shutterstock_196917404Slathering on sunscreen is so time-consuming and messy—especially if you do it right. It’s no wonder so few of us actually do.

So-called “drinkable” sunscreens may seem like the ideal way for patients to circumvent the inconvenience of applying topical sunscreen, but they are no such thing, warns La Jolla, Calif-based dermatologist Mona Z. Mofid, MD, who also serves as the medical director of the American Melanoma Foundation.

_PSP_sunsafety_awardDon’t miss PSP’s May 2015 “Hot Stuff” to check out Dr Mofid’s favorite new sun-protection products.

One such product, Osmosis Skincare’s UV Neutralizer Harmonized Water, made quite a splash with the media last summer. According to the manufacturer, it is “simply purified water imprinted with unique, vibrational waves which isolate out the precise frequencies needed to protect you from UV rays.” The frequencies that have been imprinted on water vibrate on skin and cancel approximately 97% of the Ultraviolet A and B rays.

While Mofid is not familiar with this particular product, she is quick to caution that there is no substitute for a topical sunscreen.

“There is some evidence that consuming antioxidants in our diet can help protect against skin cancer and premature aging by helping to repel free radicals,” she explains. This is why many of today’s top-selling sunscreens contain antioxidants.

But, she says, “our patients can’t skip the sunscreen, take an antioxidant, and expect to be protected just like they can’t get liposuction, eat cheesecake, and expect to be skinny,” she says. “Topical sunscreens are the first line of defense and the body armor’s against the sun’s UV rays.”

Her advice? Urge patients to use sunscreen judiciously and eat a healthy diet chock-full of antioxidants. “This way, they are getting protection from the inside out and outside in,” she says.