The past weekend gave us a pleasant taster of what we can (hopefully!) expect weather-wise this coming summer, here in the UK. Along with the tempting promise of a warm and sunny summer, you’ll also see an increase in sunscreen manufacturers advertising their products.
We’ve always maintained that 15 or 20 minutes of unprotected sun exposure a day, is enough to boost your production of immune-protective vitamin D… Not only is this the best way to boost your vitamin D levels, but as researchers at Brown University discovered, your skin protects itself during this brief period of exposure… so you really have no need for sunscreen.
Don’t drink to that…
In 2012, US researchers at Brown University learned that your skin contains special cells that produce melanin, which protects against UVB radiation. It’s a remarkable process that kick-starts every time you step into the sunlight and millions of these special skin cells immediately prompt the production of melanin – a pigment that helps prevent DNA damage and causes your skin to tan.
Then, after 15-20 minutes in the sun, cover up ?¦ Extended exposure – long enough to begin a sunburn – should always be avoided. So, if you’re going to be outside for a while, the best way to avoid long periods of exposure is to wear a hat and clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible. Do not reach for the sunscreen.
Apart from the potentially harmful chemicals they contain, when it comes to sunscreen it’s best to avoid them for two reasons:
- When it’s applied before sun exposure, vitamin D production may be impeded.
- Some sunscreens contain a synthetic vitamin A derivative that may actually increase the risk of skin cancer growth.
Then there is a new-comer to the sunscreen market that looks particularly shaky: Drinkable sunscreen.
This new sunscreen, manufactured by Osmosis Skincare, is called ‘Harmonized H20 UV’ and it claims to make water molecules of the product “vibrate on the skin to cancel out 97 per cent of UVA and UVB rays.”
According to founder Dr Ben Johnson, the water has been “imprinted” with frequencies which “vibrate on your skin” and block those nasty cancer causing and skin ageing rays.
Just to be clear, there are no studies to back Dr Johnson’s breakthrough, even though he claims the company has conducted six years of consumer trials. Nobody has been allowed to actually see the results of these ‘consumer trials’, where only anonymous reviewers testify to the efficacy of the product.
In fact, Osmosis Skincare has been rather secretive about their vibrating ‘breakthrough,’ keeping it firmly away from the prying eyes of researchers and scrutiny of peer review… probably because the idea that water could be made to vibrate at a frequency that would block UV rays is pure science fiction… No wonder these claims have not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The strange claims get even more outlandish in a press release issued by the company: “Similar to how noise reduction headphones work, these waters help to cancel out and rebalance internal disharmonies by delivering medicinal radio frequencies to your cells in the form of water.
“It is a natural way to impact cells with a language that is better recognized and more specific than the frequencies released by many Drugs.”
I don’t know about you, but I can’t imagine drinking anything that’s going to speak in languages to the cells of my body at a specific frequency that they will recognize easier… That’s just plain weird.
Bottom line is, the sunscreen industry is massive and given that these companies only have 6 months of the year to sell their products and rake in the profits, these guys will say anything to fill their cash drawers.
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Drinkable sunscreen? Don’t get your fingers burned, published online 19.05.14, telegraph.co.uk
“UVA lowers blood pressure and vasodilates the systemic arterial vasculature by mobilisation of cutaneous nitric oxide stores” Journal of Investigative Dermatology, Vol. 133, 4/15/13, nature.com/jid/journal
“Sun Exposure Benefits May Outweigh Risks Say Scientists” Catharine Paddock, Medical News Today, 5/8/13, medicalnewstoday.com