Recent discussion in the media about sun protection supplements has prompted an official statement from the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). The statement, issued on August 22 by Dirk M. Elston, MD, FAAD, president of the AAD, reads:
The American Academy of Dermatology wants to alert consumers that these pills should not be used as a replacement for sunscreen or sun-protective clothing. There is currently no scientific evidence that oral supplements alone can provide an adequate level of protection from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays.
Sunscreen is the only form of sun protection that is regulated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Broad-spectrum sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15 has been scientifically proven to prevent sunburn and reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging caused by the sun. Regardless of whether you choose to take oral supplements, the Academy recommends you seek shade, wear sun-protective clothing and apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.