Ditch the toxic sunscreen, use coconut oil instead

sunscreen Natural Health

by Paul Fassa – NaturalSociety.com

Summer time is beach time, or at least poolside time. It’s also time to choose a sunscreen. But if you want some protection form the sun’s UV rays, don’t always reach for toxic sunscreen. Instead, pack some extra virgin coconut oil along with your beach towel and umbrella.

That’s right, the same extra virgin coconut oil found in your kitchen pantry will do the trick to protect your skin – minus the toxicity from health-compromising ingredients. Coconut oil has been used as an effective sunscreen for thousands of years by indigenous, pacific islanders. Why slather toxic chemical laden sunscreen on your body when you can use non toxic coconut oil instead?

There are two types of UV (ultraviolet) rays from the sun: UVA and UVB. UVA rays are primarily responsible for skin damage from excessive sun exposure that can lead to cancer and skin aging. However, although UVB rays can also cause damage and sunburn, they are necessary for your body to produce its own cancer protective vitamin D via the skin.

Sunlight is by far the optimal way to produce your vitamin D. Blocking UVB rays may inadvertently be increasing your cancer risk by blocking vitamin D absorption. Plus, sunscreen causes cancer through carcinogenic ingredients.

Avoid Toxic Sunscreen

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) approximately 75% of commercial sunscreens contain toxic chemicals that are linked to cancer and disrupt hormones.

Store bought sunscreens typically contain:

– Retinyl palmitate, a known skin cancer hazard.

– Oxybenzone, which disrupts hormones leading to cell damage and cancer.

– Zinc and titanium nanoparticles are in colorless sun screen lotions.

Those and other chemicals rubbed on your skin are readily absorbed into your bloodstream and can be just as unhealthy and toxic as an oral dose.

The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) Hoax

An excerpt from a 2012 CNN article about sunscreens:

“The EWG said consumers should not purchase sunscreens with SPF greater than 50. SPF (sun protection factor) works by absorbing, reflecting or scattering the sun’s rays on the skin. It is very misleading to put high SPF numbers on labels because it gives consumers a false sense of security and doesn’t offer a lot more protection.”

While SPF 85 may sound like a lot more protection than SPF 30, the higher the number doesn’t always offer a higher return. Studies show that sunscreen with SPF 15 can block about 93% of all incoming UVB rays. SPF 30 blocks 97%. SPF 50 blocks 98%. The protective factors plateau from there.

“A product with SPF 100+ blocks about 99.1 percent of the UVB rays. You don’t really need a high number. They end up being expensive and don’t offer more protection than SPF 50. Keep in mind, SPF protects only against UVB rays.”

Coconut oil has an SPF of 10 which means 90% of beneficial vitamin D creating UBV rays are blocked. How many people know that SPF ratings do not indicate any protection from the highly damaging UVA rays?

Yet, the American Cancer Society advises to apply a generous amount of of toxic commercial sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure and minimally every two hours thereafter, reapplying after being in the water, sweating, and towel drying.

Choose Coconut Oil for Sunscreen Instead

Daily exposure to the sun is essential to your overall health; it’s the overexposure that could cause some issues. Sunshine exposure is the best way for your body to create health protecting vitamin D. To protect against sunburn, use a non-toxic sunscreen like coconut oil or opt for a low-risk, safe sunscreen that doesn’t contain health-compromising ingredients.

Bruce Fife, ND, author of Coconut Cures: Preventing and Treating Common Health Problems with Coconut Oil, explains that coconut oil applied on the skin protects against sunburn and cancer. Unlike sunscreen, unprocessed coconut oil doesn’t completely block the UVB rays that are necessary for vitamin D synthesis. It protects the skin and underlying tissues from damage excessive exposure can cause. Instead of burning or turning red, it produces a light tan, depending on the length of time you spend in the sun.

Fife asserts that “Consuming coconut oil also strengthens the skin and makes it more resilient and less prone to sunburn.” He warns against using hydrolyzed or processed oil. Just make sure the coconut oil is pure and not processed.

105 Comments on Ditch the toxic sunscreen, use coconut oil instead

  1. Glenda Carmichael Wright

    Awesome. Just add some carrot seed oil, raspberry seed oil or any combination of oils known for good SPF from Young Living Essential Oils for added kick/scent :) Makes it easy to personalize your own sunscreen, or add oils that work well to keep mosquitoes away and you have a double duty cream that provides nothing BUT benefits for your skin and body :)

  2. Kay Bartlett

    I need factor fifty, I burn in TEN minutes! This is ridiculous advice, oil burns the skin, anyone who isn't olive skinned would be stupid to take this advice, if you need vitD take a suppliment or eat a better diet. Can't believe this!

  3. Ben Starner

    I totally disagree. Just because you burn in ten minutes doesn't mean coconut oil doesn't work as a sun screen. Pace yourself. I have compare using sunscreen to coconut oil and have found coconut oil does work…and it's healthier.

