A sunscreen pill is currently being developed by scientists, which — if you think about it — seems way more intuitive than rubbing cream all over your exposed skin before diving into the waves and staying there for an hour.
A sunscreen pill would totally eliminate that awkward period after an inevitable burn, when people first ask you whether you used sunscreen (yes, SPF 50) and then tell you that you didn’t apply it frequently enough, the right way, long enough before sun exposure or that you were asking for it, the way you were dressed.
Alas, a sunscreen pill is not available this summer, and we are still stuck with the rather ineloquent situation of having to slather on a thick white cream and hope that we’re not setting ourselves up for imminent melanoma, as well as hoping that it doesn’t get rinsed off our skin the second our derrieres hit the water.
The research on the sunscreen pill is actually inspired by coral — and scientists in Britain say that they plan to turn some protections the undersea staple has into ingestible sun protection. Lead researcher Paul Long explains:
“What we have found is that the algae living within the coral makes a compound that we think is transported to the coral, which then modifies it into a sunscreen for the benefit of both the coral and the algae.”
In a statement, Long continues:
“Not only does this protect them both from UV damage, but we have seen that fish that feed on the coral also benefit from this sunscreen protection, so it is clearly passed up the food chain.”
All going well, British researchers could bring the sunscreen pill to market in as little as five years.