sunshine gulls MGD©

Many homemade sunscreens call for carrot seed oil or red raspberry seed oil with coconut oil, claiming to have an SPF of 50, however the results are potentially dangerous showing other oils  as better possible options.

Pharmacognosy Research performed a study testing non-volatile oils and  volatile oils. Essential oils are volatile oils. The oils were purchased from several different manufacturers. “SPF values for volatile oils were found to be in between 1 and 7 (SPF).”

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Many posts floating around Pinterest and Facebook claim carrot seed oil and red raspberry oil are  SPF 50.

If the oils are testing at SPF 1-7 and blogposts claim SPF 50, sunburns could be on the horizon. If this is the case with newborn babies or young children the results could be heartbreaking.

Using the spectrophotometric method they found the SPF values for nonvolatile oils were between 2 and 8 with olive oil and coconut oil showing the highest SPF, 7.5 and 7.1 respectfully. Castor oil scored a 5.6. Almond oil registered as a 4.7. Mustard oil and chaulmoogra oil registered as a 3 while sesame oil and shea butter came is last with an SPF of 1.7. 

IMG_1051 (2)Pharmacognosy Research did find, “Out of these essential oils taken, the SPF value of peppermint oil and tulsi oil was found to be around 7; lavender oil, around 6; orange oil, around 4 (note, citrus fruit oils are what is considered phototoxic – amplifying a sunburn); eucalyptus oil, around 3; tea tree oil, around 2; and rose oil, around 1.” Lemongrass also scored high with an SPF of 6.3. Carrot seed oil and red raspberry seed oil were not on their list.

Again, citrus fruit oils like grapefruit, lemon, orange and lime are considered phototoxic. This means you will get sunburned while using them, they amplify the sun. Lemongrass comes from a grass not citrus fruit which is phototoxic as stated. Some classify this in the same category, including lemongrass, cumin, fennel, anise, and verbena absolute. The choice is yours. Many different oils can be used, there are many options outside of these oils.

The equation for calculating SPF is:

Standard recipes contain 1/4 cup of carrier oil (like olive oil) with 15-20 drops of your desired essential oil.

Anthony O’Lenick, et. al, wrote Oil Of Naturea book published in 2008 which is now out of print with back copies selling for $353. This book is the only source found by this author supposedly listing the SPF of carrot seed oil and red raspberry oil. Since this book is unavailable I could not verify the numbers or show any testing used to verify the findings. Red raspberry oil is listed in book index but IMG_5787carrot seed oil is not. O’Lenick worked as the president of Siltech, LLC as well as other chemical companies working with silicone and surfactants. All sightings on the internet I found showing both oils as SPF 50 refer back to this book, however none showed a sourced link with verification.

Health Impact News says Oil Of Nature shows, “Raspberry seed oil has a natural SPF of 28-50 and carrot seed oil has a natural SPF of 38-40.” However the book was not quoted, nor cited.

Click here to review a study showing testing on raspberry oil to be between 28 and 50 SPF.

Legally sunscreen is classified as a drug, with necessary testing required for a company, or even the home crafter selling at a farmer’s market to claim specific SPF values. Only certain chemicals and ingredients are on the approved list for sunscreen use.

Science Direct reported, “Nigella seed oil can be used to give protection against UV radiations with relatively high shielding power (SPF) and protection factor (PFA) scores.”

They go on to say, “The optical transmission of Nigella seed oil, especially in the UV range (290–400 nm) was comparable to those of date seed oil, raspberry seed oil and titanium dioxide preparations, which can be used as sun protection factors for UV-B (SPF) and protection factors for UV-A (PFA).”

The sites I have found referencing using carrot seed oil and red raspberry seed oil showing SPF 50 is this one, however, I’m not seeing the clear evidence showing the same information from this report. I’m linking it in hopes that some of my very intelligent readers see something I’m missing and can help show me the light.

Leah Tardivel

Leah Tardivel

Keiren Fox, owner of Inspiration Green, is a red-head with freckles who did a self test with red raspberry seed oil and then spent the day in the sun saying, “Needless to say my face had a slightly red hue to it that evening. If I had to estimate its SPF I would place it around 15.”

For people who are suffering from an overload of chemical toxicity the need to eliminate the exposure and clean up their environment is responsible good health. Manufactured sunscreens are harmful to many due to some of the ingredients, some people would say all of the ingredients.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) says, “On sun-exposed skin, retinyl palmitate may speed development of skin tumors and lesions, according to government studies. The FDA has yet to rule on the safety of retinyl palmitate in skin care products, but EWG recommends that consumers avoid sunscreens containing this chemical.”

Zinc oxide is deemed the safest by many analysts. The EWG says, “Zinc oxide is EWG’s first choice for sun protection. It is stable in sunlight and can provide greater protection from UVA rays than titanium oxide or any other sunscreen chemical approved in the U.S.”

