Sunscreens are those cosmetic products that are applied on the human skin to scatter the reflection of the solar UV radiation. Use of sunscreens has enhanced a lot because of the increasing awareness of the harmful effects of UV on skin. The chemicals used in sunscreen are used for protecting the skin of the user and also to prevent it from photodegradation.

The chemicals and products are under the regulation of the country where it is produced for getting the cosmetic license. The side effects are a major concern across the world. Any variation in its cosmetic regulatory compliance puts an effect on the assessment of the UV filters and its products.

In the year 1930, the first sunscreen cream was marketed in the USA and Europe when sunbathing became very fashionable. Then in Germany and France, para-aminobenzoic acid was patented and was widely used as one of the major ingredients in sunscreens. It is regulated in all developed countries and the list of substances that are classified as UV filters and its maximum allowable concentration is well established in every country like the United States of America, European Union, Canada, Australia, ASEAN and India.

In the EU, sunscreen chemicals are categorized as cosmetics and its list is updated based on scientific research on approval from European Cosmetics Association.

In the USA, the sun products are categorized as over the counter drugs, a class for which it is needed to indicate the active ingredients that are demonstrated as efficient as well as safe. Its production as well as marketing is regulated by the US FDA. Sunscreen chemicals like dioxybenzone, methyl anthranilate, zinc oxide, trolamine salicylate, cinoxate are approved in the USA but not in India.

In Canada, sunscreen products are categorized as prescription drugs and should meet all requirements that have been set in the Canada Food and Drugs Act before they are imported, advertised or sold in Canada.

The sunscreens are accepted as natural health products when they contain ingredients like titanium oxide, para-aminobenzoic acid, zinc oxide and they are categorized as drugs when they contain at least one of the ingredient like Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octinooxate, padimate-O, Dioxybenzone, Enzacamene. Canada also approves some of the additional sunscreen chemicals like ethyl dihydroxy propyl PABA, trolamine salicylate, cinoxate, diethanolamine methoxycinnamate.

In Australia, there is a high rate of skin cancer occurrence and thus sunscreens make one of the most important products for the sun protection regime. Most of the Australians make use of sunscreens in their everyday lives. For safe and best quality sunscreen, TGA regulates some of the sunscreens as therapeutic goods. Based on SPF rating sunscreens are classified as listable, registrable and exempt.

In India, the Bureau of Indian Standards has listed only permitted UV filters which some of the cosmetic products might contain and there is no limit to SPF rating. Because of this purpose, UV filters are substances that contain cosmetic sunscreen products and help in filtering UV rays for giving protection to the skin.

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