Seed Oils: The Actual Reason Your Skin Can’t Tolerate The Sun

Our Skin is Not Meant to Burn

In a world that has swiftly embraced the convenience of prepackaged food and the daily application of protective sunscreens, a glaring paradox has emerged. We’ve become increasingly dependent on these habits for the most fundamental aspect of our health—the ability to bask in sunlight. This post unveils the subtle yet profound link between our dietary choices, skincare products, and the way our skin reacts to the sun. 

Before modern diets and biodynamic skincare took root, our ancestors thrived under the sun without concern for sunscreens. Exploring this historical context illuminates the shadow seed oils have cast over our skin’s natural defense mechanisms, leading to unprecedented sensitivity. With this knowledge, we can then address the problematic nature of sunscreens and advocate for healthier practices.

Historical Perspective

Our current dietary landscape is markedly different from that of our forebears. Preordained with diets abundant in natural fats, they sustained themselves without the processed seed oils that now saturate our meals. In stark contrast, the oils we ingest today—corn, soybean, canola, and sunflower, to name a few—renders our skins increasingly sensitive to the sun. Traditional methods of sun protection, often rooted in the local ecosystem and indigenous knowledge, offer an alternative approach that echoes of a sun-resilient past.

Despite the accessible allure of prepackaged foods rich in seed oils, the widespread adoption of such dietary shifts has led to a rise in skin issues, ranging from blemishes to severe photosensitivity reactions.

When were Seed Oils First Introduced into the Food Industry? 

The early 20th century was a turning point for seed oils. Technological advancements in extraction processes, such as the use of hexane solvents, allowed for mass production and widespread distribution. The advent of fast food chains soon followed, further propagating the consumption of these oils. By the 1950s, seed oils had replaced traditional animal fats as the primary dietary source of fat in many countries.

As we abandoned traditional diets, our bodies were not equipped to handle such massive amounts of processed seed oils, leading to hormonal imbalances and inflammation. This has a direct impact on our skin’s ability to defend against the sun’s harmful rays.

seed oils cause sun burn

Health Risks of Seed Oils: 

  • Inflammation
  • Hormonal Imbalances
  • Increased risk of skin cancer
  • Compromised Immune System

The Effects on Our Skin

Seed oils contain high levels of omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential for our health. However, a diet excessively rich in omega-6 can lead to inflammation and disrupt the delicate balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in our bodies. This imbalance can manifest in various ways, including increased sensitivity to the sun.

Additionally, seed oils are often highly processed and may contain harmful additives, further exacerbating skin reactions. The repeated exposure to these oils through our diets and skincare products has contributed to a weakened skin barrier, making us more susceptible to UV rays.


Impact of Seed Oils on Skin Health

The implications of a diet high in seed oils go beyond calorie count and heart health; its stakeholders are the very cells of our largest organ. It’s a macabre irony that these oils, promoted for their purported health benefits, are the culprits responsible for the sun’s sting. Photosensitivity has become an almost expected reaction for many individuals, as they find themselves reaching for sunscreen bottles year-round.

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The skin, signposted in blemishes and irritations, often mirrors the chaos within. Seed oils, with their pro-inflammatory properties, can exacerbate conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis. By simply swapping these oils for healthier alternatives, one might discover the missing link to clearer, less sensitive skin.

When did Sunburns Become Prevalent? 

Before the rise of seed oils in our diets, sunburns were relatively uncommon. However, as consumption of these oils increased, so did cases of severe sunburns and photosensitivity reactions. This correlation highlights the detrimental effects that processed seed oils have on our skin’s natural ability to defend against UV radiation.

In the year  2021, it is estimated that 1 in every 5 Americans will develop skin cancer. This statistic is a testament to the long-term consequences of our dietary choices and skincare habits. It’s time to reevaluate these practices and prioritize the health of our skin.

seed oils cause sun burn

With the rise of seed oils in our diets and the widespread use of sunscreens, it may seem counterintuitive that sunburns have become more prevalent. However, studies have shown that despite an increase in sunscreen usage, rates of skin cancer have continued to rise.

This could be due to the fact that many commercial sunscreens contain harmful chemicals and only protect against certain types of UV rays. Furthermore, the constant use of sunscreen can actually make our skin less able to produce melanin, a natural protection against sun damage.

Why Seed Oils Lead to Sunburns? 

As per the “oxidative stress theory,” our skin’s reaction to the sun is triggered by free radicals generated within our bodies. Here, we delve into this science and uncover how seed oils facilitate their formation.

Seed oils are heavily processed using high heat and chemical solvents, causing them to damage the essential fatty acids required for healthy cell function. The result? A weakened skin barrier unable to repel harmful invaders. When exposed to UV light, seed oils’ high polyunsaturated fat content predisposes our cells to free radical attack, leading to increased inflammation and photosensitivity.

