Your Most Asked Question: Do Natural Ingredients Provide SPF Protection?

Your Most Asked Question: Do Natural Ingredients Provide SPF Protection?

As someone who truly cares about the people who buy my products, I am always listening to your comments and enjoy receiving your questions. There are two questions I definitely get asked the most: “Do you use sunscreen in your products?" and "Don't natural oils provide SPF protection?" I am glad to know that people are taking the protection of their skin from harmful UV rays seriously because it is an important issue.

However, when asked these questions I have to answer honestly, and the answer to both is “no.” Here's why:

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1. First, sunscreen is considered an over-the-counter drug by the FDA and using it in my formulations would mean my products would qualify as pharmaceuticals. Also, since sunscreen products are made from 100% synthetic chemicals, I cannot honestly claim that my products are free from toxic ingredients if sunscreen is incorporated in the formulation. But in addition to this claim, I don’t use sunscreen ingredients because there is the possibility of the toxins being absorbed into your bloodstream. Read this from the FDA’s website:

"Although the protective action of sunscreen products takes place on the surface of the skin, there is evidence that at least some sunscreen active ingredients may be absorbed through the skin and enter the body. This makes it important to perform studies to determine whether, and to what extent, use of sunscreen products as directed may result in unintended, chronic, systemic exposure to sunscreen active ingredients." Sunscreen: How to Help Protect Your Skin from the Sun

2. But probably more important to state, there is a persistent misconception that certain fruit or vegetable oils contain a natural sunscreen that offers protection against UVA and UVB rays. I would like to put a stop to this error immediately and caution you when you see this promoted on other websites that perpetuate this error.

The National Library of Medicine clearly states the following:

"Some vegetable oils are currently being promoted as a safe alternative to commercial sunscreens. The true UVB photo-protective efficacy of 14 virgin vegetable oils and the suitability of the dilution method for determining their SPF value were evaluated. Oils and standard sunscreens were investigated in vitro by the Mansur's method in Slovakia and in vivo by the ISO method in the Czech Republic. SPF values in vitro (0.1; 0.0; 0.4; 0.2 and 0.2) and in vivo (2.5; 1.2; 2.6; 2.6; and 2.8) of the five most promoted oils (from carrot seed, coconut, raspberry seed, rose hip seed, and wheat germ) were significantly lower than the values reported in the controversial studies. We have shown that the overestimated SPF values of these oils were determined by authors who did not strictly follow Mansur's original methodology. The other eight vegetable oils also provide no or negligible SPF values… this dilution method has proven to be fundamentally flawed in determining the SPF value of substances with such negligible photo-protection as most vegetable oils can provide." Ácsová A, Hojerová J, Janotková L, Bendová H, Jedličková L, Hamranová V, Martiniaková S. The real UVB photoprotective efficacy of vegetable oils: in vitro and in vivo studies. Photochem Photobiol Sci. 2021 Jan;20(1):139-151. doi: 10.1007/s43630-020-00009-3. Epub 2021 Jan 19. PMID: 33721242.

Just Because They Claim It Doesn’t Make It True

Many vendors of “all-natural” products make the claim that their products provide a natural SPF, which is terribly misleading and can cause great harm to someone who uses the product in good faith with the assumption they will be protected in the sun, and instead incur a sunburn or worse. For example, here is a popular “all-natural” skincare line that promotes a very misleading claim about natural sunscreen in their products:


People who buy and use Magnolia Skin Essentials products tend to be those who want simple, uncomplicated, and authentic skincare products. They make informed decisions and select products that promote health, well-being, and glowing skin. So, in the best interest of the people who use my products, I leave it to their discretion to use over-the-counter drugs such as sunscreen products as they see fit. Sunscreen products can always be used in conjunction with any product purchased from Magnolia Skin Essentials. 

As always, I aim to bring you the freshest products with the most bountiful goodness nature can provide for your skin, and at the same time NO toxic chemicals or other synthetic ingredients that have been proven to cause harm to humans. You can count on Magnolia Skin Essentials to give you the finest in handcrafted skincare.

by Lisa Duffy – August 02, 2021

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