New FDA Sunscreen Regulations and Benefits of Topical Antioxidants

As you may recall, earlier this year the FDA came out with labeling changes on sunscreens. The final regulation allows sunscreens to be labeled as “Broad Spectrum” if they pass the FDA’s test for protection against Ultraviolet A (UVA) and Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays.  Both UVA and UVB contribute to sunburn, skin cancer and premature skin aging.  Sunburn is primarily caused by UVB radiation. This can be rather confusing, so I am including this link to a short FDA video that explains the difference, and how it applies to the new ruling for “Broad Spectrum.” Any sunscreen  that is NOT Broad Spectrum, or is Broad Spectrum but has an SPF between 2 and 14 will be required to have a warning that it has not been shown to help prevent skin cancer or early skin aging.  The labeling changes will go into effect within 1 to 2 years.

Topical Antioxidants

Sunscreen is important, but it’s only one part of the protocol. Antioxidants can help prevent and restore negative effects of sun damage. Topical Vitamins C, E and Ferulic Acid Ester are among the most potent Antioxidants. They allow the body to heal the negative effects of UV exposure, prevent DNA damage and skin cancer.  They also help block sunburn, so they are considered “photoprotectants.” They protect collagen, elastin and other components of the skin, and can help spur new production to restore what was lost from sun damage and exposure. Several manufacturers produce an ineffective Vitamin C product that sits on the surface of the skin.  In my products we use  L-Ascorbic acid, a component of Vitamin C.  This is so potent, it can easily oxidize, so the L-Ascorbic acid is specially formulated for stability and absorption.  Antioxidants help repair damage, and used with a Broad Spectrum Sunscreen, offer powerful protection. For antioxidants, I recommend CEGA 30 serum and Tea Derma.  The Tea Derma contains ECGC the most potent polyphenol antioxidant in green tea extract. For more extensive treatment, we offer a full photodamage kit. All these products are available in my on-line store.

The seasons are changing, but here in Texas, the sun will continue to be strong for many weeks to come. Have fun, but don’t forget to protect your skin!

About Christine Brown, M.D.

Dr. Christine Brown operates a leading dermatology practice in Dallas, Texas. She understands the importance of good skin care and is committed to providing you with high-quality care in a pleasant and professional atmosphere. Services include clinical and cosmetic dermatology.
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