FDA Says Pills That Claim to Replace Sunscreen Are a Hoax

May 23, 2018

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The US Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers to beware of companies that falsely advertise pills that will keep you safe from the harmful effects of sun exposure. 

On Tuesday, FDA issued warning letters to four companies for illegally marketing pills that could prevent sunburn. These companies — marketing products like Advanced Skin Brightening FormulaSunsafe RxSolaricare and Sunergetic are claiming to protect consumers from the harms of sun exposure, protect from the risks of skin cancer or reduce early skin aging caused by the sun without meeting the FDA’s safety and effectiveness standards. 

“We’ve found products purporting to provide protection from the sun that aren’t delivering the advertised benefits. Instead they’re misleading consumers, and putting people at risk.” FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in a news release

For example, the website of one of the companies, Sunsafe Rx, states that the supplement “protects your skin and eyes from the sun” with just one capsule per day. Sunsafe Rx’s product is not generally recognized as safe and effective for the above referenced uses and, therefore fails to bear adequate directions for its intended use, according to the FDA. 

Dr. Scott Gottlieb added that consumers should be watchful for companies making similar claims because “no pill or capsule can replace your sunscreen.”

Experts estimate that one in five Americans is at risk of developing skin cancer in his or her lifetime, with cases of the deadliest form of skin cancer — melanoma — being traced back to overexposure to UV light. Exposure to natural and artificial UV light put people at risk for skin cancer. So it is important to take the necessary precaution in protecting your skin.

As the FDA Commissioner noted, nothing offers better protection from the summer rays than good old fashioned sunscreen.

Featured photo by Jonny Clow on Unsplash

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