Student tennis star creates skin protection supplement

Courtesy of James Dean Scarmozzino

From the moment Gallatin junior James Scarmozzino picked up a tennis racket in his hometown of Woodbury, N.Y., at the age of 10, he knew he wanted to play professionally. However, after spending years in the sweltering sun, he began to develop a small, brown mole on his right hand. Once the precancerous skin cells were removed, Scarmozzino, who goes by James Dean professionally, realized the prevalence of skin cancer and started to find a way to help others battling similar problems.

“I thought, skin cancer affects over two million people a year,” Scarmozzino said. “If I’m only 15 and getting something that could be close to it, this is a serious issue that needs to be addressed in other ways.”

On Monday, Feb. 18, Scarmozzino officially debuted his new natural supplement product, “Sunergetic,” designed to protect skin and maintain energy levels in a new way. Made from natural ingredients, Sunergetic provides the body with antioxidants that fight free radicals, and herbs and extracts that help absorb ultraviolet rays that reach the skin. Other ingredients, such as green tea extract, help those who take it to maintain energy levels without making them feel jittery.

“Science is saying that what you put inside your body is sometimes as effective as what you are putting on it,” Scarmozzino said. “You can apply all the sunscreen you want, but you are not going to be 100 percent protected.”

Scarmozzino developed his ingredient list after reviewing scientific research on sun exposure, skin health and energy. Nutritionists and doctors approved of his ingredient list, and a chemist helped him assign the milligram dosage of each ingredient for the supplement. Sunergetic’s patent is pending.

Dermatologist and Skin Cancer Foundation vice president Elizabeth Hale, M.D., is unfamiliar with Sunergetic’s specific ingredients but acknowledges the sound science behind the product.

“I do agree with the role of antioxidants in combating free radical damage to the skin. We know free radicals can cause DNA mutations that lead to both skin cancers and premature aging of the skin,” Hale said. “I would definitely like to see the specific ingredients and some clinical data before making any major conclusions about this specific product.”

Fordham University junior John Litke tried Sunergetic after seeing a Facebook post from Scarmozz-ino about the new product.

“Recently I was on a golf course in Florida and did not get burned,” Litke said. “Towards the end of my round, I still had plenty of energy, and usually by that point I am pretty exhausted.”

CAS junior and soccer player Serra Tumay opposed taking a supplement like Sunergetic because of her background in nutrition and knowledge of potential side effects from supplements.

“I believe [a well-balanced diet] is the best way to supply your body with energy,” Tumay said. “Although UV rays are harmful, there are beneficial factors of sun exposure, like using it as a source of vitamin D. With the proper real foods and by using sun protection, the same goal will be obtained.”

Sunergetic is available at and at select doctors’ offices. The supplement costs $39.95 for a 30-day supply of 60 capsules.

A version of this article was published in the Monday, March 4 print edition. Alena Hall is a contributing writer. Email her at [email protected]




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