Lawsuit filed against maker of “drinkable sunscreen” over “pseudoscience” claims

The Iowa State Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against a Colorado-based manufacturer making so-called “drinkable sunscreen.” The AG claims the company is engaged in consumer fraud and alleges that the product is dangerous to consumers. The litigation requests an injunction be placed, barring the maker, Osmosis Skincare, from selling the product in the state. The water, which comes in 3.38-ounce bottles that retail for $30, claims to provide about three hours of sun protective coverage, according to the maker.

Harmonized Water by Osmosis Skincare has been on the market since 2014. The beverage has been advertised as the “world’s first drinkable sunscreen,” protecting users from harmful ultraviolet light. The water claims to contain a “form of radio frequencies called scalar waves,” that when ingested “vibrate above the skin to neutralize UVA and UVB, creating protection comparable to an SPF 30.”

The company admits that the FDA has not evaluated their claims, but Osmosis states that their company has tested the product and seen the results. During their “clinical trial,” 24 patients, ranging from 18 to 60 with various ethnic backgrounds and skin types were exposed to one hour of sun to one side of the body between noon and 1 pm after ingesting 3ml Osmosis Harmonized Water UV Neutralizer. Paul Ver Hoeve M.D., conducted the study and documented the results which showed 16 out of the 24 patients did not experience any burning. According to Osmosis Skincare, this testing provides evidence that the new form of sun protection is a viable alternative.

The lack of unbiased testing has also not prevented the company from telling consumers that the water has miraculous properties such as:

  • A new technology that imprints frequencies as “standing waves” onto water molecules.
  • The ability to “stack” thousands of frequencies onto one molecule, for better “healing” effect
  • Revolutionary formula that allows Osmosis Skin Care to reverse engineer the frequencies of substances found in nature and/or the human body.
  • Recently identified frequencies that have beneficial effects on the body.

The product also claims to neutralize UV radiation, allow for increased sun exposure (30x more than normal), and enhance the tanning effects from the sun. The product is said to work similarly to how noise reduction headphones work, in the sense that their water cancels out UV rays by delivering targeted wave patterns to the skin in the form of water.

[Editor’s note: As much as we are open to exploring new discoveries and innovations in science, the assertion that water can be imprinted with “scalar waves” to neutralize UV radiation is so far from our current understanding of physics that convincing any intelligent person of its merits would require exhaustive documentation and proof. A one-hour experiment involving 24 subjects who are probably friends of the company founders doesn’t even come close to that burden of proof. We’ve seen a lot of bogus claims across both the pharmaceutical and natural products industries, so until Harmonized Water provides truly convincing scientific evidence that their sunscreen claims are legitimate, we are putting this in the “bulls##t” category, with the disclaimer that we’re always open to changing our minds if the true scientific evidence demands such changes. – Mike]

New York dermatologist Dr. Jessica Krant, however, feels the products are “totally unsubstantiated pseudoscience” that “do not list any active ingredients anywhere publicly available that might suggest true efficacy in any kind of protection from sun damage.” The company lists the ingredients as distilled water and “multiple vibrational frequency blends.” Krant also points out that “even known oral antioxidants that can provide some protection from the sun are not able to achieve more than a few notches of SPF protection from UVB rays.”

Dr. David J. Leffell, professor of dermatology and surgery at the Yale School of Medicine, wrote to HuffPost concerning the product: “Being very familiar with the biology of ultraviolet radiation and the skin, I would be very suspicious that this product would not be validated scientifically. Moreover, why would you want to take something that affects your whole system when you are dealing with what is effectively a surface issue?” Despite there being no science or listed ingredients to back up the company’s assertions, that has not stopped Osmosis Skincare from encouraging users to stop using sunscreen and rely entirely on their product.

Recent studies have proven that most topical sunscreen on the market contain chemicals that are linked to cancers and other adverse health effects, so many users are looking for better products. Whether or not Harmonized Water or any other drinkable sunscreen will be proven to fill that void remains to be seen. In the meantime, there are a few zinc oxide sunscreens by brands like Badger and Burnout that often contain organic herbal ingredients as well as oils and waxes that make them water resistant. There are also nutrients from certain foods and supplements that can provide protection from the inside out such as grapes, berries, walnuts, and broccoli.

Getting sun exposure is important and is the most reliable source of vitamin D. Practicing safe sun behaviors will help to protect your skin. This means avoiding sunburn which can increase your risk of skin cancer, avoid baking in the sun at midday, gradually build your tan, and wear a hat to protect your face from sunburn. Read more scientific news at Scientific.news.

Sources:

CNBC.com

Huffingtonpost.com

Harmonizedwater.com

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