China FDA clarifies new sunscreen labelling rules

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

China FDA clarifies new sunscreen labelling rules

Related tags Sunscreen

After CFDA recently unveiled new guidelines for the labelling of Sun Protection Factors (SPFs). Now the Chinese authorities have moved to clarify the measures after some confusion arose.

The first update was made at the beginning of June and caused some head scratching among both manufacturers and consumers, so the CFDA has now clarified with further documentation.

The first update to the regulation, made on June 1st this year, underlined that all sunscreens with SPFs between 2 and 50 and PA+++ should be marked with this measured value from standard testing practices.

Agreeing on a value for SPF30+

Previously sunscreens were only measured up to a value of SPF30 and PA+++, even if there protection values were much higher, so the new measurements aimed to bring the country in line with other international regulators who recognize SPFs values as high as 70.

Since then, companies offering sunscreens with a higher protection value than have been asked to apply for a modification license.

However, since that first update, a number of manufacturers and sunscreen developers have reported confusion over the labelling requirements because the potential error margin in measuring SPFs is not taken into account.

CDFA responds to confusion

In response the CDFA says that any SPF that is measured as being equal or greater than an SPF2 rating, are subject to rules that include measuring SPFs 2 – 5 to indicate their actual measures value, and measuring SPF 6 – 50 according as an agreed calculation of the minimum and maximum tested measure values, while SPFs in excess of 50 should be measured as SPF50+.

Further to this, some manufacturers have also been found to use higher amounts of certain sunscreen ingredients than is allowed, specifically more than 4% for Ethylhexyl Salicylate and more than 5% for 4-MethylbenzyIdene Camphor.

The CFDA has underlined that manufacturers marketing and selling products that exceed the recommended dose of these ingredients should take these sunscreens off the market with immediate effect.

For further information and clarification, please consult the CFDA website and consultation services by clicking here​. 

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