Natural Sunscreen Recipe – Sun Protection, Naturally!

Natural Sun Protection Recipe

I first shared my natural sunscreen / sun protection recipe in the July 2011 issue of Simply Beautiful.

Many people have been surprised by natural ingredients having such high Sun Protection Factors (SPFs). Coconut oil has SPF10, hazelnut oil SPF 15, Red Raspberry Seed Oil has an astonishing SPF of between 28 and 50! When considering lotions, SPF is the first thing everybody looks at, but many people do not realise that SPF actually represents the length of time you can stay out without being burnt. In other words, SPF 15 means that you can stay out 15 times longer than if you were wearing no lotion at all. I have mixed opinions about sunscreen, as there are some extraordinary health benefits to being in the sun’s rays and letting your skin soak them up and I think that it may actually be the chemicals in some sunscreens causing skin cancer (call me crazy if you will).

When it comes to the sun, there are two types of rays – UVA and UVB. UVB rays are essential for the skin’s production of Vitamin D, but can cause sunburn. UVA rays penetrate deeper and can cause melanoma, a skin cancer. Sunscreens reduce the body’s production of Vitamin D by up to 97-99.9% and Vitamin D has many roles in the body, such as promoting health and strong bones, supporting heart and kidney function, enhancing muscle strength and optimising blood pressure and cholesterol levels. There is evidence that sun exposure without burning can not only significantly decrease the risk of melanoma, but also protects against other types of cancer. These is also a fascinating study which suggested the less exposure people had to the sun the higher the risk of melanoma.

Ideally we should build up our exposure to the sun’s rays little by little but if you cannot subject yourself to a little more sun day by day, if you are going to be out in the sun all day long and/or if you can’t keep yourself covered up whilst in the sun then make this recipe and use this lotion to protect yourself naturally.

Natural Sunscreen Recipe Ingredients

50ml Red Raspberry Seed Oil
25ml Rice Bran Oil
4ml Vitamin E Oil
10 drops Lavender Oil

To make, simply mix the above quantities together. You may wish to use a spritzer bottle to ease application. Apply all over half an hour before heading out in to the sun. This mixture will give you an overall SPF of around 30. And not a nasty chemical in sight! Red raspberry seed oil is anti-inflammatory, nourishing, condition and it is the high fatty acid content which defends the skin from both UVA and UVB rays. Rice bran oil has a low SPF of 4, however it is also packed full of antioxidants which protect against free radical damage to slow down the aging process and has been used by Japanese women for centuries to smooth out wrinkles. Vitamin E is absorbed deep in the skin where it helps protect against UV damage; it also helps prevent age spots and plays an important role in the prevention of skin cancer due to its powerful antioxidant properties. Lavender oil is also a great anti-inflammatory and has great healing powers for sun damaged skin.

Natural Sunscreen Sun Protection Recipe

I hope you like my natural sunscreen recipe for sun protection, naturally! Let me know how you get on with it!

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  • Bebeautysmart

    Rebecca, what a great recipe! It’s so easy to make and I’m sure it smells so delicious!:) Thank you for this one, if you don’t mind I repin it:)

    • rebecca

      Please do share – thanks! x

  • C S

    I had no idea that you could have an organic product with high-ish SPF! This is fantastic and will give it a go! However, I have a friend who has VERY oily skin and would run a mile from an oily product, particulary for her face. Would you suggest any non-oily alternatives to this recipe? Thanks!!!

    • Gee

      I also am curious about an alternative that isn’t oily. My boyfriend hates chemical filled sunscreen but also doesnt like oily. At the beach the sand is going to just stick to us.

      • Rebecca

        I have to say that to find an un-oily natural alternative is going to be a challenge as the natural ingredients that offer SPF are all oils! I tend to use coconut oil straight up and that doesn’t seem too bad for getting sand stuck to me…

    • Kate

      Hazelnut oil is an astringent oil and recommended for use on oily skin, so would be a great base oil for this recipe.

    • Lindsay

      I am going to try argan oil mixed instead of the rice bran oil. I use argan for a moisturizer and I have very oily skin which is prone to breakouts. This oil helps clear up my skin and does not leave my face oily.

      • Rebecca

        Sorry Lindsay, I just found a whole load of comments stuck in the back end of my website!

        Did you try the argan oil instead? Would love to hear how you got on – Rice Bran does have a natural SPF of 4, but Argan does not have anything…..


