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Red Rasberry Seed Oil and the SPF Values of Oilsred raspberry and carrot seed oil sunscreen spf

Essential oils are now used in some natural sunscreen products.

Many studies have recorded very high SPF protection values in tests on some natural oils.

This means some oils could be of use as as a natural alternative for sunscreens.


Essential Oils that Offer SPF Protection

We have seen articles and research claiming anything from 6 to 50 for red raspberry seed oil SPF alone!  Whilst other scientific studies concluded that “non-volatile oils” can have SPF values between 2 and 8 and “volatile oils” between 1 and 7. [22] This immediately raises concerns about websites claim essential oils have SPF values as high as 50 and so can be used as sunscreens.

Do oils or herbs really have enough SPF potential for use for sun protection creams? One good reason for creating a natural sun block recipe is that commercial sunscreens normally contain a long list of rather unpleasant chemicals. Although the big Cancer Charities and the FDA say they are lovely and no problem many people with some academic qualifications do not agree.

So, for this reason alone it would be good to find a natural oil or herb based alternative.


The Most Important Studies

The results of the first study we looked at concluded that herbs and oils such as aloe vera, jojoba, cucumber, wheat germ do have UVA and UVB absorbing properties and potential for creating effective, natural, commercial sunscreen. [23]  A second study looking into Raspberry Seed Oil concluded that “Raspberry seed oil showed absorbency in the UV-B range with potential for use as a broad spectrum UV protectant.” [1]

A further investigation into Rice and Raspberry Seed Oils was conducted in 2014. It examined the effects of adding vegetable based oils, rice bran oil and raspberry seed oil to cosmetic formulations. It was found that adding these natural oils allowed them to reduce the amount of synthetic chemicals needed in a commercial sunscreen. The vegetable oils seemed to improve the UV absorption rates as well as improve antioxidant activity. [2]

One further study determined that Raspberry Seed Oil offers protection against both UVA and UVB. Tests concluded that the Raspberry Seed Oil under test had an SPF value of comparable effectiveness to titanium Oxide [3]

Yet another study, published in the International Journal of Pharmacology Research, also supports some of the claims that herbal oils can have high SPF values. This report suggested SPF values of 6 to 20 for various essential oils ( see our oils list below for details). [41]


Summary – natural essentials oils for sun protection

Red Raspberry Seed Oil – SPF – See below

One of the best know oils with SPF protection is said to be Red Raspberry Seed Oil.
One of the most commonly quoted studies and the hotly contested concluded that Raspberry Seed Oil could have an SPF value of between 28 to 60 for UVB wavelengths and 6.75 to 7.5 for UVA wavelengths [3]  [1]

Carrot Seed Oil – SPF 19 – UVB

Carrot seed oil is proposed as an essential oil ideal for use in sunblocks. with significant antioxidant, antiseptic, anti fungal and fragrant properties with high levels of vitamin A.

Wheat germ Oil – SPF 22 UVB

Wheat germ Oil was found to have a UVB protection SPF of 22 [41]

Coconut Oil – SPF 8

Coconut Oil is an all round fantastic oil which you should have in your kitchen. Like culinary Argan Oil it has amazing benefits for your health and is delicious. Try a tablespoon or two a day for your health. We include this oil in our Sahara Tanning Serum as it helps to develop a deeper tan more quickly. This means you can get a better tan more safely with less UV exposure.[50]

Jojoba Oil – SPF 06 UVB

Jojoba is excellent at locking in moisture and has anti-inflammatory properties. This is why it is included in our Sahara Tanning Serum – to help stop the drying of skin due to heat. It is also similar to the natural sebum produced on our scalp and in fact helps cleans the hair follicle – which is why Jojoba is also included in our Hair Magick Hair Repair Serum.[41]

Rice Bran Oil – SPF 1.7*

Rice bran oil contains a substance known as gamma oryzanol. Research shows that it protects skin against UV induced oxidation. The UVB absorption SPF of the 1%* oryzanol cream was tested to be 1.7.  [31]


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Sahara Tanning Serum solved?

When researching this article we discovered that one of our products, Sahara Tanning Serum, contains two of the oils discussed below. We always said to assume that this product has an SPF value of 0 and offers no UV protection.

However, comments made by some customers over the years were a bit of a mystery.
Many people commented that they experienced less reddening of their skin than they would have expected after sunbathing when using our Sahara Tanning Serum?

In particular during short sunbathing trips where they had not used a sunblock. So possibly this in some way does indicate that the reports of these oils having an SPF value is true and can be of practical value.

In either case we are sure you will find that essential oils, such as pure Argan Oil, applied under a sun-block will leave your skin looking and feeling less-aged and less dry or leathery after periods of exposure to the sun.

Especially as this is kinder to the skin and free of some very nasty chemicals.

Learn More About Sahara Tanning Serum >


Conclusion – Can Oils Provide SPF Sun Protection in Sunscreens?

A natural, effective sunscreen seems to be quite possible to produce. The issue appears to be that research results vary. We are also not aware of any natural sunblocks that have been put through a cosmetics testing process by an organisation like the FDA. ( If you know of any please get in touch).

Some of the products out there are claiming high SPF values but after examining the ingredients we often find that they contain titanium oxide or zinc oxide. Both are extremely effective sun UV blocking agents and also, being mineral, qualify as natural.

So if you want a same natural and effective sun lotion and skin care regimen for the beach we suggest a simple zinc oxide cream for protection from the sun and natural oils to condition and help protect the skin from aging.

We recommend our Sahara Tanning Serum for this.



Research & References











[50] In vitro sun protection factor determination of herbal oils used in cosmetics

Chanchal Deep Kaur and Swarnlata Saraf

[31] Yoshino, G., Kazumi, T., Amano, M., Tateiwa, M., Yamasaki, T., Takashima, S., Iwai, M., Hatanaka, H., and Baba, S. (1989). Effects of gamma-oryzanol and probucol on hyperlipidemia. Curr. Ther. Res., 45(6), 975-982

One Response to Red Rasberry Seed Oil and the SPF Values of Oils

  • Neville Bryant says:

    Hi, I am from New Zealand and am wanting to formulate a natural sunscreen. Do you know where I can go to get the SPF scientifically tested. The ingredient I am looking at is Raspberry Oil.

    Thank you.

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