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Health Benefits of the Sun & My Favorite 1 Ingredient Broad Spectrum Natural Sunscreen

Health Benefits of the Sun (without sunscreen!) plus a 1 ingredient broad spectrum natural sunscreen |  Primally Inspired

Health Benefits of the Sun & my Favorite 1 Ingredient Broad Spectrum Natural Sunscreen


I love the sun! I like to joke and say that I must be solar powered because I feel so much better when the sun is shining. Do you feel that way, too?  


There’s a good explanation as to why that is!  Today I’m going to tell you the health benefits of the sun and why it’s essential for vibrant health to practice safe sun exposure.


There are so many healing benefits of the sun from strengthening our immune system to regulating thyroid function, from improving mental health to even protecting (yes, protecting!) us from many different kinds of cancers. 


As soon as warm weather hits and the sun is beaming, you better believe that I’ll be outside, sensibly taking advantage of the many healing benefits of the sunshine.


Smart sun exposure, without sunscreen or covering up, during mid day when UVB rays are the strongest, is not only healthy, but crucial for good health! 


Wait a minute! Are you crazy?! Everyone says that the sun CAUSES skin cancer!


Hear me out on this one! According to the statistics, skin cancer rates are skyrocketing despite the fact that we as a whole are spending far less amounts of time in the sun and wearing more sunscreen than ever. Something doesn’t add up! And “paradoxically, outdoor workers have a decreased risk of melanoma compared to indoor workers.”  Studies are now saying that Vitamin D from sun exposure may actually help prevent as many as 16 different types of cancer including pancreatic, lung, breast, ovarian, skin, prostate and colon. 


Safe sun exposure is healthy and crucial for good health!


The media loves to exaggerate the negative effects of the sun and often fails to tell us “the other side of the story” despite the latest research that overwhelmingly tells a different story. 


Americans have been scared to get in the sun for fear of getting skin cancer or premature aging.


As a result, people slather on the sunscreens, cover up and completely block out our highest source of Vitamin D and one of the best sources of natural healing — the sun!


And that’s a real problem.


Why is that a problem? Experts agree that 70-90% of us do not get enough Vitamin D. And lack of this crucial vitamin is at the root of many chronic diseases including cancer, depression, obesity, autoimmune and thyroid disorders, and many more. 


Let me tell you how big of a deal Vitamin D is for our body:


Every cell in our body has receptors for Vitamin D!


Every cell! It’s responsible for supporting the immune system, supporting bone growth and development, regulating thyroid function, strengthening the nervous system, regulating cardiac function and so much more. But the sun’s benefits go way beyond just Vitamin D. The sun helps skin disorders, is especially helpful for acne, psoriasis and eczema. It provides cancer protection, helps the heart, lowers blood pressure and is crucial for good mental health. Sun exposure even reduces bacteria counts by as much as 50% from infections! 


Our body actually needs the UVB rays from the sun to produce sufficient amounts of Vitamin D because Vitamin D is extremely difficult to get from diet alone.


That’s why it’s crucial for your health to practice sensible, non burning, midday, sun exposure without sunscreen!


Health Benefits of the Sun and How To Get Safe and Healthy Sun Exposure | Primally Inspired

How to Practice Safe, Healthy Sun Exposure


It is the UVB rays that produce Vitamin D in our bodies and these rays are most plentiful during mid-day. During that time, get in the sun with the least amount of clothes for as long as your skin can tolerate before you start to burn. For fair skinned people this might be only 3 minutes. For dark complexions, it can be 20 to 30 minutes. Gradually your skin will be able to tolerate more and more.  After you have reached your maximum amount of time in the sun without burning or turning pink (or a 30 minute max time), put on some sunscreen or cover up or just get out of the sun. Make sure to never allow yourself to burn!


When the weather is warm and the sun is shining, I always take my lunch break outside where I can get at least 20 minutes of good sun exposure.  I soak up that important Vitamin D and then get back to work feeling relaxed and refreshed.


Healthy Natural Sunscreen  Primally Inspired

Healthier Sunscreen Options


If you’re a regular around here, you’ve probably already guessed that I’m not a big fan of commerical sunscreens. Most contain some questionable and not so healthy ingredients. Parabens and other various synthetic chemical ingredients and fragrances are known hormone disruptors, carcinogens and can cause allergies. 


Since other effective and more natural sunscreen options exist, I prefer to choose healthier, natural sunscreens with ingredients that have been well researched and shown as safe and non-toxic. I always check any store bought beauty and personal care products in the EWG skin deep database. Anything with a rating of 2 and under has been tested as clean and safe.


