When I first read that people were using coconut oil as sunscreen I thought it was quite amusing. Under no circumstances was I about to slather myself in cooking oil and go into the hot, Australian sun. Especially not with my very, very fair Irish skin and my super-human ability to burn within about 5 minutes of being exposed. Then I read this article by the oh-so talented Jess Ainscough and decided that I need to give this a try.
Why I Dislike Sunscreen
I have always had a love-hate relationship with sunscreen. I completely understand that it is supposed to save our skin from burns, wrinkles and cancer but I could never fully be on board.
For one thing, sunscreen is ridden with chemicals and I have a very firm no-toxic-sludge-on-my-skin rule. These chemicals have been shown to actually cause or increase the risk of some cancers. Seems odd that something designed to protect us from cancer could actually cause it. Hmm.
The second thing is that I have never felt that the sun is bad. The sun is so vital for our growth and health. Getting a dose of all of that warm goodness is essential in creating the oh-so amazing vitamin D, and I always feel so good (energized, happy, healthy and vibrant) after having safe exposure to the sun. It’s the prolonged exposure to the sun that does damage (burns and fatigue) and it seems that people are quite worried that all sun exposure is bad so we slather ourselves in chemicals that completely block out all sun rays from being absorbed into our skin. Sadly, this blocks out all of the benefits of the sun as well.
Coconut Oil Claims
The claim is that coconut oil is a good substitute for sunscreen because it actually filters out 20% of harmful rays, will prevent burn and help to give a healthy tan. In my desperate state, I decided to try it out. All of those claims sounded great to me! I will not be using any chemicals on my skin – in fact, it would be good for my skin and I would also be getting the benefit of the sun’s rays while being protected. YES!
Jacqueline: the Human Guinea Pig
My experiment was to coat myself in a layer of coconut oil and do my errands in mid-day in a tank top and shorts. I never go out during mid-day without being covered with clothing or some sunscreen. So I would either come home elated over the success of my experiment or I would return a total lobster never to use it again.
I am delighted to say that it worked! I did not get a burn in the slightest. It was a fiercely hot day, I walked around for about 2 hours at noon-time and not a single burn. SO excited about this!
I definitely encourage you to try this out as well! Do your own experiment and see. Everyone’s skin is different but it really suited me well. I was quick to judge this a few months back when I first heard about it, but am now a completely converted coconut oil lover.
What do you think about using coconut oil as sunscreen? Would you ever try something like this?
Photo sourced here.