Red Raspberry Seed Oil: Nature’s Sunscreen?

Face Oils Natural Beauty Sun Protection

red raspberry seed oil

Have you heard that red raspberry seed oil can naturally protect the skin from UV damage? That it’s an all-natural, single-ingredient sunscreen? Let’s take a closer look at this antioxidant-packed oil and whether or not the rumors are true…

Move it on over, hemp and chia. There’s a new seed on the block: red raspberry seed.

I admit that I used to think of these little buggers as a real nuisance — they’re so darn hard to get out of your teeth!

But that was then and this is now.

I’ve recently discovered a new-found appreciation for red raspberry seeds and it’s all in the oil, baby.

Red raspberry seed oil is jam-packed with skin-loving goodies.

I really don’t need to remind you again that I’m obsessed with face oils… but I will because, hey, it’s one of my favorite topics of discussion.

Related: The Best Face Oils By Skin Type

Related: Why Coconut Oil Does NOT Belong On Your Face + Which Oils to Use Instead

red raspberry seed oil: nature's sunscreen?

I’m convinced that oils are the perfect, single-ingredient, all-natural moisturizers for your face.

Oil on your face!? HECK YES!

Not only was I finally (FIN-AL-Y!) able to beat my adult acne with face oils, but they’ve also helped fade my acne scars and even my skin tone… all without adding to my body burden.

What are the benefits of red raspberry seed oil when applied to the skin?

Red raspberry seed oil is rich in antioxidants, like vitamin E and polyphenols.

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects cells from free radical damage. Since free radical damage causes wrinkles, loss of elasticity, and age spots, vitamin E protects the skin from these common signs of aging.

Polyphenols are another type of antioxidant. You may have heard of them before since green tea, red wine, and olives are also rich in polyphenols — one of the main reasons they’re all so healthy!

Studies have shown that when applied to the skin, polyphenols protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation and enhance skin cell regeneration, improving skin tone and elasticity.

This golden oil is also rich in essential fatty acids.

Red raspberry seed oil contains 83% essential fatty acids (EFAs). According to Naturopathica,

“EFAs are necessary for proper skin function… Increasing the levels of key EFAs increases call membrane fluidity, enhances barrier function and repair, decreases trans-epidermal water loss, improves moisturization, cell signaling, cell immunity, and anti-inflammatory activity.”

For these reasons, EFAs greatly soothe and remedy skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis.

Red raspberry seed oil also has a low comedogenic rating of 0-1, meaning it’s not likely to clog pores.

Not all face oils are created equally! Some are more comedogenic or pore-clogging than others.

Luckily, red raspberry seed oil isn’t likely to clog pores.

red raspberry seed oil

Now you may have heard that red raspberry seed oil protects skin from UV rays.

In other words, that it acts like a single-ingredient, natural sunscreen.

This is all thanks to a 2000 study that concluded that raspberry seed oil provides UVA and UVB protection similar to titanium dioxide with an SPF protection factor against UVB rays of 28-50, and an SPF protection factor against UVA rays of around 8.

Well that’s pretty impressive, huh?

This natural sun protection is very likely due to the oil’s high antioxidant content — the vitamin E and polyphenols — which, again, neutralize free radicals.

But before you toss your sunscreen lotion in the trash, I do think it’s important to know that this is the one and only study that’s ever been conducted on the SPF properties of red raspberry seed oil.

And I personally think it needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

After all, while sun exposure is totally necessary for vitamin D synthesis, there’s no doubt about the fact that excess UV exposure will cause premature damage and potentially skin cancer. So it’s nothing we want to mess around with, especially if you spend a lot of time in the sun, are very fair, or have a family history of skin cancer.

“So will red raspberry seed oil protect my skin from the sun or what?”

Thanks to its high antioxidant content, red raspberry seed oil can help to neutralize and prevent the free radical damage caused by UV rays.

But does it “block” or “screen” sun? No, it does not.

Red raspberry seed oil may be all you need to protect your skin from everyday, minimal sun exposure. But for extended sun exposure I recommend a natural mineral sunscreen with non-nano zinc oxide as the active ingredient. Check out these 6 Safe Sunscreen Options + Why They’re Better for my recommendations and to learn more about why mineral sunscreens and zinc oxide in particular are the best choice!