My Favorite Healthy Natural Sunscreen


Natural Sunscreen - Red Raspberry Seed Oil Broad Sunscreen Protection! Primally Insipred


My very favorite natural sunscreen and what I use personally for my sun protection is just pure Red Raspberry Seed Oil (I use THIS one). Red Raspberry Seed Oil has been tested as comparable to a broad spectrum titanium dioxide sunscreen of SPF 28-50 that provides both UVA and UVB sun protection (You can view the study findings HERE). I used red raspberry seed oil as my sunscreen all last summer and I’m planning to this summer, too. I put it on after about 20 minutes of unprotected sun exposure. It’s wonderful and works so well for us! 


THIS brand is my all time favorite for red raspberry seed oil. Unlike a few of the other red raspberry seed oils that I’ve tried that have a slight fishy smell, this one smells absolutely divine with hints of raspberry. Yum! I look for any excuse to use my red raspberry seed oil. It’s rich in antioxidants and provides many anti-aging and healthy skin benefits. My face loves it! It’s especially known for helping skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, too.  I love it so much! 🙂


Red raspberry seed oil is one of the only oils that provides BOTH UVB and UVA sun protection. While it’s true that other oils and butters like coconut oil, carrot seed oil, avocado, olive oil, shea and cocoa butters do offer some sun protection, but it’s only UVB protection. They do not offer any UVA protection (which is the more harmful kind!). That’s just something to be aware of if you seek out homemade sunscreen recipes.


Other healthy natural sunscreen options


If you are looking for a healthy, natural sunscreen formula that is the same texture as commercial sunscreens,  my top pick is from a company called Badger. Badger sunscreens are what I chose to use before I discovered red raspberry seed oil.   All of the Badger sunscreen products (you can find them all HERE) rate 1 and under in the EWG database, meaning the ingredients have been researched and tested as clean and safe. They’re great!


Healthy Sunscreen

(Image Credit)


What if I can’t get out in the sun?


Although I think natural options are always best (read why HERE), it’s unrealistic to think that we can spend 20 or so minutes in the mid-day sun every day. So if you can’t get out in the sun or during the cooler weather months, you may see a big benefit from supplementing with a good quality Vitamin D supplement. I know I do!  HERE is a great Vitamin D supplement that I recommend.


I hope this post provides you with some good information to make informed choices when it comes to sun exposure.  Happy Safe Sun Tanning! 🙂

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Health Benefits of the Sun (without sunscreen!) plus a 1 ingredient broad spectrum natural sunscreen | Primally Inspired

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  1. Avatar

    Awesome, timely article! I’ve never heard of raspberry seed oil – I may have to check it out! I’m trying to get more sun time this year…frankly, it feels awesome! But I do have very fair skin, so I can’t stay out long without covering up.

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    This timing is perfect!!!!! I was just going to start researching healthy alternatives to sunscreen!!! And I am on board with you and have been saying for years that we (especially our children) are not getting enough Vitamin D!! My first clue was when our pediatrician told me to start giving my breastfed baby (who is now 7yrs) Vit D drops… I thought, wait, couldn’t we just go out in the sun??? 🙂 thanks so much for the post!!

  3. Avatar

    Your post is really awesome, i feel myself sun powered. I live in Argentina and winter is coming, and I miss the sun! Agree with you and your post relaxed my soul. I love to walk in the sun, doing sports, never used sunscreen and my skin is lovely coloured all year and healthy! The sun fills my batteries with energy. Thank you!!!

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    I just discovered your website and LOVE it!! Thank you so much for all the great info! I have a silly question. Do you just rub the raspberry oil directly on your skin or do you use a carrier oil or mix it with anything else? Thank you so much!

    • Primally Inspired

      Hi Brenda! I’m so happy to have you as a new reader! 🙂 I’m so glad you brought this up because I forgot to mention it in the post – you can use the red raspberry seed oil directly or you can add it to any lotion or carrier oil for sun protection. I usually rub it directly on my face. In the summer months, I use it as my nightly face moisturizer, too – my face really loves this stuff. But sometimes I do mix it with coconut oil to use on the rest of my body if I’m out in the sun all day. That’s a nice way to do it because you can make it last a little longer that way!

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    Wow, eye opening post! I consider myself very educated on nutrition and natural skin care, and have always felt there are major benefits to getting some sun exposure. But I never knew about the red raspberry seed oil. I am so excited to try this. I am pretty dark skinned and really never burn, but my daughter and I are planning a trip to Mexico this summer. I know the sun will be much stronger down there than here in Central PA, so the oil will really come in handy. I am crazy busy as a part time student and mom of teenagers, and yours is one of a handful of blogs that I find truly worth following. Thanks for all you do!

    • Primally Inspired

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Elizabeth. I always love getting your comments. You are so supportive and encouraging and it means so much to me!! <3 Have a great vacation!!