  4. Wonder if this will work on my VERY fair grandson who's 2! Wondering if all you commenters disagreeing have tried it? It's definitely worth researching further, perhaps adding some other natural sun blocking ingredients that are not toxic. Indeed, commercial sunscreen IS toxic and there are studies proving this.

  5. Sorry there's no such thing as extra virgin coconut oil. Only olive oil has those degrees of presses. Coconut oil at 100% Organic and usually highly expensive. Your safe to go. TY, Peace and Love.

  6. Jen Boucher

    coconut oil? Ive known brits who have used it as a tanning lotion and as far as I have always known coconut oil actually helps you burn! As the story didn't even mention this well known thought in regards to coconut oil I find it difficult to give any huge credence to the rest of the story either.

  7. Kate DeVillers

    Costco carries organic extra virgin coconut oil in a huge 2qt container for about $20.

  8. Sharron Mckenna

    I burn in ten minutes living here in Florida unless I am wearing coconut oil. It works! Without coconut oil I have to use SPF 100+.

  9. Julie Powers

    "Coconut oil has been used as an effective sunscreen for thousands of years by indigenous, pacific islanders."

    Do you know the difference between me and indigenous pacific islanders? About 100 degrees of natural shades of brown…

  10. Bobbie Scholl Boteler

    True, its $15.99 and the brand is Carrington Farms – Pure, Unrefined, Cold Pressed 100% Organic Extra Virgin and its 54 oz. I use it everyday on my skin, to cook with, on my hair, for oil pulling, etc., etc. I pray Costco never stops selling it!!

  11. Zinc is dangerous when in metallic form on the skin. As a mineral it is combined and compounded with other elements with a locking bond that is usually inert.

  12. Keith Rhee

    Natural tan only buys you a head start – non-white skin is still at risk for melanoma due to UV exposure.

  13. A man wrote a book on coconut oil and said it is the best oil ever. i use 2 tablespoons everyday for health. I make popcorn with it and saute everything. cayenne pepper is the very best thing for the heart. I have used coconut oil along with stitches that healed my injury faster and better – I need no plastic surgery.

  14. Coconut oil can be used in place of surgery. An author of the oil at "Healthy Habit" store in Phoenix claims to have used it after he cut off his finger, minus the bone. he wrapped it in gauze and kept it soaked for 4 days. He pulled off the bandage and the healing was good without stitches.

  15. Julie Powers

    Maybe I just never go in the sun again. Like, ever. (I should be in bed. It's after 3AM here. No danger of sunburning right now, is there?)

  16. Susan Louise

    Really, does it truly work> I have already had cancer taken off my nose and now I get worried. Does it truly work?

  17. Anna A Belak

    That doesn't mean you're not slowly getting cancer though… We'll have to find that out later the hard way, I suppose.

  18. Jennifer Bonifacio

    I use YL's Lavender and Frankincense EO with YL's V-6 as my sunscreen. Instead of just the V-6 oil…I'll just mix with EVCO! Sweet!

  19. I'm not sure how toxic zinc oxide is (I will research) but we add it to our coconut oil and we have three very fair boys and a swimming pool … it's working good, you just have to be sure to reapply regularly.

  20. This is the first I have heard the coconut oil has an SPF and will protect against the sun. I put it on my skin every day as a moisturizer, in addition to helping my joints. I went to Hawaii in June and only used coconut oil – as I don't like sunscreen unless absolutely necessary. I was smart – limiting my exposure to 3 hours or less, and the air is moist there – not as dry as where I live (San Diego). For those of you wondering if it works, I have to say it surely worked for me! No burns :) I will say that I tend to tan easily – but I was still surprised I didn't have to break out the sunscreen. Yay!

  21. Caroline Dimascio

    Its about the internal protection too! Make sure your anti-oxidant levels are high, eat coloured vegetables and fruit. Get lots of vit C regularly through out the day and hydrate with clean water. And if you get inflammation (burning) hydrate it and take it slowly in future the tan is the protection. Detoxify your organs, work with your body, it knows what to do.

  22. Krystal Almanza

    Wait, so some of you are hesitant to use edible coconut oil as a sunscreen because of the "lack" of scientific evidence but you wouldn't hesitate to grab a tube of SPF chemicals and lather up even your children? How does that make sense?

  23. Adam Abelson

    in 20 minutes I burn like toast. I'll be sticking with the neutrogena in the sun and coconut oil in the kitchen.

  24. Gabrielle Marshall

    interesting, I got rid of a new bump on my chest with 14 days of applying coconut oil, this is after I had a slow-growth basel-cell removed from my face without trying to get rid of it on my own.

  25. Tina Thompson

    zinc is a sunblock as well, not a sun screen, so after getting 20 minutes of sun without anything on, slab that on, or make your own concoction with coconut oil, etc and put that on after 20 min

  26. Julie Marie

    I put it on my kids (by itself) at the beach, pool, to play outside, for whatever, 4 months and 4 years, and they have not burned yet this year…. either have i….

