Drinkable sunscreen: summer's newest cocktail?
Corinne Ton That, CTVNews.ca
Published Thursday, May 22, 2014 6:10PM EDT
Could the days of lathering on sunscreen at the beach be over?
A U.S.-based company claims to have invented the world’s first drinkable sunscreen that provides protection comparable to an SPF 30 lotion.
The product was developed by Dr. Ben Johnson, founder of Osmosis Skincare, who claims to be able to neutralize UV radiation by modifying radio frequency waves within water.
On the company’s website, Johnson writes that if 2 ml of the product is ingested an hour before sun exposure, the “frequencies that have been imprinted on water will vibrate on your skin in such a way as to cancel 97 per cent of the UVA and UVB rays before they even hit your skin.”
The product, called Harmonized H20, comes in 100-mL bottles that retail for $30, and purports to grant sun protection for approximately three hours.
So could this product actually work?
Dr. Samir Gupta, chair of the Ontario Medical Association’s dermatology section, said there is no scientific evidence to support claims that the product does in fact provide sun protection.
“All his claims are based on anecdotes,” Gupta told CTV News Channel. “There haven’t been any studies in the laboratory, there haven’t been any studies on humans. So that really makes us think that any sort of proof behind this is elusive.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Jason Rivers, clinical professor of dermatology at the University of British Columbia, says he doesn't know how the modified molecules could even reach the skin's surface.
“You have to ask how that happens when these water molecules are in your bloodstream and have to somehow get transported to your skin to have an effect without dilution-- it’s sort of a bit of a stretch,” Rivers told CTVNews.ca.
Rivers said the only oral product he knows of that can protect skin from UV damage is the extract from a fern called Polypodium leucotomos, which clinical studies have shown to have antioxidant effects that can increase a person’s ability to resist sunburn.
“It can increase your time without burning by a factor of two or three, but I don’t think there’s any water that I know of that can have an effect of SPF 30 on your skin,” said Rivers.
So if you were hoping to ditch your sunscreen at home, you may be out of luck. According to Rivers, the best way to protect your skin from the sun is following what dermatologists have recommended for the past 40 years.
That includes: seeking shade, using clothing, hats and sunglasses as the primary form of sun protection, and applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, at least 20 minutes before heading outside.