Home / Frequently Asked Questions

If I use Sundots, should I still use sunscreen and UPF-rated clothing?
Absolutely. Sunscreen is the foundation of a quality sun protection regimen. The best sun protection comes from a combination of Sundots, sunscreen, and UPF-rated clothing. If you're driving down the highway at 65 MPH, do you wonder if your airbag is "enough" protection, and therefore maybe you shouldn't wear your seatbelt? Of course not!

Sundots are not a replacement for sunscreen. The best protection comes from all three, combined - we need all the protection we can get!

I have seen other products which use polypodium leucotomos marketed for health conditions like vitiligo, psoriasis, photosensitivity disorders, and other conditions. Will Sundots help with those?
No. Sundots are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. 

How many Sundots are in a bottle, and how many should I take each day?
Sundots are one/day for normal days, with a second gummy recommended at midday for high-exposure days like the beach, a long run, or golf. That's why there's 36 in each bottle.

What is polypodium leucotomos?
Polypodium leucotomos is a fern native to Central and South America which has been used for centuries for a variety of ailments. Sundots use a highly refined polypodium leucotomos extract (sometimes abbreviated PLE) that can help to protect our skin against the sun's damaging rays.

Where can I read more about clinical studies of polypodium leucotomos?
There are dozens of high-quality studies on polypodium published over the last 30 years, that represent a strong foundation of our understanding of this remarkable fern. Here's a list of relevant studies:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=polyp.... Feel free to reach out to us if you and have more specific questions about the research.

How did you determine the optimum polypodium leucotomos dose for Sundots?
The highest-quality human studies of polypodium have simulated very high intensity exposure comparable to a full summer day at the beach in direct sun - an acute dose that most people only see a few times per year. Those studies used a 2x 240mg dose of polypodium. We are using 1x that well-established 240mg dose based on the levels of UV radiation our customers are likely to encounter on an ongoing basis, since we're focused on everyday sun safety. That's also why we recommend a second gummy at midday for when we do have high-exposure days like golf, a long run, skiing, the beach, etc. Regardless of how many Sundots you take, Sundots are not a substitute for other forms of sun protection, and should always be used in addition to sunscreen.

How will I know that Sundots are working?
Multiple studies, led by different teams, including with human subjects, have demonstrated polypodium's benefits. Remember, the best sun protection always comes from a combination of Sundots, sunscreen, and UPF-rated clothing!

Our customers have reported that they're less likely to be pink after forgetting to re-apply sunscreen, or when they're unexpectedly in the sun for longer than they planned. With continued use, Sundots also have strong skin beauty benefits, as polypodium can help to repair skin at an accelerated rate. This means skin appears more youthful, even-toned, and with a smoother texture. 

Do Sundots interfere with Vitamin D production?
No. The activity of polypodium is unrelated to the chemical mechanism of Vitamin D production. Plus, Sundots include 100% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin D, a critical nutrient that studies have shown many people around the world are chronically deficient in.

Why do Sundots have Vitamin D in them?
Many Americans are chronically deficient in Vitamin D. A meta-analysis of the best-quality data suggests that about 40% of US adults do not have adequate vitamin D intake (reference), and studies of other parts of the world have produced similar results. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to poor bone health. Since Vitamin D is such an important nutrient, we're excited to include all-natural, vegan Vitamin D in every Sundots gummy.

How did you determine the optimum Vitamin D dose for Sundots?
We follow the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) recommended dietary allowances (reference). The NIH Office of Dietary Supplements is the best authority for credible, science-based perspectives on holistic vitamin health. They recommend that all US adults supplement with 15-20 mcg (600-800 IU) of Vitamin D per day. Sundots have 20 mcg/800 IU in each daily gummy.

What’s the best way to take Sundots?
On most days, Sundots are most effective taken like a daily vitamin in the morning. On days with high sun exposure, like a day at the beach, on a boat, skiing, or on a hike, take a second gummy at midday. That’s why we include 36 gummies in each monthly bottle.

Why are there 36 Sundots in a bottle?
On days with high sun exposure, like a day at the beach, on a boat, skiing, or on a hike, we recommend a second dose of Sundots taken at midday. We include a few extra for each month. If you find yourself running out before your next Sundots ship, just log in to your account and you can change the date of your next delivery.

Can I give Sundots to my kids?
Over 30 years of study and use of polypodium has established a strong safety profile for this all-natural ingredient. However, there have been no child-specific studies of polypodium. Therefore out of an abundance of caution, we recommend Sundots for those 12 years old and up. As with all supplements, if you are considering Sundots for your child of any age, consult with a doctor prior to taking Sundots.

Can I take Sundots if I'm pregnant or nursing?
Over 30 years of study and use of polypodium has established a strong safety profile for this all-natural ingredient. However, there have been no pregnancy-specific studies of polypodium. You should consult your doctor if pregnant or nursing before starting any new dietary supplement, including Sundots.

Do we really use sunscreen incorrectly?
Yes. Decades of research into how people use sunscreen have reached a shared conclusion: poorly. When we do use sunscreen, on average we only apply 25-50% of the amount of sunscreen required to achieve the SPF listed on the bottle (reference). Additionally, one 2017 study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, found that two-thirds of people at a state fair failed to apply sunscreen to their whole body (reference). Many other studies have measured our poor use of sunscreen in different ways, but with similar results.

