July 2, 2018Sunscreen and Sun Protection

Sunscreen Pills: Are They Putting You at Risk?

Recently, there has been a lot of buzz about “sunscreen pills” and whether you can simply take a pill rather than using topical sunscreen. My advice is always consistent – no pill has been proven to replace your sunscreen.

In fact, the FDA has recently issued warnings that some of these “sunscreen pill” brands are misleading consumers and placing people’s health at risk.

Here are red flags which can guide you when considering whether to take an ingestible sunscreen pill or supplement:

Red Flags “sun protection in a capsule” “broad spectrum protection” – this is great for a sunscreen but NOT a supplement! “protects from UVA and UVB rays” “UV defense” “sun protection formula” “sunscreen pill” “drinkable sunscreen”

In very sharp contrast, there are scientifically proven dietary supplements which work in conjunction with your regular sunscreen to help maintain your skin’s ability to protect itself against sun related effects and aging. In my opinion, it’s critical to look for clinical data and scientific support before accepting product claims as truth.

For example, one of the supplements that I regularly recommend to my patients – and especially to my Melasma patients and patients who are skin cancer survivors – is Heliocare. This product, unlike the “sunscreen pills” which are causing consumer alarm, is grounded and rooted in science and in many, many years of studies.

This is one of the reasons why I created my Dr. Whitney’s Picks page to help offer more information about scientifically proven products created by brands which invest the resources to support their product claims with data.

Being informed is so incredibly powerful and so essential when it comes to your health!

Cheers to a healthy and sun-safe summer in 2018!!