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PCPC Responds to CDC's Request for Skin Cancer Comments

Posted: September 11, 2013

The Personal Care Products Council's (PCPC) Farah Ahmed submitted comments to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in response to the CDC’s request for information about reducing exposure to UV radiation in order to reduce skin cancer rates.

Among her comments, Ahmed, chair of the PCPC's sunscreen committee, recommended the reduction of skin cancer rates through four measures: promoting skin cancer prevention on product labels, increasing public understanding of sunscreens, increasing public understanding of incidental/daily sun and beach exposure and creating a forum with the dermatology community for communication.

“Individuals of all ages and skin tones should use sunscreen daily as part of an overall safe sun regimen to reduce the risk of UV damage, including premature skin aging and skin cancer,” commented Ahmed. “As we continue advocating for sound science, our industry looks forward to working with the CDC and the Surgeon General in the commitment to preventing skin cancer."

The Council’s activities on educating the public about the health benefits from daily sunscreen use include:

  • Provided volumes of scientific and technical data supporting sunscreen’s ability to reduce the risk of skin aging and skin cancer when used as part of an overall safe sun program. For the first time in 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permitted companies to communicate the skin cancer prevention benefits that these products provide.
  • Created a video series titled, Skin Smart to help educate the public about skin health and wellness. The first episode of Skin Smart is meant to help consumers understand the new sunscreen labeling regulations that FDA released in 2011, as well as highlight the many forms that sunscreens take in every day personal care products.
  • Created a second Skin Smart episode to demonstrate how the sun’s rays can damage skin, debunk troubling myths about the safety of sunscreen ingredients, and explain the benefits of using sunscreen daily in the fight against skin cancer and premature skin aging.
  • Hosted a number of educational workshops with key opinion leaders from the dermatology community as well as sunscreen experts from industry to discuss and exchange important information regarding proper skin care, including regular use of sunscreens. The workshops provide a forum for understanding sunscreens and sun protection from many different perspectives – photobiology, regulatory, cosmetic chemistry, clinical experience, etc.

“Being skin smart is about sharing real science and expert advice to empower people to make informed choices when it comes to their skin beauty and health,” concluded Ahmed.

The PASS Coalition has also recently submitted comments in response to the CDC's request.