“UV exposure has been linked to almost every known cause of aging, from free radical release to matrix metalloproteinase formation to DNA damage, and ultimately, to signs of aging that include sunspots, wrinkles, and collagen loss. The best sunscreens block UV light in the UVB range (280-315 nm), as well as the UVA range (320-400 nm). A clever mnemonic for UVB and UVA is that UVB causes burning(erythema), whereas the longer-wavelength UVA penetrates skin deeper, causing signs of aging, although UVB also contributes to aging, as it induces matrix metalloproteinase activity.” according to Nicki Zevola at FutureDerm.
Sun protection is immensely important for both health and beauty. The sun is a natural carcinogen and though white skinned people have the least protection from it naturally- people of all races, even the darkest skin tone can get skin cancer. Skin cancer in people of darker skin tone is often discovered too late.
Despite the many known benefits and campaigns for people to slather on their sunscreen, it is woefully underused. Part of the problem is it is not convenient, people don't like the greasy look and feel, it messes with their application of cosmetics and is hard to find the time to reapply as much as necessary.
If sunscreen were available in pill form, even people who cannot be bothered to apply their sunscreen daily would be more inclined to protect their skin with the pill. It could protect even areas that are hard to protect, like eyelids and scalp.
I personally try my best to apply sunscreen everyday of the year but have trouble with the product clumping, whether or not I wear normal lotion under it- it doesn't make a difference. As someone of Dutch descent, I have many family members who have suffered skin cancer, including a farmer who had to get a portion of his face removed and repaired with reconstructive surgery. Despite many people's best efforts in the summer, water resistant sunscreens are not foolproof and many people cannot wait the appropriate amount of time for sunscreen to “sink in”.
With all the obvious pit falls with topical sunscreen it is a wonder there has been little research done to create a sunscreen pill. Sure there are supplements, but these are unregulated, poorly tested, unreliable and overpriced. So called sunscreen supplement pills sell well, so this is obviously something people want, to be able to simply take a pill and be protected from harmful UV rays.
A major company needs to see how profitable, innovative and logical research into such an invention will be and how many lives it will improve. The youth of today would like to avoid skin wrinkling caused by sun damage as much as possible.
Studies have shown youth are more likely to protect their skin when they know of the negative cosmetic effects of the sun. Just think how many more young people would protect their skin if it was so easy as taking a pill! This would be a true innovation for people of all age groups.
It would be particularly helpful for disabled people who have trouble reaching all parts of their body, people staying in the hospital who may be sick or injured and not be able to apply sunscreen, athletes especially surfers and swimmers and labourers who spend a lot of their time working outside in all kinds of weather.
This is extremely important to me and many others. Let us never lose another life to skin cancer, let us protect the integrity of our skin as long as possible, as easy as possible!
Bayer has the resources to do in depth research and development. They could make an amazing invention that will change lives for the better. This would be a big a deal for skin care as the birth control pill was for female autonomy!