News Room

Statement by Beth Lange, PhD, Chief Scientist Personal Care Products Council In Response to Consumer Reports' “Summer Survival Guide”

May 17, 2016

Contact:  Lisa Powers, (202) 466-0489 or Lauren Brady, (202) 454-0316

Washington, DC – “We are pleased to hear the strong message from Consumer Reports that the best sunscreen is the one a consumer is likely to use, and applaud the clear public health message that consumers should apply sunscreen adequately, to all exposed areas, and remember to reapply.  The report highlights the variety of sunscreens that are currently available to consumers.  While there are many different forms (lotion, spray, etc.) and types (water resistant, fragrance free, oil free, etc.) of sunscreen available, finding one that works for an individual and proper use are key factors to protecting skin.  

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), the Skin Cancer Foundation (SCF) and health care professionals around the world all emphasize the importance of sunscreen use as part of a sun safety 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 can increase the skin’s susceptibility to damage and skin cancer throughout life.

“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.  Consumer Reports did their own testing of the products but did not share whether they followed the FDA guidelines required by companies.  As such, it is difficult to determine whether their results were consistent with FDA testing requirements.  

“Some simple tips for sun safety include:

  • Avoiding the sun during the peak hours of 10:00 am- 4 p.m.
  • Wearing sun protective clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat and UV protective sunglasses
  • Using a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day, even on a cloudy day
  • Reapplying sunscreen every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating
  • Visiting your healthcare professional every year for a skin exam

“Our goal is to help consumers make informed decisions and use sunscreen as an important part of an overall safe sun program.  Daily use of 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 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.