Top 10 Best Plant-Based Natural Sunscreens

Image Via Shutterstock
Image Via Shutterstock

Summer has arrived and that means higher UV ray exposure, and much more sunscreen application. What most people don’t know, however, is that conventional sunscreens are loaded with harmful chemicals, which actually increase your risk of developing melanoma. Plant-based, natural sunscreens are harmless, and your best bet to a healthier, melanoma-free YOU!

[quote_right]Sunscreens are a chemical elixir, an elixir you slather on without little thought.[/quote_right] 

Over 56% of beach and sport sunscreens contain the chemical oxybenzone (stated by the Environmental Working Group). Oxybenzone functions to absorb ultraviolet light, however it can also be absorbed through the skin. This chemical has been linked to hormone disruption and cell damage that may lead to skin cancer. Other chemicals in conventional sunscreen products range from cancer-causing fragrance chemicals, parabens, alcohols, toxic chemical solvents and petroleum oils. Putting sunscreen on your body is like spreading a chemical concoction over your largest organ – the skin. This is the main reason why sunscreen actually causes more cancer than it prevents.

FDA and Sunscreens

It is also interesting to note that the FDA refuses to allow natural sunscreen ingredients to be used in sunblock and/or sunscreen products. This is not surprising in the sense that sunscreen chemicals are designed to protect the profits of chemical companies while cutting off natural sunscreen companies which create a much better (and safer) product.

Sunscreens Prevent Vitamin D Production!

Sunscreen also blocks the production of vitamin D, which is harmful, considering over 70% of the population is vitamin D deficient. Chronic vitamin D deficiency actually promotes cancer, winter and flu infections, depression, osteoporosis and hormonal imbalances. Interestingly enough, over 50 to 80% of all cancers can be prevented by allowing your body to synthesize vitamin D from sun rays.

Improve Sun Resistance By Consuming Antioxidant-Rich Foods

Eating anti-oxidant rich foods is an excellent way to improve sun resistance. Your skin is much less likely to burn when you eat a diet consisting of anti-oxidant rich fruits and vegetables. Personally, since switching my diet from S.A.D (standard american diet) to high raw (lots of fruits, vegetables, and green juices) I have noticed that my skin no longer burns. When I used to eat lots of junk food I would get horrible burns that would last days on end. Now I can spend hours in the sun and my skin simply bronzes. Sun exposure also does not make your skin age if you follow a high-nutritional density diet.

Your skin is also made entirely of the foods you eat, hence, what you eat also largely determines how your skin reacts to UV exposure. Skin cancer can technically only be caused when UV exposure is combined with chronic nutritional deficiencies which create skin vulnerabilities. Eating lots of junk food, avoiding anti-oxidant rich foods, and staying out in the sun for long periods of time is a recipe for disaster!

Many Chemical-Free Sunscreens Are Actually Loaded With Chemicals

For example, Jason Natural Cosmetics – Earth’s Best Sun Block Chemical Free, 4 oz cream contains C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sorbitan Isostearate, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Ethyl Macadamiate, Calcium Starch Octenylsuccinate, Stearalkonium Hectorite

Always read the ingredients of any sunscreen product before using it!

Better yet, using nature as a natural SPF is much cheaper, and the safest thing you can put on your skin! Scroll below for a list of natural oils that will protect your skin, and allow it to synthesize vitamin D without the use of harsh chemicals.

Here Is A List of 10 Oils With Natural UV-Ray Protecting Properties: 

1. Carrot Seed Oil: SPF 38-40

2. Raspberry Seed Oil: SPF 28-50

3. Wheatgerm Oil: SPF 20

4. Avocado Oil: SPF 4-15

5. Coconut Oil: SPF 2-8

6. Olive Oil: SPF 2-8

7. Macadamia Nut Oil: SPF 6

8. Almond Oil: SPF 5

9. Shea Butter: SPF 3-6

10. Jojoba Oil: SPF 4

Make sure to test these oils on your skin before using them to make sure you have no adverse reactions. Test the oils over several days to ensure there are no adverse reactions (one application does not constitute a reasonable test). Reapply the oils frequently to prevent sun burn. These oils should not give you any adverse reactions – if you read the ingredient labelling on conventional sun screens, you would expect an adverse reaction at a far higher rate than using natural extracts from what nature provided.

Happy tanning!


Garland, C., Garland, F., Gorham, E., Lipkin, M., Newmark, H., Mohr, S., & Holick, M. (2006) The role of vitamin D in cancer prevention. American Journal of Public Health, 96, 252-261.

