News Room

Statement by Farah K. Ahmed, Chair Sunscreen Task Force, Personal Care Products Council On Consumer Reports' “5 Things You Must Know About Sunscreen”

May 14, 2015
CONTACT: Lisa Powers, (202) 466-0489 or Lauren Brady, (202) 454-0316
Washington, DC – “It is important to note that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) regulates sunscreens as over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and requires rigorous testing for sunscreen effectiveness (both SPF and "Broad Spectrum"). Consumers can rest assured that this reliable and credible testing method results in sunscreens that are safe and effective in protecting them from harmful UV rays.  FDA's sunscreen testing requirements are well recognized by experts and regulatory authorities in the U.S. as well as globally.  It appears that Consumer Reports did not use FDA’s official sunscreen test method but rather used a different test not recognized by scientific experts.  
“FDA requires a specific test for ‘Broad Spectrum’ that is very similar to the European standard.  However, the vast majority of sunscreens on the U.S. market that meet FDA's "Broad Spectrum” test also meet Europe's UVA test. 
“It is inaccurate to suggest that natural sunscreens do not work as effectively as others.  The SPF and Broad Spectrum tests measure the level of sunscreen protection provided to consumers, regardless of whether that sunscreen is "natural," "organic," "green," etc.  
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), the Skin Cancer Foundation and health care professionals around the world all emphasize the safety of sunscreens and the importance of their use as part of a safe sun regimen.  The dangers of sun exposure are clear and universally recognized by public health professionals and dermatologists.  The National Institutes of Health Report on Carcinogens identifies solar UV radiation as a ‘known human carcinogen.’ A single bad burn as a child is known to increase the skin’s susceptibility to damage and skin cancer throughout life.
“Our goal is to help consumers make informed decisions and use sunscreen as an important part of an overall safe sun program.  Sunscreen is a crucial step in the fight against skin cancer and premature skin aging.  It is our hope that using sunscreen becomes as much of a habit as putting on your seatbelt.  
“For more information on the importance of safe sun practices, please watch our Skin Smart educational video series.” 

For more information on cosmetic and personal care products, please visit  
Based in Washington, D.C., the Personal Care Products Council is the leading national trade association representing the global cosmetic and personal care products industry. Founded in 1894, the Council's more than 600 member companies manufacture, distribute, and supply the vast majority of finished personal care products marketed in the U.S.  As the makers of a diverse range of products millions of consumers rely on every day, from sunscreens, toothpaste and shampoo to moisturizer, lipstick and fragrance, personal care products companies are global leaders committed to product safety, quality and innovation. 
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