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A New Sunscreen Law For Australia?

November 13, 2012

Having worked in the Australian sunscreen industry in various roles (supplying actives,  marketing, formulating,  testing and researching alternative natural UV filters)  for the last eight years the prospect of moving to SPF 50 plus labelling/ protocols is not new ‘news’.  However, what was news to me was that it had happened this week.

First one to spot the new law wins an ice cream! Come on…. It must be out there somewhere!

Yesterday morning I awoke to a press release by the one and only L’Oreal:

New Australian sunscreen Standard brings La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF50+ into the light.

Already widely available in Europe, SPF50+ sunscreens will now be available to Australians.


The Therapeutic Goods Administration in Australia (TGA) has confirmed that from 10th November 2012, new sunscreen Standards will take legislative effect.

The new Australian sunscreen Standard includes the following primary changes:

ú  An increase in the SPF claim (SPF represents the UVB protection factor) from 30+ to 50+ (a 50+ claim represents a minimum SPF of 60).

ú  A new, legal requirement in Australia for a higher level of UVA protection (to have a UVA/UVB ratio of at least one third, for e.g. products claiming SPF50+ must have a UVA protection factor of at least 20).

 The most visible change for consumers will be to the SPF number but the most important change will be, to the level of UVA protection of those products claiming SPF50+.

“Today on the market, we already have a high level of UVB protection, as determined by SPF30+ however two products with the same SPF do not have the same level of UVA protection. The significant change for consumers will be that with the new legislation taking effect, products claiming SPF50+ Broad Spectrum will now offer higher UVA protection.” explains Caroline Collier, General Manager, La Roche-Posay. 

Professor Dominique Moyal, International Expert on Photo-Protection, L’Oréal Research & Development France, argues that there has always been a need for a UVA protection criteria and clear UVA protection labelling. This legislation already implemented in Europe in 2006 and more recently in Latin America, proves to guarantee the highest level of UVA protection available, so for Australians this will be a step forward for sun protection.”

Under these new Australian legislative requirements, La Roche-Posay re-introduces its heroes Anthelios XL Fluide Extreme and Anthelios XL Stick with very high protection against UVA and fully compliant with the new SPF50+ Broad Spectrum criteria.

“The new Standard in Australia will cleverly establish the link between SPF claims and broad spectrum protection. The higher UVA protection comes at a time when we are starting to understand the evils of this longer wavelength to our skin health. UVA has been the poor brother of the more obviously damaging, shorter UVB wavelength that causes the sunburn and surface sun damage.” – Greg Goodman, Associate Professor and Founder, Dermatology Institute of Victoria

The new legislation will insist that Australian sunscreens improve their protection against UVA, the wavelength responsible for photo-aging and contributing to skin cancer.

Despite no formal transition period from the old Standard to the new Standard, all new products on the Australian market claiming 50+ after the 10th November, must ensure they are fully compliant with the requirements of the new Standard.

The advantage for French-based brand, La Roche-Posay Anthelios? An early compliance to the SPF and UVA protection criteria of the new Australian legislation ensures its two heroes: Anthelios Stick and Fluide Extreme will be immediately available as of 10th November.

New packaging to reflect the changes with SPF50+ will be phased into stores from mid-December.

Affirming its compliance status with the new Standard as the range of sun care that offers the broadest sun protection available with the highest tolerance for sensitive skin, La Roche-Posay Anthelios meets these new, higher performance efficacy requirements for UVA protection, head on.

While all of that sounds awfully ‘gee thank you guys, I must ditch my inadequate SPF 30 UVB focused sunscreen and jump into bed with you’  I’m not that kind of girl.  I had questions…….

My first question – a very simple one in my mind was addressed to the TGA:

Guys, I just heard that the SPF 50 change that we have been working on validating for a long time now came into force this week.  When can we expect to see this change on your website please?

I hope to have an answer to that later today.

In the meantime I’m going to stay safe, happy and covered in Australian made sunscreen – factor 30 plus.

UPDATE: 1.40 pm on 13th November 2012. 

OK so here is a link to the new rulings which were posted up on the TGA site a couple of hours ago (and a good day behind the L’Oreal announcement which I found a bit odd as I thought that the TGA was leading here……..)

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Raylene permalink
    November 13, 2012 10:28 am

    Reblogged this on 1Skin Lifestyle and commented:
    Add your thoughts here… (optional)

  2. anton viljoen permalink
    May 4, 2016 8:32 pm

    Hi Amanda … We have just completed and designed a new sunblock in South Africa … there is nothing like this convenient packaging on the market . How does one go about contact large DC’s or institutions that would look at something like this ? Is there a agent or office in Cape Town ?? regards anton

    • RealizeBeautyEd permalink*
      May 5, 2016 7:08 am

      Hi there, I actually can’t help you with that as I don’t have a clue! What is a DC? I don’t have any contacts in South Africa but I do know that there is a Society of Cosmetic Chemists that may well have a bit more of a clue. Here is a link to their website. Good luck!

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