to come share some sunblock essentials -- like how much SPF is needed, when it should be applied, and how much should be used.
As a general rule, no one should be stingy with their sunscreen. About one ounce -- or the amount that fits into a shot glass -- should be used for full-body coverage.
Spray-on sunscreens work just as well, but many dermatologists recommend the creams since people tend to miss spots when using the spray -- or they don't apply enough to fully protect themselves.
The new label guidelines go into effect on June 18th, but there could be some lag time before the old stuff is off store shelves.