FDA Goes After Companies Marketing Sun Protection Supplements

skin sensitive to the sun

The FDA has outlined 3 new actions it is taking as part of efforts to encourage sun safety awareness and ensure that consumers are protected when using dietary supplements that claim to have sun protection properties.

The FDA issued warning letters to companies illegally advertising supplements that make unproven claims to shield the effects of the sun’s hazardous UV (ultraviolet) rays. According to the agency, “There’s no pill or capsule that can replace your sunscreen.”

“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,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a recent statement.

The companies that received a warning letter market products known as Advanced Skin Brightening Formula, Sunsafe RX, Solaricare and Sunergetic. The agency alleged that these companies are essentially “putting people’s health at risk” by promising that the dietary supplements can prevent sunburn, reduce early skin aging caused by the sun or protect consumers from the risk of skin cancer.

The agency is also taking new steps to “promote safe and effective innovations for sun protection,” and will be encouraging manufacturers to conduct research on additional active ingredients in sunscreens since people are using sunscreens far more often compared to previous decades.

Furthermore, the agency would like to examine how the active ingredients in sunscreens may be absorbed through the skin. When sunscreens first hit the market, there was no evidence showing that the active ingredients penetrated the skin. However, over the years, studies have demonstrated otherwise.

As a result, the agency has “new questions about what information is necessary and available to support general recognition of the safety and effectiveness of active ingredients for use in over-the-counter sunscreens.”

Alanna M.

Alanna M. is a graduate of Pace University.

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