Essential Oils as Sunscreen
Sunscreen….. yay or nay? Some feel that it causes cancer while others feel it is a necessity when going outside. These days, DIY sunscreen recipes are being shared all over Pinterest and social media. When it comes to essential oil recipes, Pinterest is NOT your friend. Most of the ideas regarding oils come from people who have no education or formal training. I know, I used to be one of them. Don’t get me wrong, I love Pinterest, for DIY home ideas….. anything regarding medical remedies or something to protect my family….. absolutely not.
Sunscreen is a tough subject. Most of the brands on the shelves at your local box store contain so many chemicals. Who wants to slather all those toxic ingredients on your body or those you love? NOT ME! Before you apply any of the common DIY recipes containing essential oils, please keep reading.
Essential Oils Have SPF Value
No, they do not. I have seen where carrot seed oil is touted as having an SPF value of 38-40 and raspberry seed oil an SPF value of 28-40. That simply is not true. Many DIY sunscreen recipes are calling for carrot seed essential oil. Carrot Seed Oil, the fatty oil that is cold pressed from the seeds of the carrot plant MAY have an SPF value. I have been searching for days to find a published study to confirm this, if you have access to one, please email me at email@example.com or link it in the comments, I would REALLY like to find one.
I want to clarify that carrot seed oil is not the same thing as carrot seed essential oil. Carrot seed EO is a steam distilled, volatile oil containing chemical constituents. According to Robert Tisserand on his FB page, Robert Tisserand Training:
“I have been asked a few times recently to provide evidence that carrot seed essential oil is not an effective sunscreen. I think the onus is on those who claim that it is a sunscreen to provide some substantiating evidence. The purported 38-40 SPF for carrot seed oil is based on some Indian research where they tested a natural sunscreen product that contained "Daucus carota" AND OTHER INGREDIENTS, and the product had an SPF of 38 in one test, and 40 in another. This does not mean that carrot seed oil of any type has a meaningful SPF. It's more likely that they used carrot seed fatty oil than any other type of carrot extract, but the article does not give us that information. So, carrot seed FATTY oil may be very slightly sun-protective, but it has no known SPF. And, there are no essential oils that meaningfully filter UV rays.”
And his take on raspberry seed oil
” It has a theoretical SPF, which is not the same as one that has been properly tested. This is from the research paper on raspberry seed oil: "Thus, raspberry seed oil may act as a broad spectrum UV protectant and provide pro- tection against both UV-A....and UV-B."
I know that some essential oil bloggers get excited to share practical uses of their findings, however it’s a good idea to do your own research and consult professionals when possible skin damage is on the line. Why risk it when you don’t have to?
Adding essential oils to your sunscreen recipe makes me ask you why? Why are you adding them? For the smell? Essential oils have the same chemical constituents as over the counter, and prescription medications. If they are providing you with no SPF capabilities, why are you adding them to your homemade sunscreen? If you don’t need a medication, you wouldn’t take it, correct? Something to consider.
Coconut Oil is NOT a Good Sunscreen Either
I’ve been reading about the miraculous power of coconut oil as a sunscreen lately. Now, research just came out claiming that coconut oil is worse than beef fat for the body. *Sigh* Who do you believe?! The SPF value is only around 7. That’s just NOT enough protection in my opinion to protect us from the damaging rays of the sun.
I don’t want you to think that I’m all for chemical sunblock, I definitely am not. I’m always researching to find a great and natural sunscreen that is affordable and protects my family. Until then, we rely on swim shirts, sun glasses, hats, and pants when possible. Also, we try and work around the suns most damaging hours, midday when the UV rays are at their strongest. Shade is also my best friend when I’m outside. Being that we live in the frozen north, we need all the vitamin D we can get. I just do not want it at the expense of our skin and the possibility of cancer down the line. As a GUIDELINE, I consult EWG.org. It isn’t the be all, end all but it’s a place for me to start my research. Last year I found ThinkSport. It works well for our active family, smells good and provides adequate coverage. The best thing, it doesn’t break the bank.
You can find an essential oil recipe for just about anything, most of them come from MLM companies trying to sell you their oils. 90% of these people have no education or formal training rendering their recommendations unsafe at best. Please, for your safety and that of your loved ones, please, please, please educate yourself. Question the validity of the information you are using.
Should you forget your sunscreen and get a sunburn, lavender essential oil or hydrosol is a great way to cool the burn. Please don’t forget to dilute the lavender, a nice avocado oil would be excellent! Like lavender, it’s very skin nourishing. You can the lavender essential oil at barefut here. Please email me at Melissa@sweetwillowspirit.com with any questions.
Love and light,
Caution: The material on this page is not meant to take the place of diagnosis and treatment by a qualified medical practitioner. Since the actual use of this product by others is beyond our control, no expressed or implied guarantee as to the effects of their use can be given nor liability taken. Use at your own discretion. Any application of the recommendations is at the user’s risk. Sweet Willow Spirit, LLC disclaims any liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of this information and assumes no responsibility for any actions taken. This should not be used in place of traditional therapies but solely as a complementary means for bringing well-being. The FDA has not evaluated the statements on this website. No claims are made as to any medicinal value of any oil or healing modality.
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