  27. Emily Harkins

    I have a blast out on the boat with a hat and loose fitting spf protective shirt. Much better then piling on sunblock or getting sunburnt. Florida sun hurts.

  28. LeaAnn Maldonado

    Tina Thompson You may need to reapply or put on a heavier amount. I am very white and don't really tan after a lot of sun exposure, but with coconut oil I didn't burn after a full day in the sun in So Cal.

  29. i get mine from trader joe's. have not tried it as a skin protectant yet, but i plan too. plan to buy a beach umbrella too. it just makes sense. i am of irish ancestry but was raised in the caribbean. down there we hide from the sun whenever possible, black and white alike. when we go to the beach we find a tree to park ourselves under. now i live in the states and the beaches have no trees. i need to buy that umbrella….

  30. I'm as pale and sunburn prone as it gets, I've used this several times and haven't burned. I haven't been in any extreme circumstances though, like all afternoon on the beach. I'm usually out in the sun for an hour or so at a time, doing yard work or something.

  31. Actually from what I understand there are 3 types of UV's UVA UVB UVC, C is usually filtered by the ozone but that seems to be a process that's in jeopardy now that the ozone is being destroyed.

  32. I tried coconut oil on my skin while at the beach this Summer–cuz I try to use organic products as much as possible…and got the WORST sunburn I've ever had! There should be a warning for fair-skinned people about coconut oil as a sunblock.

  33. I tried coconut oil on my skin while at the beach this Summer–cuz I try to use organic products as much as possible…and got the WORST sunburn I've ever had! There should be a warning for fair-skinned people about coconut oil as a sunblock.

  34. Catherine M. Doyle

    I don't have dark skin and have used CO for three years and have never gotten any darker than cream coloured from fish belly white and I spend most of my daylight hours out of doors and adjust my clothing with regard to temperature comfort only. I have also been taking astaxanthin at 4 mg per day which has been also touted as an effective internal sun block.

  35. Catherine M. Doyle

    A dear friend of mine said that when she was growing up in the Philippines the villagers in her region – island of Luzon – used to press three times for different grades of oil and second and third pressings were done after water was added to the pulp from the first pressing then carefully skimming the oil each time. She also detailed coconut cream harvested from 'young' green coconuts and the gelatinous young meat used in deserts. It is my understanding that virgin and extra Virgin are names of the oil from the first and second pressings virgin being the later one. For example in this case it is the first pressing that is considered extra virgin.

  36. Rita Inez Zell Lusk

    Tina Thompson why would you want to wait 20 minutes?

    and if the sunblock's zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are larger than nanoparticle size, you should be ok

  37. Adam Abelson

    In my family, unprotected exposure to the sun leads to skin cancer. Oil is insufficient to prevent that level of exposure.

  38. Megan Jonsson

    I use coconut oil daily on my skin before bed then wear clothing that covers so that my sheets don't get oily

    Am I the only one who's skin stays oily no matter how little coconut oil is applied? I can just imagine going to the beach, applying coconut oil and having the sand stick to me like crazy and not coming off!

    Is there a trick that I am missing to get to oil to absorb?

  39. Megan Jonsson

    I use coconut oil daily on my skin before bed then wear clothing that covers so that my sheets don't get oily

    Am I the only one who's skin stays oily no matter how little coconut oil is applied? I can just imagine going to the beach, applying coconut oil and having the sand stick to me like crazy and not coming off!

    Is there a trick that I am missing to get to oil to absorb?

  40. Suzi Wallace Fire

    SUnburn is nature's way of letting you know you have been in the sun too long…Sunscreens do not protect you from sun stroke…

  41. Tina Thompson

    No, the oil is super oily and stays that way. I agree, there has to be other natural additives to this. It's oil, I would think it would burn, like baby oil or tanning oil, the oil would attract a burn. I use the coconut oil daily on my skin, but I use an organic sunscreen as well. would love to make my own

  42. Tina Thompson

    Amanda Blankenship Really???? Hmmmm I'll give it a shot, I would think the oil, being oil would burn… I use coconut oil for everything, but assumed it would burn being oil, like baby oil, or tanning oil, attracts the sun and burns,… so I've gone without and limit my sun. but I will try this by the pool tomorrow thanks

  43. Tina Thompson

    Anna A Belak one can be preventative. If you eat refined foods, fake foods, slather on chemicals on your skin, etc. you may be able to guarentee it, if you go organic and natural, you are doing your best to prevent it. There are no guarentees in life, but you can do your best to provide a warranty.

  44. Tina Thompson

    LeaAnn Maldonado ok, i will. I'm loving this if it works…and I'm always into anything organic that works. and I have enough organic coconut oil to feed a small army on hand at all times. so OK, I'm sold, I'll apply more often when in the sun/beach. Thanks

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