The Sunscreen Myth

The skincare industry’s well-intended attempts at protecting us from the sun have unwittingly contributed to this predicament. With soaring sunscreen sales as evidence, the mass indoctrination of SPF protection has us convinced that it’s a crucial part of our daily routine. However, a closer examination of sunscreen ingredients reveals an alarming truth: Most are laden with seed oils, compounding their harmful effects on our skin.

Furthermore, many sunscreens contain synthetic chemicals that may disrupt natural hormonal balances and even be carcinogenic. Instead of relying solely on sunscreen, we must prioritize building a healthy skin barrier through a balanced diet and clean skincare.

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Embracing Sun-Resilience

To restore our skin’s natural defenses, we must also nourish it from within. By replacing inflammatory seed oils with healthier fats like coconut oil, avocado oil, or olive oil, we can mitigate the damage caused by free radicals and support our skin’s innate ability to protect itself from the sun. Additionally, incorporating antioxidant-rich foods into our diets, such as colorful fruits and vegetables, can help neutralize free radicals and reduce inflammation.


Sunscreen: A Flawed Solution

Sunscreen has become the cornerstone of our sun protection strategy. The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approved list, however, contains ingredients known to disrupt hormones and cause skin irritation. Further, many sunscreen brands contain seed oils as a key ingredient, exacerbating the very problems they were designed to prevent. As seed oils continue to infiltrate our diets, their presence in sunscreen only serves to escalate the issue.

seed oils cause sun burn

Toxicity of Sunscreen

While the sea of sunscreens promises protection, it often conceals a concerning tide of chemicals. Parabens, oxybenzone, and retinyl palmitate are but a few of the ingredients under scrutiny for their potential carcinogenic and endocrine-disrupting influences. This revelation necessitates a reevaluation of our approach to sun protection, especially considering the body’s ability to absorb what we apply to our skin.

Fortunately, alternatives exist. From mineral-based sunscreens to seeking shade during peak hours, there are paths to sun safety that don’t involve compromising our long-term health.

Non Toxic Sunscreen Solutions


Educating Consumers

One of the most potent forms of activism in a world intent on convenience is the education of consumers. Awareness of ingredients, such as the ubiquitous seed oils, is the first step toward informed health choices. By championing transparency and pushing for labeling clarity, consumers can reclaim their relationship with the products they use daily.

Promoting natural skincare practices, like using botanical oils, can lead to a healthier connection with the sun. These practices, deeply rooted in historical wisdom, offer gentler yet remarkably effective forms of sun resistance. 



Seed oils have irrevocably interwoven themselves into the fabric of our daily sustenance, with unsuspecting consequences for our skin’s tolerance to sunlight. By recognizing this tether, we can begin to untangle it and witness a restorative shift in our skin’s resilience. The message is clear—embrace your skin’s natural defenses by being discerning with what you consume and apply. 

The road to healthier skin is not paved with complex chemical compounds or instant solutions. It’s traversed through mindful dietary choices, conscious skincare selections, and a deeper understanding of our body’s needs. Inseparable from the ecosystems we inhabit and the histories we inherit, our skin is the canvas on which our choices are inscribed. It’s time to paint a picture of health, resilience, and authenticity, one that shines in the light of a life unburdened by toxic oils and sunscreens.

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Overall, it is important for individuals to be mindful of their choices and prioritize their skin’s health by being informed and intentional with the products they use. By doing so, we can cultivate a healthier relationship with our bodies and the environment around us.  

So let’s take a step back from convenience and embrace natural alternatives for the sake of our skin, health, and future.  Remember: every action has a consequence, and in this case, the consequences are written on our skin. Let’s make sure they are ones we can proudly wear under the sun. 
So go ahead and nourish your skin with wholesome ingredients and bask in the sunshine guilt-free. Your body will thank you for it.  


Frequently Asked Questions and Answers: 

What are seed oils?
Seed oils are oils extracted from seeds, such as corn, soybean, canola, and sunflower. They are commonly found in prepackaged foods and have become a staple in modern diets.

How do seed oils affect skin health?
Seed oils can contribute to increased sensitivity to the sun due to their pro-inflammatory properties. They have also been linked to exacerbating skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis.

Are there alternatives to using sunscreen?
Yes, there are alternative methods for sun protection, such as seeking shade during peak hours and using mineral-based sunscreens. Choosing natural skincare options that include botanical oils can also help protect the skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

Are all sunscreens safe to use?
Not all sunscreens are considered safe, as some may contain chemicals that have been linked to potential health risks. It is important to read labels and research ingredients before using sunscreen products. 

How can consumers make more informed choices about skincare products?
Consumers can educate themselves on the ingredients used in their skincare products and opt for more natural and transparent options. This includes reading labels, researching ingredients, and supporting companies that prioritize natural and safe ingredients.

What is the role of historical wisdom in sun protection?
Historically, many cultures have relied on natural methods of sun protection through using botanical oils and seeking shade during peak hours. By acknowledging these practices, we can learn from them and embrace a more holistic approach to sun safety.  




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