The Memorial Day Weekend is considered the beginning of the summer vacation season for the United States. With this season in mind, the FDA released new requirements for labels on tanning products.
Effective May 22, 2000, all suntanning preparations that do not contain sunscreen ingredients are
required to carry the following warning statement on the label:
"Warning--This product does not contain a sunscreen and does not protect
against sunburn. Repeated exposure of unprotected skin while tanning may
increase the risk of skin aging, skin cancer, and other harmful effects to the
skin even if you do not burn." (Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations,
FDA is requiring this warning statement so that consumers are fully informed that such products do not provide protection from the sun.
The term "suntanning preparations" includes gels, creams, liquids, and other topical products that
are intended to provide cosmetic effects on the skin while tanning through exposure to ultraviolet (UV)
radiation (such as moisturizing or conditioning products) or to give the appearance of a tan by
imparting color to the skin through the application of approved color additives, such as
dihydroxyacetone, without the need for exposure to UV radiation.
Because such products include those sold for use at the beach or for use in tanning salons, consumers are strongly encouraged to read carefully the labeling of all tanning products to determine
whether or not they provide protection against the harmful effects of UV radiation.
This required warning was published in the rulemaking for over-the-counter sunscreen drug
products in the Federal Register May 21, 1999.