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What do French and European laws say for our health and our planet?

Sun protection is an essential part of our daily routine, but do you know what French and European laws actually say about it? As we turn to sunscreen products to protect our skin from the sun's harmful rays, it's important to understand current regulations and their impact on our health and our planet . In this article, we will explore the regulatory guidelines governing sunscreen products in Europe, as well as recent legislative advances aimed at promoting environmentally friendly practices in the cosmetics industry.

Solar products and their effectiveness are strictly regulated by European regulations.

These regulatory texts impose standards of safety and effectiveness of protection for all solar products. Annex VI of European Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009 also imposes a list of UV filters that sunscreen products may contain. Thus, solar products placed on the market in Europe must go through a series of standardized tests including: determination of the protection factor (SPF) , determination of conformity of the UVA protection value and determination of the length critical wave. For water-resistant solar products, this parameter must also be proven by a standardized test.

Made In France ” solar products are subject to these same obligations with the “pluses” that we know from local production: a reduction in environmental impact, in particular thanks to the economy of transport, and the support of our pretty French brands.

There are no environmental regulations in Europe.

The European regulation does not regulate environmental concerns, measuring the impact of products on the environment is therefore not mandatory to date. Certain regions of the world have banned certain substances in order to preserve marine ecosystems: oxybenzone and octinoxate have been banned in Hawaii and the Virgin Islands since 2021 and 2020 respectively. Here are 2 filters to look for on ingredient lists and to avoid in your products.

Constant research into the impact of sunscreens on health implies an evolution of regulations. Octocrylene is now controversial and scientific studies are underway. As a precautionary principle, we have excluded it from our formulas for 10 years.

An anti “GreenWashing” tool: the Agec law

Environmental laws have highlighted the risk of certain UV filters to the environment. This has resulted in new brands being positioned as “ reef safe or ocean friendly ” as marketing strategies. However, the diversity of labels and marketing claims used revealed the shortcomings of the regulations in this regard.

Marketing strategies were then based on a regulatory void : what does “environmentally safe”, “Reef safe” mean in view of the number of different organisms present in ecosystems?

It seems difficult to confirm the absence of toxicity of a product on all of these populations also taking into account all the mechanisms of distribution of substances and ecotoxicity which can come into play. Sometimes marketing strategies can also push the consumer to think that substances of natural and organic origin are, in fact, non-toxic for the environment. Which, as explained above, is not necessarily the case. The Agec law now regulates in France “environmentally friendly” claims and self-declaring pictograms having the same meaning.

In conclusion, it is crucial to take into account European and French regulations when choosing solar products . These guidelines aim to ensure the safety and effectiveness of products while minimizing their impact on the environment. As new laws, such as the Agec law, aim to regulate environmental claims and combat greenwashing, it is essential for consumers to stay informed and aware of the issues surrounding sun protection. By opting for products that comply with regulatory standards and are environmentally friendly, we can protect our skin while contributing to the preservation of our planet.

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