Even worse, most of the time we do not wear sunscreen at all! One CDC study conducted in the summertime showed that only 14% of men and 30% of women reported regularly using sunscreen on exposed areas of skin (reference). Correct use of sunscreen is essential to every strong sun protection regimen - even when taking Sundots.

I've heard that sunscreens in the US are weak in UVA protection, even though they say "broad spectrum" - is this true?
Generally-speaking, yes. European products have historically chosen sunscreen ingredients that feature better UVA protection. One 2015 study, as summarized by the Environmental Working Group, “found that U.S. sunscreens allowed, on average, three times more UVA rays to pass through to skin than European products" (reference).

Are there really potentially toxic chemicals in commercially-available sunscreen that I should be worried about?
Yes. As summarized by the Environmental Working Group, in 2015 “the Danish EPA reviewed the safety of active ingredients in [US] sunscreen and concluded that most ingredients lacked information to ensure their safety” (reference). The FDA has grandfathered many older sunscreen ingredients from the same safety standards that new ingredients must meet. The most concerning is oxybenzone, present in the majority of non-mineral sunscreens. You may have heard of oxybenzone in the news, as the US state of Hawaii has proposed a ban on this ingredient, and the US outdoor retailer REI has stated they will no longer carry sunscreens with oxybenzone in the future.

There are many sunscreens that do not use oxybenzone and related ingredients for sun protection. These alternative sunscreens are broadly referred to as “mineral” sunscreens, and commonly feature zinc as their active ingredient. Sundots supports the use of mineral sunscreens whenever you’ve got the choice.

That said, the potential toxicity concerns of chemical sunscreens are NEVER a good reason to not use sunscreen altogether. Sunscreen is always the foundation of a strong sun protection regimen.

I've heard of a Consumer Reports study that found many sunscreens lacked the SPF claimed on the label - what's the deal?
Since 2013, Consumer Reports has published annual data which compares a number of products’ SPF claims against what is demonstrated in independent lab testing. The results?: “In CR’s latest annual tests and ratings of 58 lotions, sprays, and sticks, 20 sunscreens tested at less than half their labeled SPF number" (reference). We recommend consulting Consumer Reports and other reputable, 3rd-party sources to ensure your daily sunscreen is included on their list of high-performing products.


If I haven't been paying attention to sun protection for much of my life, is it too late to stay safe in the sun?
No! Every bit of sun exposure causes harm to our skin, and there's no point at which it's "not worth it" to choose better protection. Any additional protection we get, at any point in our lives, affects our skin health and skin aging for the better.

Are Sundots FDA-approved?
Sundots are a dietary supplement and comply with best practices. Sundots are manufactured in the USA, at an FDA-inspected and FDA-registered, pharmaceutical-grade facility. Our manufacturing facility is also certified by Oregon Tilth to be organic-compliant. Sundots are regulated as a supplement; the FDA does not provide “approval” of supplements. Your daily vitamin isn't "approved" either.

Where are Sundots manufactured?
Sundots are manufactured in the USA, at an FDA-inspected and FDA-registered, pharmaceutical-grade facility.

Are Sundots non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, cruelty-free, soy-free, nut-free, and dairy-free?
Yes. Sundots are all those things!

Do Sundots contain any other ingredients, such as _______?
Sundots’ ingredients are 100% disclosed on our product page and on the product label. If it's not on there, it's not in Sundots.

Why do Sundots include organic sugar?
Our product chemistry requires sugars to interact with pectin to form the gummy - otherwise, Sundots would just be a puddle of juice. Each gummy contains an almost insignificant amount of added sugar - less than 1 gram. That's less than the weight of a paperclip.

What are citric acid and sodium citrate, and why are they in Sundots?
Citric acid is derived from citrus fruits and helps stabilize the pectin (our apple-based thickener) and also adjusts Sundots' acidity. Sodium citrate is a type of salt made by adding a salt solution to citric acid, and also helps adjust acidity. Gummies cannot form without the perfect acidity, and different ingredients affect the recipe's acidity - that's why we need citric acid and sodium citration to help adjust.

Why isn't your polypodium leucotomos organic?
To our knowledge, there is currently no commercial source for organic polypodium leucotomos. This is something we hope to address in the future with our suppliers.

Do you ship internationally?
Yes. When you check out, you’ll see shipping costs applied based on your location. You are responsible for paying any taxes and/or duties which apply in your country, as well as any shipping delays due to customs.

What about international sales tax, VAT, and/or import duties?
By purchasing Sundots, you agree you are responsible for paying any taxes and/or duties which apply in your country.

How will my Sundots arrive?
We pack Sundots in a compact, durable cardboard box. Your Sundots will be inside. If you order multiple bottles of Sundots at a time, you will get multiple boxes in the mail. In the future, you will be able to include multiple Sundots in a single shipping box.

If I buy Sundots, will I automatically have a monthly subscription?
The Sundots product page includes options for a one-time purchase or an automatic monthly delivery - choose whichever you like.

Do you sell wholesale? Can I purchase Sundots in bulk?
If you are a retailer or bulk purchaser aligned with our brand and mission, please email wholesale@sundots.com with details of your interest, and we'll be glad to connect.

Do you have a press page and related assets?
Yes - http://press.sundots.com/

I have a question that isn't answered here. How do I contact Sundots?
Please email us at help@sundots.com.