  • Bella

    Can I replace lavender oil with something else?

  • Rebecca

    Yes absolutely! You can try Geranium, Neroli, Rosewood, Chamomile or Juniper Berry!

  • Marie Hall

    This is a great piece! I had no idea that the raspberry seed oil was so high. I have also heard that sesame oil has a natural spf of about 8… love it when I come across ‘recipes’ like this. For those that DO end up staying out in the sun too long, peppermint hydrolat mixed 50-50 with lavender hydrolat is a great one to cool down and heal redness. Your blog is great 🙂

    • Rebecca

      THanks for your comment and the tip! Will try that one out 🙂

      • Rebecca

        Not that I’ll be staying out in the sun too long!

  • matt

    from what sources did you get the SPF ratings? really wanna try this out!

    • Rebecca

      There are various sources on the internet and whilst I know you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet I’ve tried and tested this and can safely say they offer safe sun protection 🙂

  • Bei Bei C

    OMG!! I have to try this… Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  • Jessica

    Rebecca, I came across your recipe for sunscreen and am excited to try it. Two questions:n1) I’m having trouble finding red raspberry seed oil here in the states. I can buy off amazon but the companies don’t seem too reputable. Any brand suggestions I can buy here?n2) is this safe for babies? I have a 5 month old. nnThanks!!!!

    • Rebecca

      HI Jessica,

      Thanks for your email, great to hear from you.

      Gosh, I don’t really know any brands per se of red raspberry seed oil… I usually buy my ingredients from aromantic –

      Let me have a look for you and come back to you!

      As far as babies – there are no ingredients that will harm your baby (unless they have an allergy to one of the ingredients!)

      Thanks for reading, and let me know how you get on – I will in the meantime hunt out a decent red raspberry seed oil for you!


  • Kristin

    Can I replace the rice bran oil with almond oil?

    • Rebecca

      I don’t see why not – Almond Oil has an SPF of around 5!

  • Jessica

    This is wonderful! I am searching for natural alternatives to sunscreen, because of precancerous cells i have to be careful in the sun. Any idea if this is water/sweat proof? Thanks!

    • Rebecca

      Hi Jessica,

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂 I’d be very careful of any product claiming to be water/sweat proof! To be safe, always reapply if you’ve been in the water or if you’ve exerted yourself and worked up a sweat! If you have precancerous cells always stay out of the noon day sun (11-3) and cover up wherever possible.

      Best wishes,
      Rebecca x

  • Diane

    For very nice raspberry seed oil, try Natures Gift ( probably) I understand that cranberry seed oil is pretty good too – does not the numbers of raspberry seed but 1/4 of the price.

  • Diane

    woops – double checking; RR is $28 per oz and CB is $18 oz. Geez, it’s not easy being green!

  • Ali Hariman

    I’m going to try this for the Summer, however I’m going to substitute wheatgerm oil for the vitamin E oil. Wheatgerm is high in vitamin E, so I think it will be fine.


  • Patrick

    Hello Rebecca,
    how many applications does your recipe render for the face? I also know that some essential oils do not take well to plastic so, I will be using a glass bottle. The sun is also an enemy to some essential oils so, a tinted bottle or cabinet is usually recommended. I have not done my research yet, on the oils that you have listed so, they may not require any of these measurements. I just wanted to throw that bit of information out there. Thanks for the wonderful tip! I am allergic to all of the commercial sunscreens that I have tried. I suffer from post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation, as a result of acne. I hope this helps.

    • Rebecca

      Hi Patrick,

      Thanks for your comment and apologies for the slightly tardy reply. in truth I have not counted how many applications this recipe might last for, however I would hazard a guess at around 25-30, perhaps more! And yes, I would always store in a tinted glass bottle for safety, unfortunately I’ve read that even if a plastic is BPA-free other substances in it can leach into oils….

      Fingers crossed you don’t experience any allergies. All ingredients are anti-inflammatory, but as I’m sure you know everyone’s skin is different which is what makes us all unique!

  • Ped

    Wow! This recipe looks so yummy for the skin. Thanks for this Rebecca! I would share this recipe to my friends! 🙂

    • Rebecca

      Hi Ped,

      Thanks for stopping by – do let me know how it goes for you 🙂


  • Blogger Aceh

    I love natural 🙂 nice to see 🙂