I love coconut oil. I cook with it, I use it for oil pulling, and I use it on my skin. Recently I’ve come across several articles on coconut oil as a sun screen. My first thought was to harken back to my college days when we would head out on spring break determined to get that awesome bronze tan. We would slather ourselves with tropicana coconut oil and hit the beach to get that tan. Well, several hours and many beers later, most of us would wind up burnt to a crisp and in a lot of sunburn pain. I think back on it now and it was probably not so much the oil, but a lack of common sense. Live and learn.
Today there is a lot of concern about most of the sun screens on the market. Almost every sun screen made available to us today contains toxic cancer causing chemicals that are way more harmful than exposure to the sun itself. So what’s a sun god/goddess to do?
Find and alternative of course. That’s where coconut oil comes in. I had to check it out so I went to one of the most dangerous areas for sun exposure on the planet, the ski slopes of Colorado. You not only get the sun, but the reflection of the sun off of the snow can really create a dangerous situation without proper protection. I have tough skin so I applied a healthy dose and headed out. Unlike my college days, I could care less about getting a tan anymore but on this day I let loose and enjoyed the sunshine for about 4hrs. Upon my return, I’ll have to say that my face got pretty red, but I didn’t burn and my skin felt great. Good? Bad? I really don’t know. What I did learn? Use common sense. If you’re going to be out in the sun that long, make sure you re-apply frequently and cover up or seek shelter if you’re getting too much sun. Oh, and use a natural safe sunscreen.
So back to the coconut oil. I did some research and found some interesting facts and some guidelines that I feel would make coconut oil a pretty safe alternative to the processed sun screens today. Coconut oil is a natural sunscreen and it blocks about 20% of UV rays. It’s been used as a sunscreen for thousands of years by the pacific islanders, so why would we use chemicals instead? When reapplied regularly it is adequate protection and it still allows you to get the much needed vitamin D supplied by the sun which is blocked by the processed chemical sunscreens. Coconut oil when applied also locks moisture into the skin and has many antioxidant and healing properties, thus reversing some of the damage caused by the sun.
So is coconut oil a sunscreen? The jury is still out on that. What it is, is a great natural alternative to the mess of chemical applicants we see today.
Here are some great tips to follow if you’re going to give coconut oil a try:
-Make sure your coconut oil is organic and cold pressed. The big tub from Walmart isn’t going to get you the results your looking for. It will be refined and full of chemicals.
-Apply liberally and frequently. This will keep you protected and it’s great for your skin.
-Be smart! Don’t spend too much time in the direct sun. Take breaks and cover up if you’re getting too much exposure.
-Know your body. The types of nutrients you are putting into your body can effect how your skin reacts to the sun. Healthy foods will help protect your skin from the negative effects of sun.
-Test it slowly. Make sure your sun exposure is minimal at first to make sure your skin accepts the coconut oil.
Also, check out my Pinterest link for a healthy coconut oil sunscreen recipe http://www.pinterest.com/pin/369647081888102968/
I’m open to debate on this. What are your favorite natural or homemade sunscreens? What experiences have you had using coconut oil? Is this just complete bunk or am I on to something here? I’d love to know.
If you’re looking to incorporate more healthy habits in your life, why not contact me for a “Free Empower Your Health Strategy Session?” at www.kriyaliving.com. Together we can discuss a strategy to get your health back on track.
Have a Healthy day!