CBS News reports on its website that the Food and Drug Administration says consumers should avoid pills marketed as offering sun protection, because they are ineffective. The agency “sent warning letters to companies illegally marketing and selling pills labeled as dietary supplements that make unproven claims about protecting consumers from the harms that come from sun exposure.” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement, “There’s no pill or capsule that can replace your sunscreen.”
Summer Sunscreen Tips
Sunscreen should be worn on all over the face, ears included, recommends New York City-based dermatologist Debra Jaliman. “Cover your entire face with sunscreen, as well as your neck and hands,” she says. “If you’re not sweating a lot, you can just apply it first thing in the morning.”
You should wear sunscreen that contains an SPF of at least 30. “The American Academy of Dermatology always recommends an SPF of 30, because it is clinically proven to be a sufficient amount of protection to reduce or minimize the adverse effects of sunlight,” says David Colbert, a New York City dermatologist.
Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, adds that when used properly, there’s little difference between a sunscreen with SPF 30 or something with higher protection. “However, in the real world, we do not apply as much sunscreen as we should, and we do not reapply,” Zeichner says. “This ultimately means that the SPF value is diluted out. Starting out with a higher SPF to begin with serves as a safety net to ensure the highest quality of protection for the longest period of time.”