Current sunscreen issues: 2007 Food and Drug Administration sunscreen labelling recommendations and combination sunscreen/insect repellent products

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2008 Aug;59(2):316-23. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2008.03.038. Epub 2008 May 15.


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates sunscreens as over-the-counter drugs. This article describes sunscreen actives available in the United States, new developments available elsewhere, and the amendment to the FDA 1999 sunscreen monograph, released on August 27, 2007, which proposes a new grading system for ultraviolet B protection, a cap of the sunburn protection factor to 50+, and a 4-star grading of ultraviolet A protection. In addition, current data on combination sunscreen and insect repellent products are discussed. Application of a combination product too frequently poses the risk of insect repellent toxicity, whereas application too infrequently invites photodamage. It may be prudent to follow the same approach of our Canadian colleagues of discontinuing combination products until more investigations are available.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Consumer Product Safety
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Labeling / standards*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Humans
  • Insect Repellents / administration & dosage*
  • Insect Repellents / adverse effects
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Sunburn / prevention & control*
  • Sunscreening Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Sunscreening Agents / adverse effects
  • Sunscreening Agents / classification*
  • United States
  • United States Food and Drug Administration


  • Insect Repellents
  • Sunscreening Agents