If you’re like more than one-third of Americans out there, when you go to the beach for the day, you pack everything a beach-goer could possibly need, from food and drink to magazines to a spray-bottle battery-powered fan, but you consistently forget the single most important item: sunscreen.
Which is understandable, because applying sunscreen doesn’t really top the list of fun or memorable activities when it comes to hitting the waves, even though skin cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer and the number-one cause of its development is exposure to the sun. We’re guilty of it too. So when we heard that an alternative recently popped up (no matter how odd), we took notice. The most recent iteration of SPF is being marketed as a drinkable one – that’s right, drinkable.
The product is being sold as Osmosis Skincare’s UV Neutralizer Harmonized Water by an MD named Ben Johnson. It allegedly works by causing a vibration in the water molecules under the skin, which will in turn emit frequency that will cancel out the radiation from UVA and UVB that causes burns. The water claims its SPF level to be 30 for up to three hours after drinking it. Dermatologists (ad the world at large) are understandably skeptical.
One of the reasons for this skepticism is that, while the concept of drinkable sunscreen sounds pretty cool and very futuristic, it doesn’t look like there’s a lot of claim to back it up. There were no independent or clinical trials conducted on the product – simply some internal testing done on 50 people within the company (yet, they feel confident enough to claim results). Participants drank the water and then applied sunscreen to certain parts of their body and left other parts exposed. The results these participants experienced are what led them to peg the SPF protection level at 30. Johnson himself realizes how absurd the concept of drinkable sunscreen can sound at first blush and says he understands the skepticism, but he is still standing by his product and is encouraging people to test it out for themselves.
While the future of this product is uncertain, we’re hoping that it’ll generate enough interest to get some clinical trials going, because making something this useful and this sci-fi-y a reality would be an amazing accomplishment for modern science. As of now, scientists can confirm that getting certain nutrients through our food can provide some protection from the sun, so it seems that Johnson is moving in the right direction. Foods like grapes, berries, walnuts, and broccoli contain certain nutrients that can help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful radiation but, alas, the concentrations are too low to allow us to forgo sunscreen altogether. Oh well. It’s still an added bonus for your healthy eating habits.
But until this sunscreen from the future can claim ingredients more substantial and verifiable than “multiple vibrational frequency blends,” we recommend sticking with the stuff you know. And not just at the beach, mind you, but any time you plan on soaking up the sun.
photo credit: Norman Parkinson – Jerry Hall in Red Swimsuit (Vogue USSR)