Coconut Oil Uses: Suncare

Get a little too much sun this weekend? So did I (and I wore my favorite floppy hat) Protecting the money maker is a personal priority of mine being born and raised in Florida. Hat, glasses, sunscreen, always. So you can imagine how interested I was to find out coconut oil has an estimated SPF of 4-6. I’ve seen some articles and blogs even stretch that up to an SPF 10.

According to Dr. Bruce Fife of the Coconut Research Center, “one of the oldest uses for coconut oil is as a sun screen / suntan lotion. Islanders have been using coconut oil for this purpose for thousands of years. To protect themselves from the burning rays of the hot tropical sun they applied a thin layer of coconut oil over their entire body. This would protect them from sunburn, improve skin tone and help keep annoying insects away….”

Coconut oil forms a protective layer, healing your skin and blocking the damaging effects of UV radiation from the sun. One of the reasons it’s so effective is its antioxidant properties, which helps prevent burning and oxidative damage that promotes skin cancer. Why slather toxic chemicals on your body when you can use organic coconut oil instead? Please be mindful of your skin type and length of time outdoors. If you do have more sensitive skin make sure to look around for higher SPF organic sunscreens. There are some great new formulas on the market! (According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) approximately 75% of commercial sunscreens contain toxic chemicals that are linked to cancer and disrupt hormones.)

Now this may seem crazy, but not only does coconut oil act as mild sun protection, it is also the BEST for after sun care. If you find yourself a little toasty, it works like a charm. You’ll feel immediate relief from stinging and it helps with peeling and reducing redness. Since I started using coconut oil, I hardly ever find myself with a sunburn – and if I do, its gone the next day. I always wake up with a good glow and never red.

This can also be attributed to my intake of coconut oil. Dr. Fife says that “Consuming coconut oil also strengthens the skin and makes it more resilient and less prone to sunburn.” It also helps restore your skin’s pH levels, leaving your skin smooth. Soft and glowing? Yes, please.