Drinkable Sunscreen Claims SPF 30, but Dermatologists Say It Does Not Hold Water
Sun protection you can drink? It’s a novel idea, but don’t throw out your sunblock just yet.
A product called Harmonized H2O UV Neutralizer, made by Osmosis Skincare, claims to provide the equivalent of SPF 30. Osmosis Skincare’s founder and general practitioner, Ben Johnson, M.D., tells TIME magazine that the water blocks the sun’s harmful UV rays by “making the water molecules just below the surface of your skin vibrate, emitting frequencies that cancel out the burn-causing frequencies.”
“It would be incredible if it was true, but so far, there’s no evidence,” says Douglas Grossman, M.D., an investigator at University of Utah Health Care’s Huntsman Cancer Institute's Melanoma Program and an associate professor in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Utah School of Medicine.
The idea of sun protection that can be taken orally is intriguing for scientists, Grossman says, one that researchers at University of Utah are studying. So far, though, the concept is a work in progress.
“We’d like to see some data that it can actually protect against sunburn and other deleterious effects of sun exposure relative to skin cancer,” he says.
Other experts agree. “There’s no evidence-based scientific data to support the product’s SPF 30 claims,” dermatologist Michael Shapiro, M.D., tells TIME, calling the company’s claim of sun protection through vibrational frequencies “dubious at best.”
How Does Sunscreen Work?
Sunscreens work by reflecting or absorbing the sun’s harmful rays, Grossman says. “I’m just not sure, scientifically, how something from within is going to be able to absorb or reflect all the wavelengths.”
“This report doesn’t change our standard recommendation” of sunscreen and other sun-avoiding practices, Grossman says.
The best method to protect yourself and your family from UV rays that can cause skin cancer is a multifaceted one: Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, stay out of the sun by seeking shade, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and cover exposed skin with clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking wraparound sunglasses.