Drinkable Sunscreen?

Drinking water

There’s a couple of new varieties of sunscreen being marketed these days – ones you can actually drink. In theory it sounds convenient. No need to slather up, no icky feeling of product on your skin, no chance of missing a spot – but wait. Do they actually work? The general consensus among dermatologists is no.

First there was Osmosis Skincare’s UV Neutralizer Harmonized Water which its makers say offers a defense comparable to an SPF 30, protecting you from 97% of UVA and UVB rays for up to three hours. Now another product has come along called UVO that describes itself as the “first liquid supplement that protects your skin from the inside out,” according to the company’s website.

Don’t believe all the hype. Osmosis Skincare says its Harmonized Water makes the water molecules just below the surface of your skin vibrate, emitting frequencies that cancel out the burn-causing frequencies of UVA and UVB radiation – a claim most dermatologist proclaim to be dubious at best.

UVO’s bottle has “30+” emblazoned on the front but don’t be fooled into thinking this represents its SPF number. Read the fine print. It actually means 30+ antioxidants and vitamins. This isn’t going to hurt you but it’s hardly going to provide the real sun protection you need. In all likelihood, UVO provides as little as 2% SPF protection. It’s been marketed as a dietary supplement, which means it doesn’t need FDA approval.

Now, in truth, some sun protection can come from the inside out. There’s evidence that key nutrients found in certain foods can offer some degree of protection from the sun’s harmful rays. The phytochemicals in grapes, berries and walnuts, and sulforaphane in broccoli qualify, for example. But these are supplemental. So far nothing replaces the tried and true methods of sun protection.

The notion that you can drink your sun protection is hard to swallow. It’s far wiser to abide by the usual methods. Namely, application of a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, wearing sun protective clothing and paying attention to the sun’s peak hours and seasons.

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