The American Academy of Dermatolgy’s Seal of Recognition for (Some) Sunscreens

In an effort to promote sunscreen use and to help educate consumers about sunscreens and sun protection, the American Academy of Dermatology is putting a seal of recognition on some sunscreens and other sun protective products such as clothing, window tinting, and shade structures. The products must meet minimum standards for both UVA and UVB protection to be recognized and applications for product approval are subjected to an independent scientific review by the Academy.

Thus far only two sunscreens, AVEENO® CONTINUOUS PROTECTION™ with SPF 55 and AVEENO® BABY CONTINUOUS PROTECTION™ have received the AAD’s Seal of Recognition™

Some dermatologists have been critical of the Academy, arguing that an independent academic organization such as the American Academy of Dermatology should never endorse commercial products.

What do you think?

Does an official recognition from the AAD help consumers make better choices? Or does it merely compromise the integrity of an important, international medical association?

3 thoughts on “The American Academy of Dermatolgy’s Seal of Recognition for (Some) Sunscreens”

  1. I have mixed feelings about this. In theory, there’s nothing wrong with a product being commended for consumer safety by a group of academic experts. The question is – did Aveeno pay the Academy for the review? Does the Academy plan to review ALL sunscreens and award their seal to ALL deserving brands?

    What concerns me here is that once you start recommending certain brands, you need to consider (objectively) all of them for fairness. If the AAD is not planning to do that (or if they’re receiving $ for reviews without making that clear) then this could be inappropriate. I don’t have enough info to know what to make of this. But I’d hate to think that smaller companies with an equally laudable product wouldn’t get the seal because they couldn’t afford the review fees… That wouldn’t really do consumers much good, but could contribute to prejudice against small businesses.

  2. Dr Val,
    Yes, Aveeno did pay for the review. The Academy reviews any product submitted provided they pay the fee.

    Many agree with you that collecting a fee, even if used for administrative or for educational purposes taints the AAD.

    The academy ostensibly makes it fair by making the fees a sliding scale based on the size of the company.

    Thanks for your insightful comments.

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