Firoza asks…I often find producers of “herbal” or “ayurvedic” cosmetics selling sunscreens containing red sandalwood as the active ingredient. They rate these sunscreens as SPF 50 or higher. Does red sandalwood actually have any sun blocking properties?
Red Sandalwood may have certain medicinal properties when applied topically (see link ) but it is not approved for use as a sunscreen. Any products using this as the “active” sunscreen ingredient would be illegal drugs in the U.S. (and several other countries.)
Red Sandalwood + Sunscreen
I did a quick check on this ingredient and found that it’s used in a brand called Biotique. I couldn’t find a complete ingredient list for this product but I did find this statement on a website selling the product:
“This nutrient-rich cream is blended with pure sandalwood, saffron, wheat germ, honey and bark of the arjun tree to keep skin soft, fair and moisturized. Protects skin with broad spectrum SPF 50 UVA/UVB sunscreen. Very water resistant, retains SPF after 80 minutes in the water.”
So, it looks like the product contains red sandalwood but actually protects skin using a broad spectrum SPF 50 UVA/UVB sunscreen. I think this is a classic case of the company implying that the product works because of the natural ingredient but it actually contains chemical sunscreens like most other products.
If anyone can find a complete list of ingredients for this, or similar, products let me know and I’ll review it to determine exactly what chemical is providing the sunscreen efficacy.
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Classic case of misleading marketing. Very disappointing to know the products I make get thrown around by marketing which slaps false claims on things, regardless of how much I tell them that .001% of an active will do nothing.
That’s a lazy way of marketing, Jessica, but a lot of companies do it! (In most cases it’s because they don’t have any differentiating technology to talk about.)
Ultimately it is the responsibility of the manufacturer to make sure that any claims made by the marketing agency or department are legit. If something fallacious or misleading is publicized, then it is the manufacturer’s responsibility to direct marketing to amend or pull the ad. It’s called over-sight.
I’ ve heard that certain red algae – Porphyra Umbilicalis can protect against UVA. Is there anything to substantiate this claim? Are there any natural ingredients that can be used as a protection from photoaging? I’ve also heard that raspberry oil is quite good for this.
Don’t believe everything you read about the SPF of natural ingredients: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2702190/Alert-DIY-organic-sunscreens-oils-Doctors-warn-against-following-nonsense-internet-advice-oils-offer-protection-rating-50.html
I found an article about the red algae protecting against UVA. Sounds promising, what do you think? Not as a sunscreen, but something that can help.
I haven’t seen any evidence that proves it will help.
Of course I forgot to include the link!
Very interesting. It’s a single, small study published in a trade journal by the company who makes this stuff, but it seemed to be well designed (on real people, not just cell cultures and done with proper controls) so it does appear promising.
I also know that red sandalwood is very helpful for me. so i like it. This tips is very helpful for us. thank for your good tips. i am very interested to use it. I also know that.
There is brand names just herbs . it also claims to have natural sunscreen in gel form with no actual chemical based sunscreen elements . can you please look into that
Sunscreens are drugs. If the product you asked about doesn’t contain an approved sunscreen active ingredient then it’s an illegal, misbranded product.
I am using Biotique´s Sandalwood Sunscreen and yes, it does prefent my sun allergy from coming up, protects me when I ride horseback, and does not sting my eyes…it keeps me from burning and I love the smell…sandalwood, but not too noticeable…in case this helps… 🙂