It seems like there’s always a new drinkable health fad, from charcoal water to probiotics and now sunscreen. Except the SPF maker Osmosis Skincare is facing legal trouble over its claim that their drinkable sunscreen can actually fight off harmful rays.

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On the company’s website, Osmosis claims that its UV Neutralizer will “boost your body’s defenses with this innovative new technology utilizing frequencies that work against the damaging effects of the sun.” Consumers are instructed to take 2 ml every four hours while in the sun, along with two ounces of water. A one-hour wait period before sun exposure is recommended. According to marketing materials, the drinkable sunscreen works because of radio frequencies called scalar waves. “When ingested, they vibrate above the skin to neutralize UVA and UVB, creating protection comparable to an SPF 30,” the copy states. The website proudly shows its award for Favorite Vitamin/Supplement Line from American Spa’s Professional’s Choice Awards in 2014 and 2016.

The company does state that their product has not been FDA-approved, but that didn’t stop them from facing legal consequences. Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller filed a lawsuit against the Colorado-based company, owned by Dr. Benjamin Taylor Johnson. Johnson’s medical license has been surrendered, according to a press release by the state’s Department of Justice.

“We allege that Johnson and his companies put consumers at considerable risk by claiming that spraying UV Neutralizer into their mouths will provide hours of sun protection,” Miller says in the statement. “These defendants admit that this product’s only ingredient is water, and we allege they can’t support their highly questionable claims that they can specially treat ordinary water to take on a wide range of health-enhancing properties.”

leave-1522005_1920 Can drinkable sunscreen really work? Pixabay

The lawsuit includes another potentially dangerous product, the Harmonized H2O Mosquito repellent.

“Mosquitos in Iowa can carry West Nile Virus, and mosquitoes in many vacation destinations can pose a Zika virus risk,” Miller says. “It is inexcusably and dangerously reckless to profit by exposing customers to these risks without adequate proof of effectiveness.”

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In a statement to BuzzFeed, Johnson responded to the allegations saying, “I think it is important to note that we have been selling this remarkable product for about 5 years. We have had thousands of re-orders. Surely people understand that as a successful skincare company it would make no sense that we would sell people a fake sun protection water….and if we did, how long does one think those sales would last?”

This isn’t the only time Johnson’s business ventures have been called into question. A San Francisco Chronicle article from 1998 reports the doctor previously sold Viagra online without an exam through his company Performance Drugs.

Your best for sun protection is tried-and-true lotions with a high SPF. 

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