  6. Avatar

    I totally agree with you. Plus if you eat a lot of sugar it contributes to skin cancer. No cocktails while out in the sun. Thank you for the raspberry oil suggestion. I just ordered this!

  7. Avatar

    Hello Kelly,

    I am sincerely impressed with your articles as they parallel mine. I am a 58 year young trail runner and climber who never intends to stop! I have just subscribed to your RSS feed as my most important information resides in RSS.

    In Health, Vitality and Longevity,

    “Remember, age is just that…a number…every day is a birthday, another opportunity to provide “Value Fulfillment” to “All That Is”

  8. Avatar

    Do you know of any side effects of the oil? I drink red raspberry leaf tea to tone the uterus during pregnancy, my midwife says it can help speed labor and reduce chances of hemorrhage. Wondering if the oil absorbed through the skin would have similar effects?

  9. Avatar

    How much oil would you apply for full-body coverage (as in, when wearing a swimsuit)? I’m trying to figure out how much my family needs for the summer. Would 1.5-2 tablespoons cover an adult fully?

    • Primally Inspired

      Hi Melissa! I haven’t ever paid that much attention to how much I use for my whole body, but I think 1.5-2 tablespoons sounds like a lot and I’m pretty confident that I don’t use that much. It’s the consistency of avocado oil and it spreads and glides across the skin really easily. A little goes a long way! If I had to guess, I think I only use about a teaspoon or two (I’ll try to get exact measurements next time I’m out in the sun all day).

  10. Avatar

    This is great info!

    How often do I need to reapply if I’m out in the sun for several hours, sweating, etc.? I play tennis and need sun protection that won’t easily wash off due to sweating and will protect me for 2-3 hours in direct sun. Also, could you say how much red raspberry oil to how much carrier oil/lotion you use? Thanks!

    • Primally Inspired

      Hi Nancy! I have no exact measurements, but if I had to guess, I would say I do about a 50/50 mix of coconut oil and raspberry seed oil.

      I *think* you would be ok with the oil for your tennis match, but I’m not 100% sure. I stand up paddleboard and kayak for hours and hours with the red raspberry oil and it’s been great (lasts me all day). But those are activities where I don’t sweat like I would playing tennis. So I can’t say for sure.

  11. Avatar

    Thanks Kelly,
    I have Lupus and need to be very careful in the sun. I always wear sunscreen but would like the benefit of vitamin D! I ordered the Raspberry Oil and will give it a try, also 5-10 minutes in the sun without anything.
    I might even get a little color that way!
    Your articles and blogs are so helpful!

  12. Avatar

    I too am a newbie to your site and so very glad that I stumbled upon you. I am from Australia and I enjoy all that you are about. Easy clean living. As a child and young adult I spent my entire life outside then as I matured I became afraid of the sun (my nan always said my skin would look like leather when I got older, not to mention the media hype) . Menopause hit my once plump glowing golden skin became dry and blotchy with red type moles on my stomach and white horrid patches on my arms and legs. I can put up with everything but the white patches they embarrass me and if I do go out in the sun they become more noticeable. I love the energy that a sunny day oozes I just wish I could reclaim the enthusiasm to enjoy it that I used to have. Keep up the great work Kelly

  13. Avatar

    I’ve never heard of raspberry seed oil either, so I’ll have to give it a try. I’ve used coconut oil, but didn’t know about the UVB protection only. I grew up with a swimming pool, and am fair 1/4 Swedish, so I burned every summer at least once. I’ve paid the price in middle age with several small skin surgeries of different types of cancer. The first time I took notice to what’s in our sunscreens is shortly after I started using a neutrogena product that included Vit A and a sunscreen on my face and I got basal cell cancer on my nose not long afterwards! I believe the combination of chemicals is what caused that cancer, but I have no proof, just a hunch. Now when I work outside after my 20 minutes of exposure, I just cover up with a shirt and a big hat, but it’s not super hot where I live so it’s OK to have the layers. I’ve used some of the zinc/blocking sunscreens too (recommended on EWG.org) that work fine as long as you don’t care about a slight ghostly tone (fine with me to avoid more surgery), so the seed oil sounds like a definite improvement here. My dermatologist is against any sun exposure, so I just don’t tell her what I’m doing at my yearly screening. I wish more professionals were open to alternative therapies. Thank you for filling that gap in any way possible!

  14. Avatar

    Great info! I have not heard of this as a sunscreen either. Is it also waterproof? Or best to re-apply frequently? Thanks!

  15. Avatar

    My friends and I have been using solvaderm brand for over a year. We like this brand because it promotes sun kissed skin. I can expose my skin in the sun without worrying as long as I’ve used this brand. Solvaderm is advance brands that refresh your skin as what you wanted.

  16. Avatar

    What do you think about if I add it to the coffe bean oil and rose hip oil as a morning facial moisturizer with sunscreen?

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