A response to drinkable sunscreen claims
Thank you to those of you that brought this story to our attention. In particular Caroline Finucane @CarolineFinucan.
Yesterday (19th May 2014) our attention was drawn to the news, on the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph websites, that ‘the world’s first drinkable sun cream’ had gone on sale. Reading the stories and examining the website of Osmosis Pur Medical Skincare, the makers of this ‘drinkable sun cream’, immediately raised some red flags.
We want to make it immediately clear at this stage, the formulation is 100% water and, as far as our experts are concerned, it is complete nonsense to suggest that drinking water will give you a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30. Please take a look at our sun screen factsheet if you want to know more about protecting yourself in the sun.
As this product has been prominently featured on the website of two national newspapers the British Association of Dermatologists contacted Ben Johnson, the founder of Osmosis Pur Medical Skincare and formulator of all their products, to ask for the evidence behind his claims.
This is the email we sent him:
I am writing to you from the British Association of Dermatologists following news stories that have come out today on the websites of several major UK-based news organisations. These stories were about your product “Harmonised H20 UV protection”. As a matter of some urgency we would like to hear from you about the scientific basis of some of the claims made about your products both in these news stories and on your website. Please see the following questions:
1. Please could you share with us the scientific evidence behind the claim that Harmonised H20 UV protection or UV Water “provide sun protection at a level of SPF 30 by using cancellation waves to UVA/UVB that you ingest”.
2. Could you also explain what exactly the ‘frequencies’ are that are mentioned numerous times on your website. Our experts at the British Association of Dermatologists were not sure what this could refer to, as far as we are aware there are no frequencies in the skin.
3. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we would ask if you could give us a copy of the ingredient list for the product. As it stands we have not been able to find one and would love to know what is in your product. As manufacturers usually have no problem disclosing this kind of information, mostly going so far as putting it on the packaging, I’m sure this won’t be a problem.
I want to make it clear that this is just a matter of getting the evidence for your claims, as we have been contacted by a number of concerned individuals that were wondering if your claims were in fact true. Skin cancer is a serious matter to us here at the B.A.D and I’m sure you’ll understand that we have a duty to make sure that products such as your own can stand up to scientific scrutiny. We’d hate to see people, believing that they are protecting themselves, suffer any form of skin damage.
This morning we received a response from Ben Johnson. This email unfortunately failed to answer any of our questions, aside from confirming the formulation is 100% water, nor did it provide any additional evidence to support the veracity of the product claims.
Johnson told us that as this was a “new science”, and not taught in medical school, most physicians were not open to it. We would like to point out that new discoveries in science are a regular occurrence and are widely accepted by the scientific community, regardless of whether they are part of medical school curriculums, if they meet the scientific community’s standards for proof.
This means conducting clinical trials, possibly publishing research in peer reviewed journals, and having your results open to scrutiny by other scientists and external testing bodies. Testimonials on a product’s website do not constitute proof.
He does point out that they did test the product on 50 people in extended stays in the sun before launching the product, unfortunately he doesn’t provide any further information or evidence. He also states that ‘we cannot go through SPF testing because the monograph does not account for ingestibles’. We would therefore dispute how he can market the product as SPF 30, if it has not been through any SPF testing.
Johnson also claims that over the seven years he has been selling ‘waters imprinted with scalar waves’ he has seen a 90% success in each treatment category. Again he provides no evidence for this claim. In the next paragraph, he assures us that he would ‘never sell or promote a Harmonized Water formula that wasn’t universally successful’. Again, there is no evidence for this ‘universal success’ (and his reported ‘90% success in each treatment category’ does not constitute universal success anyway).
With regards to the statement ‘I do believe that the skin is comprised of scalar waves’, we would like to confirm that this is not the case. More information about the structure of the skin is widely available, including on our website: www.bad.org.uk.
The full response from Ben Johnson is as follows:
I understand the skepticism. This is a new science. We did not learn about frequency medicine or scalar waves in medical school so I don't expect most physicians to be open to it. That being said, the technology is real and incredibly effective. We have been selling waters imprinted with scalar waves for 7 years with roughly 90% success in each treatment category. We offer a money-back guarantee. Placebo only works when you actually think it will work, as you can imagine, most first time users are quite skeptical.
We can offer you evidence that we can make water anti-bacterial and anti-fungal by adding scalar waves since that can be tested in the lab. I will also have my PR person, Jessica, send you some information on scalar waves. Trust me when I say I would never sell or promote a Harmonized Water formula that wasn't universally successful.
The UV Neutralizer was tested internally on roughly 50 people for extended stays in the sun before we launched it. We cannot go through SPF testing because the monograph does not account for ingestibles. We have since sold thousands of bottles with remarkable success. The nice thing is that the skin tells us if we are not protecting it, and our users report their skin never looked better using this protection. This product is FDA exempt since it does not work by altering physiology, it vibrates above the skin.
The formulas are 100% water. The water is treated with scalar waves and becomes a pH of 9.5 without adding any substance/ingredient. While I do believe that the skin is comprised of scalar waves, we are not attempting to alter the skin. The waves ingested are designed to cancel UVA/UVB by vibrating net to the skin.
I know your temptation is to say this is impossible...but every new invention faces tough scrutiny when it flies in the face of traditional science. Please consider testing it yourself that way, at the very least, you can say that you don't know how it works but it did work rather than assuming it can't work. Again, we have been selling this for two years and have heard hundreds of testimonials that cannot be otherwise explained.
The British Association of Dermatologists await further evidence supporting the use of ‘scalar waves’ to block harmful ultraviolet light on the skin. We strongly advise people not to rely on such unproven methods and to continue to protect their skin from the UK’s most common cancer type, skin cancer, by using traditional, topically applied sunscreens, clothing and shade.