You already know this, because you are a smart Esquire reader, but in case your friends haven’t heard, the FDA would like to remind you that “sunscreen pills” are total bullshit.
In a Tuesday press release from Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., the U.S. Food & Drug Administration took a strong stance against companies offering sunscreen alternatives, such as pills, as a way of combatting the dangerous effects of UV rays:
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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. Today we sent warning letters to companies illegally marketing pills and capsules labeled as dietary supplements that make unproven drug claims about protecting consumers from the harms that come from sun exposure without meeting the FDA’s standards for safety and effectiveness.
These companies — marketing products called Advanced Skin Brightening Formula, Sunsafe Rx, Solaricare and Sunergetic — are putting people’s health at risk by giving consumers a false sense of security that a dietary supplement could prevent sunburn, reduce early skin aging caused by the sun, or protect from the risks of skin cancer. These companies were instructed to correct all violations associated with their products and were advised to review product websites and product labeling to ensure that the claims they are making don’t violate federal law.
In other words, the FDA won’t stop them from selling their products, but it will stop them from making promises they can’t keep.
It’s a serious issue. One in five Americans are at risk of developing skin cancer at some point in their lifetime. It’s not a fun thing to deal with. And despite what a few questionable companies trying to turn a quick buck and guys like Tom Brady’s doctor might tell you, there’s a reason all this science goes into making sure you’re not one of them.
So please, stay down with SPF. For your health.