The skin is the largest organ of the body. MIT research scientist Stephanie Seneff believes the skin could actually be breathing, not just protecting our bodies from elements. If it is in fact breathing, it would be negligent to slather on suffocating potentially carcinogenic chemicals.

Joschko Hammermann

Joschko Hammermann

The best and most natural method to prevent sunburn is to eat a real food diet free of processed and manufactured foods while building up the melanin in the skin through increasing sun exposure time starting with 10 minutes outside one day and increasing each day or time you are exposed outside. Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, author of GAPS, says to increase your sun exposure and eat nutrient dense foods in this way. She says eating foods high in cholesterol to help the body process the sun.

McBride also says zinc oxide is the preferred choice.

WebMD also recommends zinc oxide.

Click here for a clean zinc oxide with no problematic chemicals, fillers or additives.

To read more on the nutritional breakdown and nutritional deficiencies that are showing to cause sunburns click here.

This is the pump sprayer I use but if I could go back in time I would purchase this one. Essential oils can be used exclusively, if desired. 

For those who are canaries-in-a-coalmine here please give your feedback on your homemade versions so everyone else can learn. 

For a reliable home made sunscreen recipe click here.

*If you learned something from this post share it so others can do the same. To support the efforts of this blog shop the affiliate links above like this one. You pay the same shopping through Amazon while the author receives a small referral fee from Amazon. This offsets the costs of this site.

*Nourishing Plot is written by Becky Plotner, ND, traditional naturopath, GAPS who sees clients in Rossville, Georgia. Since her son was delivered from the effects of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), ADHD, bipolar disorder/manic depression, hypoglycemia and dyslexia through food she continued her education specializing in Leaky Gut and parasitology through Duke University, finishing with distinction. This is not a news article published by a paper trying to make money. This blog is put out by a mom who sees first hand the effects of nourishing food vs food-ish items. No company pays her for writing these blogs, she considers this a form of missionary work. It is her desire to scream it from the rooftops so that others don’t suffer from the damaging effect of today’s “food”.



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15 Responses to Homemade Sunscreen Ingredients Tested For Effectivity

  1. Kristin says:

    Great post, Becky!

  2. Did you find any studies on the SPF of myrrh EO? Thank you!

  3. marie Gauley says:

    I found drinking carrot juice helps prevent sunburn or just eat a carrot each day.

    • Becky Plotner says:

      YES! That was the link within the post referencing Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride and Stephanie Seneff. For some folks it still takes more.

  4. Kim says:

    Actually a study was completed at the following site that does prove that raspberry oil has spf between 28-50. I don’t know how to include links so I copied the link from my friends post from Facebook.

  5. Mamia says:

    Citrus oils are phototoxic, meaning that they react with sunlight to cause burns on skin. Trust me, I found out the hard way.

    • Becky Plotner says:

      Yes, you are correct. Lemon is phototoxic – poor thing, I can’t imagine! In fact, all citrus fruit oils fall under the same category. Lemongrass essential oil comes from a grass, not fruit. I will add this to the post to be sure folks know. Thank you!

  6. Grace White says:

    Raspberry seed oil isyellow with a slight “®shy” o-note. Crude raspberryseed oil showed some absorbance in the UV-C (100±290nm) and UV-B (290±320 nm) range (Fig. 1). In the UV-B range, the wavelengths of ultraviolet light responsi blefor most cellular damage, raspber ry seed oil can shieldagainst UV-A induced damage by scattering (hightransmission), as well as by absorption. The shieldingpower in the UV-A (320±400 nm) range depends mostlyon the scattering eect. Thus, raspberry seed oil may actas a broad spectrum UV protectant and provide pro-tection against both UV-A, an exogenous origin of oxi-dative stress to the skin, and UV-B. The opticaltransmission of raspberry seed oil, especially in the UVrange (290±400 nm) was comparable to that of titaniumdioxide preparations with sun protection factor for UV-B (SPF) and protection factor for UV-A (PFA) valuesbetween 28±50 and 6.75±7.5, respectively (Kobo Pro-ducts Inc., South Plain®eld, NJ).


  7. Michelle says:

    What do you put in your pump sprayer?

  8. Tonya says:

    Hi Becky, I came to your site in search of some more answers to spf values in natural ingredients…I am a new budding, studying to become an herbalist and have just started my research on natural spf. I have found the same study conclusions about the oils you have listed. I went to Dr. Axe’s website last night for a natural sunscreen, and he adds ‘pomegranate seed oil’, thus increasing the spf value by 20%. I don’t have the exact link to this page, but if someone would go to his website, I’m sure they would find the info and the recipe.
    Secondly, I was wondering if you have any links or info about the dietal change for your son. My son is on the autism spectrum disorder and if you have any info that you can share with me, that would be great. I have done a fair bit of research about the casein free diet and the Feingold diet. I’m probably ‘out of the loop’ when it comes to current research, but am always trying to stay up to date. Amen that your son has improved and God is great! I always love hearing and it’s such joyous news to hear of kids-adults improving from this disorder.
    Thank you for your time, and your information provided.

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