Dermatologist develops drinkable sun protection

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Can a new drink replace sunscreen?
A Laguna Beach dermatologist invented UVO, drinkable sun protection, to help those who don't wear sunscreen.

PASADENA, Calif. -- At the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, a handful of exercisers sampled a beverage designed to protect you from the sun. That's right, drinkable sun protection.

"I like it, it's refreshing, it's orangey, it's very nice," said Laura Hahamian of Irvine.

"Oh wow, that's really good," said avid cyclist and exercise pro Keli Roberts.

Jennifer Lee of Pasadena declined to try it, citing the need for more research.

It might sound unrealistic, but dermatologist Bobby Awadalla has spent five years developing the concept for good reason.

"A new study in the American Academy of Dermatology shows that only 13 percent of men and 30 percent of women actually use sunscreen on their face and exposed areas," Awadalla said.

His product UVO is a compilation of 30 different vitamins, antioxidants and plant chemicals known to battle sun, along with some you may not know of.

"There is polypotium leucitimis, which is a powerful phytonutrient. It has many effects on the skin including DNA protection, absorption of UV light and anti-inflammation," he said.

Awadalla says a preliminary trial with 15 people showed on average a 40 percent increase in blocking UVB radiation along with UVA rays as well.

Dr. Shirley Chi isn't convinced.

"Even if they have antioxidants in them, it doesn't mean you can replace them with a liquid supplement instead of your sunscreen," Chi said.

Chi says no two people are alike and break down nutrients differently. There is no guarantee how long will it last.

"The issue here is that you don't really know how much SPF you're getting. One person's SPF value through any kind of supplement is not going to be the same as somebody else," she said.

The company says if you drink a bottle of UVO you get three to five hours of base sun protection depending on skin type. But if you check the warning label, it also says this product is not a replacement for sunscreen.

Awadalla is confident of his product, but reminds us:

"You will never hear a dermatologist say just put sunscreen on and go out there. Wear a hat, sun protective clothing, seek shade at peak hours," Awadalla said.