Coconut Oil for Tanning: Is it Good or Bad? How to Use it?

As you discover the wonderful benefits of coconut oil, you start thinking you can use it for virtually anything. And you might be close to the truth.

Coconut oil is such an amazing natural ingredient with so many benefits, you can use it for your hair, skin, and overall health. One of the latest uses of coconut oil is tanning.

People are asking whether coconut oil for tanning is good or not? Well, there are both believers and non-believers to the story.

But if you look at the people living on islands where coconuts grow, you will see dark and healthy people, with beautiful skin.

Well, that is a result of the sun tanning, but it is more about staying away from the sun at peak hours and using coconut oil as a massage oil to protect your skin from the sun.

With that in mind, we look at the pros and cons of using coconut oil for tanning, and other benefits of this magical oil.

Why use coconut oil for tanning

When you ask whether coconut oil is good for tanning, let’s talk about the benefits of the oil. Here are some of the main reasons why you should try this product.

For starters, coconut oil contains no harmful chemicals. Unlike sunscreens, coconut oil is free of harmful chemicals. On the other hand, sunscreens, even those made by reputable brands, are loaded with chemicals like parabens and solvents.

Yes, they contain a higher amount of SPF that protects your skin from harmful UV rays. But at the same time, these chemicals can cause side effects, and people with sensitive skin are first to notice.

Coconut oil does not contain a single ingredient or chemical that can impact your skin in a negative way.

Nourishes your skin

Another benefit of using coconut oil instead of sunscreens is that it actually nourishes your skin. Coconut oil will help your skin stay hydrated.

Rich with natural fatty acids, coconut oil makes sure your skin is moisturized even after a few hours have passed. Regular sunscreens do not contain natural ingredients that nourish your skin.

Coconut oil does. Basically, you get a tan, while your skin texture does not suffer.

Absorb more vitamin D

We know that our body produces vitamin D when we are exposed to the sun. Coconut oil helps that process by allowing your skin to soak even more vitamin D from the sun.

Vitamin D is one of the most crucial vitamins we need, as it helps with disease protection, bone growth, bone development, mental and emotional health, and much more. As mentioned previously, sunscreens contain parabens and other chemicals that can block the skin’s ability to absorb vitamin D.

Give you shiny look

If you are constantly exposed to the sun, your skin will suffer. And it will look darker and duller. However, coconut oil helps you maintain a strong and shiny look.

Think of coconut oil as something that will help you get a tan, and then retain that shiny and healthy look of your skin. Your skin is darker like chocolate but shiny, not dull.

Reflect UV rays

Coconut oil helps you develop a layer on your skin. This layer will help your skin reflect some of the UV rays off. In other words, you are getting tan while avoiding sun damage.

Protects you from infections

Spending hours at the sun can be harmful to your skin. Basically, you open your skin and expose it to the various germs in the surroundings. And you are not even aware of.

Coconut oil protects your skin by providing antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties. You want to get the tan, but you also want to keep your skin healthy. Coconut oil makes that possible.

Speeds up the tanning process

Unlike sunscreens, your skin absorbs coconut oil quickly. Once absorbed, coconut oil speeds up and energizes your skin and the melanin-producing layer beneath.

With that in mind, you need to spend less time in the sun to get the chocolate color you love.

Soothes irritation

If you are dealing with redness, inflammation, and irritation caused by sun, coconut oil can help. The oil not only helps with tanning, but it also soothes your skin.

Thanks to its hydrating magic, coconut oil takes care of a number of skin problems. You will end up with a smooth and healthy glow of your skin. You can even apply after spending some hours in the sun, as a measure to prevent and treat sunburn.

Coconut oil has a long shelf life

Sunscreens do not last for more than one year. If you open the bottle, you cannot use it next year when going on a holiday.

Coconut oil, on the other hand, has a much longer shelf life. If you purchase organic coconut oil, you end up with a bottle that has a shelf life of 36 months when properly cared for. The optimum conditions are out of direct sunlight and in room temperature conditions with airflow.

Why you shouldn’t use coconut oil for tanning?

While there are many believers in the coconut oil good for tanning mantra, there are also some people that do not believe coconut oil helps.

And truth be told, there are a few studies that show coconut oil is just not that effective. We cannot dismiss the health benefits for your skin, but the tanning properties are not that potent.

In a study in 2016, conducted by the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, the results showed that coconut oil has a lower SPF factor than we previously thought.

The study showed that “The absorptivity of oils was at least two orders of magnitude lower compared to the commercial UV blockers.

The fruit juice powders were more effective at UV blocking but still showed an order of magnitude lower absorptivity compared to commercial UV blockers“

Because of its low SPF factor, coconut oil can allow the UV rays to harm your skin. The study concluded that “the UV blocking from most natural oils is insufficient to obtain a significant UV protection”

How to apply coconut oil for tanning?

Applying coconut oil for tanning is actually quite easy and simple. With that in mind, here is a step by step guide.

  1. Take some coconut oil and then massage it all over your body. Make sure to massage the oil well, and it soaks in your skin completely
  2. Based on the sensitivity of your skin, you may want to use protective clothing like a hat or umbrella when going out
  3. Reapply oil on your skin every half an hour when you are exposed to the sun
  4. Make sure to use virgin and organic coconut oil for best results. Refined and perfumed variations of coconut oil do not contain the health benefits
  5. Remember, coconut oil does not contain high SPF, which means for prolonged exposures to the sun, you may want to apply a layer of waterproof sunscreen on top of the coconut oil

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