Natural Sunscreening

I did a little digging and found these articles as the most recent scientific literature on the effectiveness of using carrier oils and essential oils as UVA and UVB protection.

LJ Turtle is in no way recommending anyone use any of the carrier oils or essential oils listed in these articles.  This blog is for informational purposes only.

I will say, I am personally experimenting with blends using carrier oils and essential oils. I’ll report my anecdotal findings soon.

Potential of herbs in skin protection from ultraviolet radiation

Pharmacogn Rev. 2011 Jul-Dec; 5(10): 164–173.

Abstract

Herbs have been used in medicines and cosmetics from centuries. Their potential to treat different skin diseases, to adorn and improve the skin appearance is well-known. As ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause sunburns, wrinkles, lower immunity against infections, premature aging, and cancer, there is permanent need for protection from UV radiation and prevention from their side effects. Herbs and herbal preparations have a high potential due to their antioxidant activity, primarily. Antioxidants such as vitamins (vitamin C, vitamin E), flavonoids, and phenolic acids play the main role in fighting against free radical species that are the main cause of numerous negative skin changes. Although isolated plant compounds have a high potential in protection of the skin, whole herbs extracts showed better potential due to their complex composition. Many studies showed that green and black tea (polyphenols) ameliorate adverse skin reactions following UV exposure. The gel from aloe is believed to stimulate skin and assist in new cell growth. Spectrophotometer testing indicates that as a concentrated extract of Krameria triandra it absorbs 25 to 30% of the amount of UV radiation typically absorbed by octyl methoxycinnamate. Sesame oil resists 30% of UV rays, while coconut, peanut, olive, and cottonseed oils block out about 20%. A “sclerojuglonic” compound which is forming from naphthoquinone and keratin is the reaction product that provides UV protection. Traditional use of plant in medication or beautification is the basis for researches and making new trends in cosmetics. This review covers all essential aspects of potential of herbs as radioprotective agents and its future prospects.

In vitro sun protection factor determination of herbal oils used in cosmetics

Pharmacognosy Res. 2010 Jan-Feb; 2(1): 22–25.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate ultraviolet (UV) absorption ability of volatile and nonvolatile herbal oils used in sunscreens or cosmetics and express the same in terms of sun protection factor (SPF) values. Sun protection factor is a laboratory measure of the effectiveness of sunscreen; the higher the SPF, the more protection a sunscreen offers against the ultraviolet radiations causing sunburn. The in vitroSPF is determined according to the spectrophotometric method of Mansur et al. Hydroalcoholic dilutions of oils were prepared, and in vitro photoprotective activity was studied by UV spectrophotometric method in the range of 290-320 nm. It can be observed that the SPF values found for nonvolatile oils were in between 2 and 8; and for volatile oils, in between 1 and 7. Among the fixed oils taken, SPF value of olive oil was found to be the highest. Similarly among essential oils, SPF value of peppermint oil was found to be the highest. The study will be helpful in the selection of oils and fragrances to develop sunscreens with better safety and high SPF. Oily vehicles are more effective for producing a uniform and long-lasting film of sunscreen on the skin, and their emollient properties protect the skin against the drying effects of exposure to wind and sun. Volatile oils are used as perfumes in cosmetics.

Characteristics of raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) seed oil

Food Chemistry. Volume 69, Issue 2, 1 May 2000, Pages 187-193

Abstract

Studies were conducted on properties of oil extracted from raspberry seeds. Oil yield from the seed was 10.7%. Physicochemical properties of the oil include: saponification number 191; diene value 0.837; p-anisidine value 14.3; peroxide value 8.25 meq/kg; carotenoid content 23 mg/100 g; and viscosity of 26 mPa.s at 25°C. Raspberry seed oil showed absorbance in the UV-B and UV-C ranges with potential for use as a broad spectrum UV protectant. The seed oil was rich in tocopherols with the following composition (mg/100 g): α-tocopherol 71; γ-tocopherol 272; δ-tocopherol 17.4; and total vitamin E equivalent of 97. The oil had good oxidation resistance and storage stability. Lipid fractionation of crude raspberry seed oil yielded 93.7% neutral lipids, 3.5% phospholipids, and 2.7% free fatty acids. The main fatty acids of crude oil were C18:2 n-6 (54.5%), C18:3 n-3 (29.1%), C18:1 n-9 (12.0%), and C16:0 (2.7%). The ratio of fatty acids, polyunsaturates to monounsaturates to saturates varied depending on lipid fraction. Polymorphic changes were observed in thermal properties of raspberry seed oil.

Photoprotective potential in some medicinal plants used to treat skin diseases in Sri Lanka

BMC Complement Altern Med. 2016; 16: 479.

Background

The constant exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation (UV) has a variety of harmful effects on human health. Although synthetic sunscreen products have been introduced as a preventive/therapeutic strategy, with the realization of their adverse side effects, the recent trend is to search for human friendly alternative formulations especially of plant origin. Therefore, the present study focuses on evaluation of photoprotective activity of aqueous extracts (1 mg/ml) of eleven medicinal plants in Sri Lanka that have been widely employed in traditional medicine as treatment options for various skin diseases and to improve the complexion.

Methods

For the determination of UV filtering potential of the extracts, UV absorption was measured and the sun protection factor (SPF) was calculated according the Mansur equation. The antioxidant activity was evaluated by DPPH and ABTS assays.

Results

Among the extracts, Atalantia ceylanica, Hibiscus furcatus, Leucas zeylanica, Mollugo cerviana, Olax zeylanica and Ophiorrhiza mungos have displayed SPF value ≥ 25, which are even higher than two commercial photoprotective creams used as reference compounds. L. zeylanica and O. mungos have displayed a high UV absorbance in 260–350 nm range indicating their potential of being broad spectrum sunscreens. In addition, the extract of O. mungos was found to be photostable, without any significant reduction in the SPF after exposure to direct solar radiation for 21 days. DPPH assay and the ABTS assay revealed that the extracts possess high antioxidant activity.

Conclusion

The results of the present study suggest that the presence of secondary metabolites with antioxidant property could be responsible for the high UV absorbance. Our findings would offer an exciting avenue for further research towards the development of herbal cosmetics.

Phytoconstituents as photoprotective novel cosmetic formulations

Pharmacogn Rev. 2010 Jan-Jun; 4(7): 1–11.

Abstract

Phytoconstituents are gaining popularity as ingredients in cosmetic formulations as they can protect the skin against exogenous and endogenous harmful agents and can help remedy many skin conditions. Exposure of skin to sunlight and other atmospheric conditions causes the production of reactive oxygen species, which can react with DNA, proteins, and fatty acids, causing oxidative damage and impairment of antioxidant system. Such injuries damage regulation pathways of skin and lead to photoaging and skin cancer development. The effects of aging include wrinkles, roughness, appearance of fine lines, lack of elasticity, and de- or hyperpigmentation marks. Herbal extracts act on these areas and produce healing, softening, rejuvenating, and sunscreen effects. We have selected a few photoprotective phytoconstituents, such as curcumin, resveratrol, tea polyphenols, silymarin, quercetin and ascorbic acid, and have discussed the considerations to be undertaken for the development of herbal cosmetic formulations that could reduce the occurrence of skin cancer and delay the process of photoaging. This article is aimed at providing specific and compiled knowledge for the successful preparation of photoprotective herbal cosmetic formulations.

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