Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) Buys Foreign Sunscreens Not Approved by U.S. Government F.D.A.

(p. 2) After months of prompting, I have finally managed to help my husband form a daily sunscreen habit. Whenever I see traces of paper white cream in his dark beard, I think, We’re halfway there.

Hoping to avoid the white cast, heaviness and greasiness common in many sunscreen products available in U.S. drugstores, some Americans, including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, have taken matters into their own hands, opting for sunscreens manufactured abroad. In a recent interview, the congresswoman said she toggled between Bioré in the summer and Beauty of Joseon in the winter — two Asian brands that employ active ingredients not approved for use in the United States.

“The technology is very sophisticated,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said. “You don’t feel like you have a layer of sunscreen on, and it kind of just feels like you’re putting on a moisturizer in that sense, which makes it easier to use.”

While sunscreen is regulated as a cosmetic in major skin-care hubs like South Korea, Japan and the European Union, in the United States, it falls under the purview of the Food and Drug Administration. Any drug product marketed to American consumers must be approved by the F.D.A., and because sunscreen “makes a drug claim” — namely, that it can prevent sunburn, decrease the risk of skin cancer and mitigate early skin aging — the agency regulates it as an over-the-counter drug.

The last time the Food and Drug Administration approved new active ingredients for use in sunscreens was more than two decades ago, and at times it can feel as if the rest of the world has surpassed the United States in the development of new sunscreen formulations and protocols. Skin-care influencers on TikTok and Instagram are in a near-constant state of frenzy over exciting new products and innovations that are nowhere to be found on American shelves. Currently there are 14 sunscreen filters approved for use by the F.D.A. The European Union employs more than 30.

Frustrated by what seems to be a wealth of more exciting options for sun protection overseas, skin-care-conscious Americans have been quick to point the finger at the F.D.A. for the delay in approving new active ingredients.

For the full story, see:

Sandra E. Garcia. “U.S. Sunscreen Is Stuck in the ’90s.” The New York Times, SundayStyles Section (Sunday, August 13, 2023): 2.

(Note: the online version of the story has the date Aug. 12, 2023, and has the title “U.S. Sunscreen Is Stuck in the ’90s. Is This a Job for Congress?”)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *