Can These Gummies Really Protect You From Sun Damage?
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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.
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.
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.
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