Natural Sunscreen Options


...elusive dreamer
Staff member
Apr 5, 2009
A short article that discusses natural sunscreen options including omega 3 fish oil, green tea, dark chocolate, astaxanthin, etc. :sunshine:

The advisability of using sunscreen is a topic of debate due to questionable efficacy and ingredients and sunblock’s ability to reduce natural Vitamin D synthesis. This lack of consensus confuses many. But there’s also good that can come of it. Cosmetic companies are continually trying to find safer agents that genuinely protect against the photo-aging effects of UV radiation. In some instances, this journey leads them down a natural path.

Read more:


New member
May 25, 2009
Yes it was a good article.
I've commented as follows and hopefully it won't get moderated off.
I find I don’t need sunscreen/sunblock but as I live in the UK that’s partly we don’t get too much (or indeed enough) strong sunshine.
While this article is extremely good may I to draw your attention to
Skin protection against UVA-induced iron damage by multiantioxidants and iron chelating drugs/prodrugs.
and suggest that becoming a blood donor and regularly disposing of surplus iron may be part of the reason why I tend not to burn any more. An excellent iron chelator is MELATONIN and it may be that ensuring a good melatonin secretion ensures iron is properly liganded as less likely to cause trouble. Some of the benefit of wine could be it’s melatonin content (along with resveratrol)(well that’s my excuse) Improving natural melatonin can be done by ensuring bright light exposure during the day, using only subdued light after dusk FLUX automatically adjusts your monitor brightness, and stopping PC/TV use well before you want to sleep, along with ensuring your bedroom is as dark as possible.
One of the benefits of sun exposure is increased vitamin D status but many people find that correcting Vitamin D status BEFORE going on holiday/getting lots of sun exposure actually speeds up the tanning process and this increases their natural sunscreen potential.
There is also evidence that hardening the skin over winter with regular SHORT NON-BURNING session under a UVB source improved tolerance to sunlight in photosensitive people.
I think also it’s worth pointing out that it takes TIME for the effects of improving natural photoprotection to be effective. The lycopene research used 12 weeks and I expect similar timescale for omega 3. Reducing omega 6 seed/grain oil intake (soy, corn, safflower, sunflower, cottonseed) will speed up the improvement in omega 3 status. Coconut & olive oil make suitable replacements for the industrial seed oils.
I did a similar post on this topic 5yrs ago on another forum
It really is about time I updated it.


New member
May 25, 2009
The following is from a post in a Psoriasis forum which i felt would also be useful here.
When you raise 25(OH)D to the natural level your DNA would maintain if you lived near naked under the sun (around 50ng/ml) your natural ability to resolve inflammation would be higher, particularly so if you also corrected your omega 3 omega 6 imbalance. and had optimum magnesium status.

Most people eating modern diets have FAR TOO MUCH OMEGA 6 and FAR TOO LITTLE OMEGA 3 and while their skin's pro inflammatory factors overwhelm the anti inflammatory factors they will be more likely to burn.

If you started now to eliminate ALL the omega 6 sources in your diet, while at the same time, improving your omega 3 intake, while increasing vitamin D3 level to about 50ng/ml and then get an omega 3 test get a 25(OH)D test when omega 3 ratio is under 1 omega 3 <> omega 6 and vitamin D3 level is above 50ng/ml and your diet provided at least the magnesium RDA (to ensure vitamin D can work efficiently) You WILL find you skin tans quicker, without burning, as soon as your skin tans your melanin level and skin's natural protection is improved.

You need to optimize 25(OH)D BEFORE you go in the sun.

There are also a whole range of polyphenols that improves the skins natural ability to withstand the sun, some of which are mentioned in the WELLNESSMAMA do you eat your sunscreen link provided earlier.

Skin photoprotection by natural polyphenols: Anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and DNA repair mechanisms
discusses these in greater detail than I have time to relate here.
A brief description of various plant polyphenols and their sources
and that list doens't include
Lycopene from Tomatoes
B-Carotene and other carotenoids in protection from sunlight

Your skin will not turn tomato coloured if you consume a couple of tablespoons of tomato puree every day for 10weeks but it's ability to withstand UV will be improved particularly if you also makes the other important changes listed above.

There is also a lot I could say about the role of MELATONIN and it's interaction with MELANIN some of which you can read for yourself here
Melanocyte Receptors: Clinical Implications and Therapeutic Relevance[/b]

BRIGHT LIGHT exposure during the day by going outside into the sun will amongst other things reset circadian rhythm and improve your ability to produce Melatonin at night.
Melatonin prevents mitochondrial dysfunction and insulin resistance
which underly the progression of most of the psoriasis associated comorbid conditions.
Richard Weller: Could the sun be good for your heart?

The role of nitric oxide in the pathogenesis and severity of psoriasis.
Free NO content in blood decreased with the increasing severity of the psoriasis.
It may be concluded that under oxidative stress conditions during psoriasis the decrease level of free nitric oxide in the patient's blood may contribute to a violation of the vasomotor activity of subcutaneous capillaries, impairment of skin blood supply, development of hypoxia, exacerbation of oxidative stress, alteration of immune balance, spreading of skin infection and exacerbation of the severity of psoriasis.
Use of NO-containing creams will contribute to a partial recovery of disturbed functions and remission of the disease.

But getting full body sun exposure increases the availability of NO.


New member
May 25, 2009
It's a relatively unknown carotenoid called astaxanthin, which is now believed to be the most potent antioxidant nature has to offer.
Yes Mercola is often right.
Here is some research that shows Astaxanthin improves natural photoprotection.
I should also have pointed out that reducing excess iron levels by regularly donating blood would help as it's the iron released from blood during sunburn that causes the damage to DNA that leads to cancer. For those who aren't permitted to donate regularly lactoferrin and curcumin are good at binding with iron to keep it from behaving badly.