The makers of two brands of "drinkable sunscreen" failed to prove their product really protects users against sunburn and instead relied on "seriously flawed" testing that "recklessly gave consumers hollow assurances that they were protected from known health hazards," according to a consumer fraud lawsuit filed Tuesday by the Iowa Attorney General's Office.
Osmosis Skincare and Harmonized Water — both controlled by the same Colorado-based owner — have advertised their enhanced water as the "world's first drinkable sunscreen," protecting users from harmful ultraviolet light. The water contains a "form of radio frequencies called scalar waves," according to Osmosis. "When ingested, they vibrate above the skin to neutralize UVA and UVB, creating protection comparable to an SPF 30."
Iowa's Attorney General, Tom Miller, is not impressed, with his lawsuit calling the claims "almost certainly pure bunk" and "pseudo-science at its worst."
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"It's flat-out dangerous to consumers to make them think without any proof that this water protects them from what we know is proven—potentially cancer-causing exposure to the sun," Miller said in a statement.
Ben Johnson, the owner of the two companies, stood by the products in a statement to BuzzFeed News.
"I think it is important to note that we have been selling this remarkable product for about 5 years. We have had thousands of re-orders. Surely people understand that as a successful skincare company it would make no sense that we would sell people a fake sun protection water….and if we did, how long does one think those sales would last?
"It would be ridiculous to think we could convince people to keep buying it if it doesn't actually work," Johnson said, calling the Iowa lawsuit "full of falsities and misleading statements" and motivated by "more of personal agenda here than an objective analysis of the facts."