Over the past decade, cosmetic and salon products containing AHAs have proliferated, including skin products, makeup, hair products, nail products, bath products, colognes, and suntan preparations. Clinical studies indicated that topically applied AHAs increase skin sensitivity to UV radiation during application and for a week after discontinued use. Short-term exposure to the sun may cause sunburn. Chronic long-term exposure to the sun may cause premature aging of the skin or be a risk factor for certain skin cancers.
The Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Assn. had petitioned FDA to issue a regulation establishing “sun alert labeling” on AHA-containing products.
In issuing the guidance, the agency said it will await the results of a pending photocarcinogenicity study and the effectiveness of any final guidance before determining whether or not to take additional action such as a regulation. Meanwhile, it believes interim action is warranted to inform consumers of the need to use sun protection when using cosmetics containing AHAs.
FDA suggested that the following statement appear on the label of cosmetics containing AHAs: “Sunburn Alert: This product contains an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that may increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun and particularly the possibility of sunburn. Use a sunscreen and limit sun exposure while using this product and for a week afterwards.” FDA said it believes this label statement will be a source of new information about sun protection for most consumers and a reminder for those who already know they should use sun protection when using these products.