What's the Deal With Ingestible Sunscreens?

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In recent years, the industry has seen a host of ingestible products claiming to help boost the body’s defenses against the sun, such as Osmosis UV Neutralizer Harmonized Water. “New over-the-counter supplements have emerged over the last several years that claim to offer sun protection in a pill form,” says HydroPeptide’s Joyce Imahiyerobo-Ip, M.D. “The most common ingredient is polypodium leucotomos, which is a fern plant found in Central and South America. Studies of the oral formulation have found that it provides photoprotection against UVB and UVA.”

Although Imahiyerobo-Ip has been slow to recommend such formulations to her patients, she now believes there is enough research to support the idea. “I think it will be very helpful for those who suffer from the troublesome condition of melasma,” she says. Others see ingestible sunscreens as having the potential to supplement traditional forms of sunscreen. “Oral agents can provide additional photoprotection to traditional sunscreens and are becoming more popular in Europe,” says Cyberderm’s Denis Dudley. “However, they must never be thought of as a replacement for effective and safe sunscreens.”

Read more: The Truth About Different Levels of SPF

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