Why SPF Wipes Are No Longer on Drugstore Shelves

Slim woman applying sunscreen

Every beauty buff and dermatologist will tell you that sunscreen is the best anti-ager out there, not to mention the only known foil to those ever-more-dangerous UV rays. In attempts to ensure that sunscreens are protecting us in the ways that they promise, the FDA has set new guidelines, requiring that when a sunscreen is labeled as “broad spectrum,” it has indeed undergone the correct testing to ensure it contains the right percentages of ingredients to adequately shield skin from UVB and UVA rays.

But, in the midst of all these new guidelines, there have been some casualties along the way: Namely, those über-convenient sunscreen wipes that made quick work of application. Wipe and you’re done. But the FDA states on their website that they do not consider wipes, towelettes, powders, body washes or shampoo eligible for approval.

“The regulation on wipes is only in discussion. The FDA is seeking feedback, therefore the ruling is not final,” says Skin Cancer Foundation spokesperson Steven Q. Wang, M.D., Director of Dermatologic Surgery and Dermatology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Basking Ridge, N.J., and a member of The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Photobiology Committee.

But rather than hang in limbo (the FDA is notoriously slow when it comes to such rulings), many companies have decided to just throw in the towel. Literally. Many brands have discontinued their sunscreen wipes. Guess it’s time to bid a sad farewell to a convenient form of sunscreen application.

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