As this blog has already mentioned, the past few months have seen new guidelines for sunscreen makers to consider when making labels for their creams and lotions. Terms must be clarified, with the phrase "broad spectrum protection" denoting the range of radiation the product shields against (known as UVA and UVB).
As a recent New York Times article suggests, however, the chemicals or other ingredients that form the base of these products may present difficulties for customers looking to integrate them into their standard habits, and cosmetics producers can put corresponding information on their cosmetic labels in order to clarify.
The article describes the dilemma that makeup users may encounter in terms of getting sufficient protection from the sun, as some options reportedly don't offer the same kinds of defense as creams. Checking the SPF level on cosmetic labels is considered a necessity, as achieving the right level of total SPF (recommended as somewhere between 15 and 50) may require use of both kinds of products. But that doesn't mean that a product can't be preventative and cosmetic.
The Times interviewed makeup veteran Sylvie Chantecaille on this subject, as she defended mineral-based sunscreens over makeup products that may use chemicals like oxybenzone to add this element.
"Mineral sunscreens don't penetrate the bloodstream," she said. "That was top of my mind when we started developing it."
With conflicting information out in the market, it can be hard to communicate to consumers which types of products are in their best interest. This is part of why making labels that keep customers well-informed is such an important task, and cosmetic labels in particular can work to provide the types of information shoppers are most likely to be looking for.