Summer may be winding down, but millions of Americans are still spending hours outdoors enjoying the sunny weather or working at jobs that require time away from the shade. Although people are told repeatedly about the dangers of too much exposure to the sun’s harmful rays, the message doesn’t always stick.
There’s a reason why skin cancer remains the most common cancer in the U.S., with one in five Americans likely to develop the disease. No matter how many warnings people hear, they don’t seem to respect the risk.
Applying sunscreen couldn’t be much easier, with products available in lotion and spray form, in various strengths and designed for children or adults. But even that seems to be too much work for some, which may be why a new product has emerged: Pills and capsules that claim to be able to protect you from sun damage.
The Food and Drug Administration has called foul on these claims, saying they are misleading and putting users at risk. The FDA has identified several companies marketing dietary supplements the agency says are giving consumers a false sense of security by claiming the pills can prevent sunburn, reduce early skin aging and protect you from skin cancer.
The FDA ordered the companies to clean up their websites and product labeling, and warned consumers to be wary of unproven claims. The agency also reiterated its commitment to ensuring the active ingredients in sunscreen reflect the most advanced science, noting a new focus on how sunscreen is absorbed through the skin.
But no matter what questions there are about sunscreens, the FDA wants you to know that no pill or capsule can replace it as protection for your skin.