Drinkable sunscreen: Does it actually work?

The concept is oddly alluring: Just drink some water and then hit the pool armed with all of the sun protection of an SPF 30 sunblock—but without the greasy skin, weird I-missed-a-spot tan lines, and desperate search for someone to get your back for you.

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That's the promise of Osmosis Skincare's new UV Neutralizer Harmonized Water (pictured below), purported to block 97 percent of UVA and UBV rays. You down a couple of milliliters of the water (it comes with a dropper) before heading out in the sun and then replenish every few hours (depending on your skin type, activities, and weight). You can't fight its simplicity, but seriously?

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According to Osmosis Skincare, Harmonized Water UV Neutralizer is simply "water that contains standing waves (scalar waves) that have a cancellation effect on UV radiation." A quick Google search of scalar waves shows that they are the stuff of alternative medicine and conspiracy theorists. Eh…

Developed by Ben Johnson, M.D., an aesthetic doctor (that's a subset of plastic-surgery medicine), the sun-blocker allegedly wards off UV rays, preventing them from entering the skin.

Even stranger is the brand's UV Neutralizer Tan Enhancing formula that's supposed to protect you from UV rays while helping you tan better. But since any tan is the result of your skin churning out melanin—which it only does in response to damage—a water that simultaneously blocks and boosts your skin's damage doesn't really make sense. It's also important to mention that this water hasn't been tested or approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

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But, in the end, it's all about results, right? So I tried the water on one particularly sunny weekend spent by the pool. First the good news: It didn't taste bad. It was literally just water. Phew. But that's all I really have in terms of pros, since my near-transparent skin still burned after a couple of hours spent in the sun. (Well, all of my skin except those parts covered in true sunblock. I wasn't about to take any chances with my face.)

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So, basically it wasn't the miracle for my skin that I was hoping for (further tests are required), but it wasn't as bad as I had feared when I heard the words drinkable sunblock, either.

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