Our Top 5 Ingredients for Natural Sunscreens

Few products get lathered over your loved ones as intensely as sunscreen in the summertime. On the boat, at the beach, playing in the spray park, or just running around the yard, you and your loved ones soak up mega rays during the summer months. We reach for our Fun in the Sun when we’re trying to avoid looking like a cooked lobster, but if it’s unavailable, we look for the following ingredients in an all-natural sunscreen.

  1. Zinc Oxide (Non-nano) – this inert and natural mineral sits atop the skin, creating a BARRIER that provides broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection. We haven’t played around or altered the zinc oxide in any way in our Fun in the Sun, which does mean it’s slightly white as you put it on. Simply massage over the skin and any of that white residue will disappear. If you’re looking to prevent premature aging and save yourself and your loved ones from any UV-based skin damage, Zinc Oxide is a MUST in your natural sunscreen. (Titanium Dioxide is an alternative that also creates a barrier, but that we have used less and are less familiar with)
  2. Red Raspberry Seed Oil – this natural oil is pressed from the red raspberry seed and is packed with antioxidants and essential fatty acids. We’ve read blogs about using it by itself as a sunscreen, which WE DO NOT recommend. Think of this seed oil as a way to neutralize the effects of free radicals that do penetrate your barrier (zinc oxide) and not as a barrier itself. The antioxidants and fatty acids will help to retain moisture, neutralize free radicals, and thereby reduce the signs of aging or negative effects of UV exposure.
  3. Shea Butter – Shea butter does have some natural SPF value, but not nearly enough to be used on its’ own. What it brings to the party, along with a little extra SPF, is hydration, regeneration, and soothing qualities that help the skin feel more supple and less irritated after use. Makes for a great base.
  4. Jojoba Oil – Jojoba has a small SPF value, but again, it is not the SPF that makes Jojoba such a valued ingredient. Jojoba is a natural moisturizer that offers fatty acids and helps to heal and reduce inflammation.
  5. Essential Oils – essential oils offer beautiful aromatic properties and carry constituents that are beneficial for the skin. We prefer them over fragrances. Essential oils offer SPF values of up to 7 SPF, so do not rely on them as a primary filter for UV rays. Carrot Seed is mistakenly considered to have an SPF of 38-40, based on a study that found a sunscreen containing that oil has that SPF. This is akin to saying that flour tastes amazing because cookies taste amazing and there is flour in cookies. Carrot seed does contain constituents that make it a fantastic addition to skin creams and sunscreens, just not as the primary active ingredient for UV protection.

You may have seen a trend in our list. While a LOT of ingredients (including ones we didn’t list like Mango Butter, Hemp Seed Oil and Coconut Oil) can add to the overall SPF value of a product, they are NOT sufficient on their own for MOST people. Coconut oil has an SPF of 7, which may be great for Justin, while Judith would look like a twizzler after 30 minutes. You know your sensitivity, so be sure to use natural products with SPF values that meet your needs. We put our faith in Zinc Oxide as a well-researched and proven effective tool for broad-spectrum UV protection. This is why we use it as the primary ingredient in our own product, and look for it in any other all-natural sunscreen. For further reading, here are 481 peer-reviewed studies about the topic :P

Until next time, may your baths be bubbly and your skin happy!


J, J, & K

P.S. - Our Fun in the Sun has not yet been tested for SPF to the degree that allows us to claim the SPF value. Use as you would an SPF30.