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Can These Gummies Really Protect You From Sun Damage?

Jan. 20, 2019
6 min read
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While this post contains affiliate links and a discount code for our readers, opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and are not influenced or approved by Sundaily. This was not a medical test — we are travel experts, not doctors. This is one reporter's experience with a product that a lot of travelers have asked us about.

We all know how important it is, yet most of us still dread applying sunscreen and often miss a spot (or two) when doing so.

And research shows that sunscreen alone simply isn't enough protection from harmful UV rays. Not only that, but some sunscreens contain chemicals found to be toxic to marine life — so much so that Hawaii and the Pacific island nation of Palau passed laws to ban some certain over-the-counter sunscreens.

That's where Sundaily comes in. The brand, formerly known as Sundots, claims to be the world's first gummy for sun protection. Now, before I get ahead of myself, it's important to understand that unlike the sunscreen pill (which is a hoax), this product is not intended to replace sunscreen. Rather, Sundaily gummies are meant to "fill the gaps" when you miss a spot with your sunscreen or don't reapply often enough.

Still, I was just as skeptical about the idea of a chewable sunscreen supplement as you probably are, so I had to give it a try.

The Details & Specs

Sundaily gummies are based on polypodium leucotomos, a fern extract from Ecuador, that's been used for its protective properties by traditional cultures in Central and South America for centuries. (The company's website refers visitors to a NIH research database for studies on polypodium.)

Otherwise, the gummies have few ingredients and zero artificial flavors or colors. They're vegan, non-GMO, non-dairy — you get the idea. Here's the full list of ingredients:

  • Polypodium Leucotomos Extract: Skin anti-aging and sun protection
  • Organic tapioca syrup: Provides gummy structure
  • Organic cane sugar and invert sugar: Required to support pectin to form gummy
  • Apple pectin: Provides gummy structure
  • Vegan, lichen-based Vitamin D3: Bone and immune health active
  • Organic tapioca maltodextrin: Provides gummy structure
  • Sodium citrate and citric acid: Supports pectin, adjusts gummy pH
  • Organic orange oil: Flavor

Sundaily gummies are sold online and in select CVS stores, and don't come cheap. A single bottle of 36 gummies will set you back $50. The price drops to $29 if you sign up for monthly recurring deliveries, and since you can cancel the subscription anytime, you could theoretically make a one-time purchase at this price. Either way, if you're going to drop that much on a gummy supplement, be sure to put the purchase on a great card for everyday spending, such as the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, which earns two miles per dollar spent.

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The Test

A recent trip to Playa del Carmen was the perfect opportunity for me to put Sundaily to the test. To reiterate, this product is not meant to replace sunscreen, and the label clearly states, "Not a replacement for sunscreen."

However, to really assess the effectiveness of the gummies, I decided to take my chances and rely solely on the gummies for the entire five-day trip.

Sundaily suggests taking one gummy a day year-round and two on days with greater than average sun exposure, in addition to wearing sunscreen and physical protection like UPF clothing.

Since I wasn't doing the latter (don't worry, Mom, I did wear my TPG hat), I figured I'd try to amplify my protection by having three a day. There's no evidence that shows taking extra gummies is useful, but the folks at Sundaily assured me that it was perfectly safe to do so.

While I wouldn't chow down on Sundaily gummies as I would on Sour Patch Kids, I didn't mind the taste. The flavor comes from orange oil, but more than anything, it reminded me of cola gummies.

But obviously the big question here is, did they work? I do wish I had used sunscreen as I normally would when spending an excessive amount of time in the sun. However, my skin wasn't sunburned or even red when I arrived home after five days in Mexico, and that's a win in my book.

Overall Impression

Sundaily doesn't replace sunscreen: but it isn't supposed to.

Unlike topical sunscreens, Sundaily protects you from the inside out (think: deeper layers of skin that are vulnerable to sun spots and wrinkling). Although experiences may vary from person to person, I didn't get a sunburn on my vacation, so I'd definitely consider working these gummies into my beach day prep, in addition to sunscreen and UPF-equipped clothing.

Being able to travel with a bottle of chewable sunscreen protection in my carry-on was also a big plus. The price tag is a little too steep for me to add Sundaily gummies to my daily routine, but I would consider using them in situations where I'm expecting more sun exposure than usual. They'd be a great addition to your travel routine when flying, for example.

Considering Sundaily gummies are basically a fruit snack, I thought that they would be great for kids. But since there have been no child-specific studies on polypodium, Sundaily only recommends its gummies for people ages 12 and up. If you are considering the gummies for your child of any age — or for yourself — Sundaily cautions parents to consult with a doctor (as you should with any supplement).

Basically, Sundaily gummies are like vitamins and other supplements. They're not approved by the FDA and they're not a replacement for traditional, proven methods of sun protection. But they won't hurt, either, as long as you use the as recommended.

TPG readers can save 20% off their first order of gummies by using the code TPG20 at checkout.

All images by the author.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees