Topical sunscreen is mostly used to guard your skin against overexposure to the harmful rays of the Sun. The innumerable sunscreen lotions, creams and sprays are not enough to protect you completely. Most people use very little sunscreen and forget to cover all the exposed parts of the body. They do not have the time to apply and reapply sunscreen every few hours. So these oral pills have been introduced to solve this problem. They contain one or more compounds like Polypodium Leucotomos (PL), Beta Carotene, Lycopene, red-orange extracts, Vitamin C & E, green tea, Nicotinamide, PABA, etc. These components have a robust sun protective property. Thus one can ‘eat their sunscreen’. The most powerful amongst these agents is controlled aqueous extract of the leaves of fern plants (PL) which provide consistent phenolic content.
The level of protection is not equivalent with that of a topical sunscreen, hence these are solid boosters to topical sunscreen, not a substitute. Dr. Rinky Kapoor, Cosmetic Dermatologist & Dermato-Surgeon, The Esthetic Clinic, talks about the features and benefits of Oral Sunscreen Tablets.
The Main Features:
• Convenience of use. It is just like taking a supplement.
• No need for repeated applications like topical sunscreen.
• More uniform coverage of the total body surface area and deeper sun protection regardless of factors like the potency of creams, amount applied, sweating, or bathing.
• More broad-spectrum protection against the negative effects of the sun, from the prevention of sunburn to antiskin cancer effects on anti- ageing benefits.
• Excellent safety profile.
How is it beneficial?
Reliable studies have shown that these provide:
• Protection against ultraviolet, visible and infrared radiation.
• Excellent antioxidant properties - reduces free radicals by up to 50%.
• Prevents pigmentation caused by UV rays.
• Protects the entire skin surface, increasing the skin’s resistance to sunburn and redness by up to 300%.
• Slows down skin aging.
• Repairs sun-damaged DNA in skin cells, thus protecting against cancer transformation.
• Protects from sun allergy and premature greying of hair, improvesVitiligo, Melasma andPsoriasis.
There are no published studies to date that directly compare the efficacy of oral to topical sunscreens. If someone wants to take a sunscreen pill, they should continue protecting their skin by seeking shade, wearing protective clothing, and applying sunscreen. More research needs to be done to know the optimal way of using these pills, and their long-term safety.
The right way to have these pills is by consuming 2 capsules 30 minutes before sun exposure. Take 1 capsule at midday again if there is prolonged sun exposure. The capsules should be takendaily (indefinitely) to provide continuous adjuvant sun protection.
Why should one take oral sunscreen?
Oral protection can help to make up for the limitations of topical sunscreen, and greater compliance of consumers due to the ease of use.
• Rosacea - It is a long term skin condition mostly affecting the face.
• Pigmentation disorders like Melasma and Vitiligo.
• Genetic disorders like Xeroderma Pigmentosum andporphyrias which require strict sun protection.
• Sun related allergies.
• Those allergic to topical sunscreen ingredients
• Those who get acne due to topical sunscreens.
• Players and people on the go who cannot reapply sunscreen frequently.
Dr. Debraj Shome is Director and Co founder of The Esthetic Clinics. He has been rated amongst the top surgeons in India by multiple agencies. The Esthetic Clinics patients include many international and national celebrities who prefer to opt for facial cosmetic surgery and facial plastic surgery in Mumbai because The Esthetic Clinics has its headquarters there.