Sun Protection Program


The Sun Protection Program (SPP) recognizes sunscreen products that meet a standard that provides effective sun protection. The approved products are licensed to display our logo and statement for which a licensing fee is paid. The funds generated support our Sun Awareness Program which educates Canadians about sun safety.

In 1989, with the encouragement of then Health and Welfare Canada, the Canadian Dermatology Association launched the Sun Protection Program (SPP) to recognize broad spectrum sunscreens with an SPF of 15 and higher. The minimum SPF was raised to 30 in September 2008.

Industry partnership remains very much a crucial part of this public education program today. Monies collected through this program’s licence agreements, which permit manufacturers to bear the CDA logo and recognition statements on their primary and secondary sunscreen products and advertising, are invested into Canada-wide public education programs and activities.

A variety of print and electronic educational materials which show Canadians of all ages and skin types how to be sun smart have also been created through this funding support and can be found in physician offices, public health units, community centres, daycares and kindergartens across the country.

SPP continues to offer a win-win opportunity for both CDA and its Industry partners.

Did you know in a recent omnibus survey of nearly 800 Canadians, 77% said that they would be more likely to select a sunscreen product bearing the CDA logo?

As a sun safety education program, CDA will not consider any product that is marketed for tanning and insists that manufacturers take a proactive stance regarding protection against sun damage to the skin.

For more information, please contact Jack Gorman, Finance and Contracts Administrator, 613-738-1748; jgorman@dermatology.ca.

The Canadian Dermatology Association asks sunscreen brand owners interested in carrying the CDA logo and recognition statement on their products to complete an application form for each product which they wish to receive recognition.

The application form is to be submitted directly to the CDA, along with all relevant independent laboratory evidence and application fee, with the following information:

  • Product information (such as English/French name, DIN);
  • Applicant information (with specific contact name);
  • Name of Canadian importer (if the product is manufactured outside of Canada);
  • Product formulation information;
  • Test results to prove that the product:
    • has a UVB sun protection factor of at least 30
    • contains a broad spectrum UVA block
    • is non-comedogenic
    • is non-irritating and hypo-allergenic (i.e. HRIPT)
    • is minimally or non-perfumed
  • A list of all relevant certifications under which each individual laboratory operates;
  • A list of the standards complied with in the manufacture of the product; and,
  • Proposed product labeling and advertising.

No application will be reviewed until the application fee has been received and all the required information has been submitted.

As soon as a product has been reviewed by a member (or members) of our Expert Advisory Board, and deemed to have met the SPP criteria, a license agreement will be sent to the applicant to be reviewed, signed and returned to the CDA, along with the appropriate licensing fee. Once this final stage of the application process has been completed, the applicant will then have the right to bear the SPP’s seal of recognition on the approved product, while also having the option to include the following statement(s) of recognition on all product labeling, packaging, print or electronic media and advertising materials:

  • The full statement which may be used in association with the SPP Logo:

The sun may cause sunburn, premature aging of the skin and skin cancer. Avoiding the sun, wearing protective clothing and regular use of sunscreens over the years may reduce the chance of these harmful effects.   This product meets the Canadian Dermatology Association’s Sun Protection Program criteria.

  • The short statement which may be used in association with the SPP Logo:

This product meets the Canadian Dermatology Association’s Sun Protection Program criteria.

It is the commitment of the CDA to review each product application within a 4 week time frame. Please note that application fees are non-refundable.

Applicants, whose products have been reviewed and approved by the SPP Expert Advisory Board, will then be issued a three-year license agreement for the right to use the SPP seal of recognition, along with the aforementioned statement(s) of recognition on all product labelling, packaging, print or electronic media and advertising materials.

Each product license fee is payable in the following 3 instalments:

  1. First payment is due upon signing the license agreement;
  2. Second payment is due on the first anniversary; and, the
  3. Third payment is due after the second anniversary, with an option to renew.