Spotlight On: Raspberry

Ingredients, Skin Care
Black, red, golden, raspberries come in many colors and different varieties can have different properties.

Raspberries are delicious, but they may also have some benefits when they’re included in skin care. It’s well known that fruit is beneficial for the body and while the season for these splendid little fruits have gone with the last warm breaths of summer, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy raspberries benefits throughout the winter months. Topically applied raspberry extract has been shown to have numerous benefits.

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Traditional Use of Raspberry

Traditionally, raspberries have been used, much like cranberries, for the treatment of urinary tract infections and renal calculi. It’s used to treat inflammation. It’s also been used for wound healing, in part because it’s roots are said to have antimicrobial action (Mosby’s Handbook of Herbs & Natural Supplements).

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Does Raspberry Protect Skin from UV-Irradiation?

Raspberries have been shown to have UV-protective benefits, but only for UVC and UVB waves.

After a commenter asked about raspberries UV-protection factor, which she’d heard about on a talk show, we because curious about whether this was actually true. There is some evidence that raspberry has UV-protective qualities in the UVB and UVC range, making it a viable option for a broad-spectrum sunscreen (Food Chemistry). However, this says nothing of the wrinkle-causing, long-wave UVA rays.

It’s also been found to inhibit the production of tyrosinase, which is part of the process of skin darkening (Journal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry).

Cancer Prevention and Raspberries

Raspberries have been shown in some studies to have chemopreventative and chemotherapeutic effects.

In addition to being considered as something to protect skin from UV-irradiation, raspberries have also been looked at for their potential cancer-fighting capabilities (Berries and Cancer Prevention). In vivo experiments looking at raspberry’s potential chemopreventative/chermotheropeutic effects have been done for oral, colon, and esophageal cancer. In a study with mice where they were exposed to UV-irradiation and then immediately treated with raspberry extract for 25 weeks found that skin treated with raspberry extract was less likely to develop tumors (Cancer Prevention Research).

Raspberry extract was found in a study on mice and zebrafish to inhibit melanogenesis because of its effect on tyrosinase activity (International Journal of Molecular Science). In addition to this there are numerous studies on raspberry for its cancer treatment and prevention qualities, due in part to its ellagic acid (Edible Medicinal and Non-Medicinal Plants).

Antioxidant Properties of Raspberries

Raspberries have some powerful antioxidants, one study found they had more than grape skins.

Raspberries are full of flavonoids, phenolic compounds, and other antioxidants, particularly vitamin C. Berries are known for being beneficial for health and those with anthocyanin, such as raspberries and red plums, are known to have the highest antioxidant levels (Edible Medicinal and Non-Medicinal Plants).

While black raspberries and strawberries have their highest antioxidant potentials when they’re in the green stage, red raspberries are most powerful in antioxidants when they’re ripe. Though, when the studies have been based on weight, it’s blackberries and black raspberries that are the best sources of antioxidants.

Bottom Line

Raspberries, both black and red, may be out of season, but there are plenty of benefits from using their extract on your skin, including potential UV-protection, antioxidants, and preliminary research that shows chemopreventative and chemotherapeutic benefits. So feel free to enjoy the benefits of raspberry, just make sure to use SPF, despite the preliminary tests, there’s still more science backing regular sunscreen.

If you want to try something with raspberry extract, consider…


Kerstin Florian Clarifying Raspberry Extract ($80, with hydrating urea and antimicrobial rosemary oil in addition to raspberry extract, this extract helps to moisturize skin and will work for someone with blemishes.



Eminence Organic Blueberry Soy Night Recovery Cream ($53.37, with antioxidant rich blueberry and raspberry, and calming and moisturizing shea butter, this night cream makes the most of the better penetration skin has at night.

Check our bestsellers!

  • Can raspberry “work” if you just make say, a raspberry mush and apply it or does it need something to help it penetrate the skin?

    If it works on its own, why are the raspberry products listed so expensive? Do they feature other good ingredients as well?

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