Consumers in the past few decades have increased their attention to the products that they use on their body. Ranging from natural skin and body care, natural shampoos, as well as natural sunscreen alternatives. One of the most talked about and misinformed natural substitute for sunscreen is coconut oil.
Coconut oil is generally well known to have many health benefits for both your skin and is a healthy alternative for cooking. Some research has stated that it may improve cholesterol, increase brain function and increase the ability to lose weight. A variety of beauty products have even started incorporating it as an ingredient as it helps with reducing inflammation, moisturizing skin and contains antimicrobial properties.
Now the question that comes up is can it be used as an alternative to sunscreen to get that desired “sun-kissed skin”? Can you safely tan with it?
We hope to shed some light on these questions so you can stay safe and protect your skin while outdoors.
Coconut Oil & UV Protection:
Although there are many uses for coconut oil in your daily life and health, however, it is not a substantial substitute for sunscreen.
Over the years there have been many studies with regards to the ability of coconut oil to protect you from the suns UV rays with varying results. One study from the University Institute of Pharmacy tested its SPF rating at 8, stopping about 85% of the UV Rays. Another study by the International Journal of Cosmetic Science gave coconut oil an SPF rating of 1! That is equivalent of using no sunscreen at all. The Mayo Clinic has also mentioned that they do not recommend using coconut oil as it blocks an estimated 20% of the sun’s damaging UVA & UVB rays.
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) strongly recommends using a sunscreen with at least SPF of 30 or higher if you want to protect your skin from sunburn and long term effects.
Overall, we would not recommend using coconut oil as a supplement to sunscreen when you are under the sun. While it does provide some protection, it is not enough to protect your skin from the long-lasting effects of the harmful UV Rays. Make sure you do your research before using a substitute for sunscreen and verify the source to protect your skin.
If coconut oil is a must for you and you need to have it, you can find sunscreens that are SPF 30+ that have it as an ingredient or use it once you get home to still benefit from the valuable health properties they contain.