In recent years, karanja oil has been highlighted in sun care ranges. Some claim that, beyond its antibacterial, emollient and anti-inflammatory properties, karanja oil naturally helps the skin to protect itself against sunburn and photoaging, and could be a natural alternative to organic sun filters. Is this true?
Karanja oil, a natural sun protection?
- Can karanja oil replace sun protection?
- Protecting yourself from the sun: the right habits to adopt
- The karanja oil present in our SPF30 sunscreen cream
Can karanja oil replace sun protection?
In addition to the fatty acids that the karanja seed contains, it is also naturally composed of furanoflavonoids, including approximately 2.2% karanjin and less than 1% pongamol. These two active molecules would make karanja oil a natural sun protector. Furthermore, the chemical structure of pongamol is very similar to that of avobenzone, a recognised UVA filter.
To assess its photoprotective properties, laboratory tests were conducted on pure karanja oil. These highlighted its ability to absorb a portion of UV rays, peaking at 350 nm (in ethanol), and to counteract their effects, which are responsible for sunburn and premature skin ageing.
They also demonstrated that it has a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) and a UVA Protection Factor (PF-UVA), scientifically evaluated, making the oily extract of karanja a natural UV filter. A SPF ranging from 15 to 30 depending on the experiments and a PF-UVA of about 9.5 were measured in vitro for pure karanja oil.
However, the ANSM (National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products) reminded manufacturers in a note published in February 2017 that:
"Sun care products containing only karanja oil with the aim of achieving a protection factor are not in compliance with current regulations and should not be made available on the market";
"In the case of sun protection products composed of authorised ultraviolet filter(s) and karanja oil, it is important to be able to demonstrate that the sun protection factor obtained is due to the authorised ultraviolet filter(s) present in the formula."
Thus, despite the photoprotective properties attributed to karanja oil, it is not officially recognised and listed as a sun filter and does not appear in Annex VI of the cosmetic regulation among the other authorised UV filters. Consequently, its use in a sun protection product to provide a sun protection factor is not in accordance with current regulations.
However, it remains useful to provide support in sun care with authorised ultraviolet filters due to its anti-radical nature. They allow thekaranja oil to partially protect the skin by helping it fight against the accelerated ageing caused by free radicals.
Protecting yourself from the sun: the right habits to adopt.
Avoid exposure between 12pm and 4pm. This is when UV rays are at their peak intensity and therefore more dangerous. Reminder : the intensity of UV is not related to the perceived temperature, but to the time of exposure.
Dressing appropriately is the best way to ensure optimal protection against the sun. The safest ensemble for sun protection includes a t-shirt (ideally tightly woven or UV-treated), a wide-brimmed hat or a cap, and sunglasses with protective lenses (CE standards of category 3 or 4).
Provide even more protection for children and teenagers who have skin and eyes that are more sensitive to the sun than those of adults. Furthermore, children under the age of 3 should never be directly exposed to the sun.
Protect your skin with sunscreen in addition to clothing, even once tanned. It should be applied evenly in sufficient quantity, twenty minutes before each exposure and should be reapplied approximately every two hours (if necessary) and systematically after each swim or in case of excessive sweating. The chosen sunscreen should have a minimum SPF of 30 and be adapted according to the situation (sea, mountain, high-risk individuals, children, etc.).
The karanja oil present in our SPF30 sunscreen cream.
Our SPF 30 face sunscreen is a versatile skincare product. Although its primary function is to effectively protect the skin from the sun (photoprotective), even the most sensitive ones, it also offers antioxidant and moisturising properties with the addition of boosted skincare ingredients, as well as having an environmentally friendly formula. It is thus composed:
of 4 chemical sun filters and one mineral sun filter which provides high, broad-spectrum, photostable UVA/UVB sun protection and high tolerance to combat the harmful effects of solar radiation;
ofkaranja oil, an antioxidant that ensures protection of skin cells from the harmful effects of free radicals, including premature ageing;
ofhyaluronic acid known for their hydrating virtues that help to prevent dehydration, by forming a non-occlusive film on the surface of the epidermis;
ofaloe vera rich in water and minerals with soothing properties for intensely hydrated and soothed skin.
Featuring a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 and a UVA Protection Factor of 15, our sunscreen is suitable for all skin types exposed to intense sunlight. Its formula, with 82% of ingredients of natural origin, does not contain any controversial molecules. Fragrance-free, it thus offers all the benefits of comprehensive sun protection without the drawbacks: no white marks, a non-sticky finish, and easy to spread due to its light and fluid texture. It can therefore be incorporated as the final step in your skincare routine, under makeup, and used daily.
Indication: Recommended for normal to dry skin types. It is suitable for pregnant women and children.
Method of use: Apply the equivalent of two fingers 20 minutes before each sun exposure to the entire face and neck. Reapply every two hours, if necessary, or after each swim.
Deciphered list of ingredients:
Aqua (water), Propanediol Dicaprylate, Diisopropyl Sebacate, Zinc Oxide (non-nano mineral sunscreen), Bis- Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine (chemical sunscreen), Polyglyceryl-6 Stearate (emollient), Calcium Sodium Borosilicate (bulking agent), Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate (chemical sunscreen), Ethylhexyl Triazone (chemical sunscreen), Olus Oil, Disodium Phenyl Dibenzimidazole Tetrasulfonate (chemical sunscreen), Pongamia Glabra Seed Oil (vegetable oil with SPF), Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid (hyaluronic acid), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder (aloe vera), Tocopherol (vitamin E), Helianthus Annuus Seed Wax (sunflower wax), Chondrus Crispus Powder (binder), Polyglyceryl-6 Behenate (emulsion stabiliser), Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Ethylhexylglycerin (humectant, emollient), C18-21 Alkane (stabiliser), Candelilla Cera (emollient), Phenylpropanol (preservative), Sodium Gluconate (chelating agent), Diethyl Sebacate, Sodium Hydroxide (pH regulator), Citric Acid (pH regulator).
ANSM (Agence National de Sécurité du Médicament et des produits de santé). Produits de protection solaire contenant de l’huile de karanja (2017).