But that doesn’t mean red raspberry oil won’t make a great addition to your skincare routine!

Because it’s so rich in antioxidants, it would be an especially great addition to anti-aging skincare routines.

My personal experience with this oil: it does not clog my pores whatsoever and leaves my skin super smooth. It’s also very quickly absorbed — I’d say it falls in between a dry oil like rosehip and a more moisturizing oil like jojoba, which is perfect since I personally blend the two to get the best balance!

I recommend this particular red raspberry seed oil. It’s certified organic and I actually know the family that produces the oil — they’re absolutely lovely people who are so incredibly passionate about what they do! They use only the highest quality seeds to produce an extremely high-quality, certified organic red raspberry seed oil.


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  1. Hi, Ana! Sorry for the belated reply (somehow your comment missed my radar)… Yay I’m so happy to hear that! Whatever you do, just remember to keep the EOs diluted to a maximum of 5% of the final product – they’re so potent, you don’t need any more than that!

  2. Here is the study. I will include this in the post and am surprised it was not there. Thanks for pointing this out.

    I am NOT telling people to use oils instead of physical SPF such as zinc oxide, though many natural health practitioners and advocates do so and I don’t necessarily disagree with them. I even note that I would NOT use this oil for full-coverage sun-protection since the UVA coverage is purported to only be SPF 8.

    As an aside: people are being scared sunless and it’s creating an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency. (Safe) Sun exposure is critical for vitamin D synthesis – it’s the only way the body can naturally create vitamin D, which is absolutely critical to health including preventing all cancers, which is the irony here.

    I will change the main image to make it more of a question and discussion rather than statement.

  3. Can you please link to this supposed study? It is dangerous and negligent to be promoting oils as an SPF. There is NO scientific research to back it up. Skin cancer is one of the most deadly and fastest growing cancers. Please do not tell people to use oils in place of proper SPF. There are plenty of natural clinically tested and proven SPF’s on the market. It is actually illegal to claim Oils have an SPF as it is something that is regulated by the FDA. SPF is considered an over the counter drug.

  4. I just bought some organic cold pressed red raspberry seed oil and it has a rancid smell. What is this oil suppose to smell like?

  5. Hi, Susan! Great questions – I address the measurement issue here:

    I haven’t personally had experience with rosacea but do have very sensitive skin and have had amazing results with jojoba. With things like this, it can be a matter of trial and error since everyone is different! But I would look into posts other healthy living bloggers have written about rosacea specifically (like this one and this one

  6. Hi Nadia, thank you for your informing post. I have dry skin with a tendency toward rosacea as well. I want to experiment using R.R. seed oil as a day oil and am wondering how to do it! I am curious to mix it with jojoba like you suggested and geranium seed oil as I heard its helpful for rosecea prone skin. What would you recommend for the measurements of each oil?
    Thanks, Susan

  7. Hello! It gives the option of “canada” as the shipping location…But I am having trouble putting my order through*** Does Berry Beautiful ship to Toronto Canada?


  8. Hi Nadia! I really like your blog about this raspberry seed oil. Very detailed. It surely gives the information that I people should know about this oil. I’ve been using this oil since then, and been getting the great result as well! Thank goodness for this awesome oil.

  9. Could you give a link to the study you cite? I came across this elsewhere and was looking for the original paper but I couldn’t find it. I found your blog post. Thanks.

  10. I use your recipe for acne prone skin and I LOVE IT, Have broken out once in 3 months. Your blog is awesome! I wonder if you have (or can think of) a similar recipe but with rasperry seed oil instead? I am thinking adding frankinsense or geranium, and carrot seed EO to make it even better for the sun? (for days of shopping outside or driving with windows down) What else would you add and in what proportions? Something that can work as every day moisturizer, blemish fighter and with a decent amount of SFP? You are my oils skin care guru!

  11. Ummm LOL I mean it’s 100% natural so… yes? But that’s not exactly the point here.

  12. Hey, Nancy. It does have a slight natural odor to it, yes – earthy but definitely noticeable.

  13. Hi Nadia. Thanks for this great post. Can you tell me whether the red raspberry oil has ANY scent to it? I have significant MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity) and so this would be an important consideration for me. Thank you!!