Scientific data on UV absorbance of natural & essential oils
|28.000||Raspberry seed oil||Refined Organic Cold Pressed Raspberry seed Oil|
|7.549||Olive oil||La Tourangelle Extra Virgin Olive Oil|
|7.119||Coconut oil||Viva Labs Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil|
|6.668||Peppermint oil||Majestic Pure Essential Peppermint Oil|
|6.571||Tulsi oil||Miracle Botanicals Holy Basil Tulsi Oil|
|6.282||Lemongrass oil||Morning Pep Lemongrass Oil|
|5.687||Castor oil||Home Health Cold Pressed & Processed Castor Oil|
|5.624||Lavender oil||Radha Bulgarian Lavender Oil|
|4.659||Almond oil||Molivera Organics Sweet Almond Oil|
|3.975||Orange oil||Now Foods Orange Oil|
|2.810||Lemon oil||Majestic Pure Essential Lemon Oil|
|2.625||Eucalyptus oil||Now Foods Eucalyptus Oil|
|2.105||Mustard seed oil||Dr Adorable Mustard seed Oil|
|2.019||Chaulmoogra oil||Virgin Cold Pressed Chaulmoogra Oil|
|1.771||Sesame oil||La Tourangelle Toasted Sesame Oil|
|1.702||Tea tree oil||Art Naturals Essential Tea tree Oil|
This SPF chart is compiled from research published in publicly-available scientific journals. Read below for more information on raspberry seed oil, other herbal oils, and the positive effects of other herbal compounds. Carrot seed oil is often incorrectly called a UV protectant.
Raspberry seed oil, olive oil & coconut oil have been shown to have the highest SPF values. These are calculated using in vitro (lab) absorbance data. FDA-evaluated sunscreen values are measured in vivo (on human volunteers), but results from two methods are usually equivalent.
Protection will vary by brand & harvest. Consider the values provided here and in supporting literature to be approximate.
Essential oils are not recommended for use as sunscreen. Fixed (pressed) oils are more stable than volatile (essential) oils.
According to a group of researchers in Canada, France & China, raspberry seed oil has a SPF between 28-50 and may act as a broad spectrum UV protectant:
The optical transmission of raspberry seed oil, especially in the UV range (290-400nm) was comparable to that of titanium dioxide preparations with [SPF] ... values between 28-50
[Absorbance graphs will be provided here soon.]
Raspberry seed oil also has characteristics found to protect against oxidative stress, has a long shelf life, and is a renewable resource. Organic raspberry seed oil is widely available.
We recommend Refined Organic Cold Pressed Raspberry Seed Oil.
Olive oil SPF is 7.549 and coconut oil SPF is 7.119, according to Kaur & Saraf in In vitro sun protection factor determination of herbal oils used in cosmetics (2010). They did not test UVA radiation, which does not cause sunburn but increases risk of melanoma & photodermatitis.
Results are misinterpreted from Kapoor & Saraf's Efficacy Study of Sunscreens Containing Various Herbs for Protecting Skin from UVA and UVB Sunrays (2009). The title is clear: sunscreens containing, not comprised exclusively of, herbs are tested. Sample HS3 is a commercial sunscreen containing carrot seed oil, identified as Biotique Carrot, which contains zinc.
Kumar & Viswanathan found chicken oil absorbed nearly 75% of UV radiation and concluded unsaturated fatty acids make the best sunscreen in Study of UV Transmission through a Few Edible Oils & Chicken Oil. We find this interesting but do not recommend chicken oil as a sunscreen.
We recommend organic, renewable, animal-friendly SPF 28+ Refined Organic Cold Pressed Raspberry Seed Oil.