How effective is ingestible sunscreen?

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Please can you explain the concept of ingestible sunscreen to me? I’ve heard that it’s not as effective as a regular SPF cream, is this true? Are there any brands available locally that you would recommend?


Dr Maureen Allem from Skin & Body Renewal responds:

“This is such a great question, but to be perfectly honest, for me to really give it the best answer, I would need to point you to some very amazing studies done on oral sun protection products. To give you the very short version, there are many products on the market, but only a few of them come with the necessary proven clinical data. Like there are some good topical SPF’s and some not so good ones… They are all SPF’s? The same goes for oral products. There are some very good products and then some that are not so good. I personally have only had experience with two oral SPF products. Again, I also only use these myself because there is clinical proof and research papers that explain in detail what these products do and how they protect the skin. The first is the Heliocare Capsules containing Fernblock. The second is OvelleD3 by Lamelle. Why do these products work in protecting us from the sun? 1) They are brilliant antioxidants, 2) They reduce inflammation, 3) They boost the skin’s “immunity”, 4) They prevent DNA damage caused by the sun 5) They prevent the skin from over expressing the various enzymes that start to break down healthy skin because of sun damage.

You also have to realise, that as with regular SPF’s that you would apply topically, re-application or making sure you are using the right amount of protection for the amount of exposure is vital. So best solution is actually to use an oral SPF in conjunction with a topical one. Protection and prevention from as many different angles as possible is always best.”

Ask Dr Allem your skincare questions here.

Other articles you may be interested in:
How to: Understand SPF
Moisturisers with SPF
The facts about SPF
The difference between physical and chemical sunscreens
Our favourite facial sunscreens

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Tell your friends

    I have very sensitive skin and I burn even after applying sunscreen. I even burn through my clothes! So perhaps oral sunscreen might help.

    4 years ago •

  1. Lindsay Swart

    I didnt even know this exists! But i would much rather apply sunscreen

    4 years ago •

  1. Ray-Jessie Hendricks

    I do not think I would try oral sun protection. Applying sunscreen works for me

    4 years ago •

  1. Salmaa Moosa

    I only apply sunscreen, really not the type to pop pills. I also feel much more at ease knowing that I’ve covered my skin with something that’s protecting it from the outside.

    4 years ago •

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