Dunford, R., Salinaro, A., Cai, L., Serpone, N., Horikoshi, S., Hidaka, H., & Knowland, J. (1997) Chemical oxidation and DNA damage catalysed by inorganic sunscreen ingredients. FEBS Letters, 418, 87-90.

Okunieff, P., Swarts, S., Keng, P., Sun, W., Wang, W., Kim, J., Yang, S., Zhang, H., Liu, C., Williams, J., Huser, A., & Zhang, L. (2008) Antioxidants reduce consequences of radiation exposure. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 614, 165-178.

Sobhana, T., et al. (2004) Ultraviolet transmission through a few edible oils in the context of changing solar insolation. J Ind Geophys Union, 8, 267-271.

Carly Fraser has her BSc (Hons.) Degree in Neuroscience, and is the owner and founder at Live Love Fruit. She currently lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, with a determined life mission to help inspire and motivate individuals to critically think about what they put in their bodies and to find balance through nutrition and lifestyle. She has helped hundreds of thousands of individuals to re-connect with their bodies and learn self-love through proper eating habits and natural living. She loves to do yoga, dance, and immerse herself in nature.


  1. Thank you for the information – do you mix carrot seed oil with another oil before you apply? It’s quite expensive

  2. Fantastic article, thank you! I will have to find and try some of the oils with my 6 yr old daughter. She has celiac plus 23 food allergies, plus 23+ chemical, enviro, etc. allergies. This is just the info I needed! 😀

  3. Im a little confused. This says the oils are natural sunscreens, however also says you will tan. I’ve heard time and again that any color or tan is skin damage. Do you disagree then?

    • Tanning of the skin under the sun is a natural process. When your skin *burns* that is when “skin damage” occurs. Even one really bad sun burn can increase your risk of melanoma, however this risk is far reduced when you consume a high raw diet full of fruits & vegetables which contain antioxidants and thus, protect our DNA from mutating. You shouldn’t burn as much if you consume a high raw diet, devoid of processed junk foods. This burning will not occur, at all, if you protect your skin with these oils. It will simply “tan” not “burn”.

  4. Thank you. Great info. But wouldn’t oils burn the skin more?? Am a little confused.
    Or do you wait until it is fully absorbed? Does that make a difference?

  5. How often do you need to re-apply when out in the sun? if your not going in the water , can you put it on in the morning and then your good for the day ? can they be worn under make-up ? sorry for all the questions but i really want to do this and not use chemical sunscreens, right now I use Vichy with Mexoryl in it

    • If you go in the water and come back out, I would re-apply, but only if needed. You should be able to feel it, if you run your fingers across your skin. You can safely wear it under makeup, let your skin absorb the oil a bit before applying makeup.

  6. hi what about argan oil, i,ve been looking at that, its not tested on animals and theyre saying the nuts are hand picked would this have any spf

    • They soak up pretty well on me, personally. But if your skin is used to synthetic chemical moisturizers, it may take a month or two for your skin to get used to the oils, and after awhile it will naturally absorb them again.

  7. I use coconut oil and eat mostly raw produce, no meat or dairy or junk, and I stay in the sun for hours a day with just a tan, no burning. I used to burn horribly every time I spent just 30 minutes in the sun. A plant-based (vegan) diet plus using coconut oil all over after showers has my skin looking translucent, smooth and people mention my skin all the time. Never happened before. I’m 48 yrs. Coconut oil also contains an antibacterial anti-fungal property and is great mixed with baking soda for a non-cancer causing deodorant/antiperspirant. All the store deoderants contain bad chemicals just like the sunblocks do. Breast cancer is totally preventable with a vegan diet and eliminating using store deodorants. ps, the oil soaks in quickly and leaves the skin so shiny and gorgeous. Just pat off any excess if necessary.

  8. Are these the SPF ratings of a cold pressed version of the oil or as an essential oil? I see both options when searching Amazon and would like to make the right choice.

  9. Could you link the source of you SPF ratings? I’ve never been able to find a reliable study that shows SPF values that high. So awesome!

    • I say try it yourself. I know that coconut oil, for myself, prevents my skin from burning. But I also consume a lot of antioxidants, which also determines how susceptible my skin is to burning (more antioxidants = better protection from sun).

  10. I'll immediately snatch your rss feed as I can't to find your e-mail subscription hyperlink or newsletter service.
    Do you have any? Kindly let me know in order that I could subscribe.


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