For the last few years, everyone has been singing the praises of coconut oil. People use it for cooking, skin and hair care and in natural deodorants. But did you know that you could use coconut oil for tanning? Many coconut oil fans who want a bronzed glow have been rejecting commercial tanning oils in favor of unrefined or virgin coconut oil. Here are some reasons why.
Coconut oil contains no harmful chemicals.
Many sunscreens and tanning oils contain harmful chemicals, parabens, and mineral oil. Even though they have high SPF content which protects the skin, the other ingredients can be irritating in the short or long term. In addition, many people with sensitive skin simply can’t tolerate them. Genuine, organic coconut oil is unlikely to impact your skin negatively. It has a low SPF of around 4.
Coconut oil nourishes your skin while you tan.
Whether you choose poolside, seaside or the backyard for sunbath, coconut oil will help to retain the moisture in your skin. It’s natural fatty acids continue to work even hours after initial application. You won’t have to worry about your skin getting dry while you get your tan. Remember to apply the oil while your skin is still damp from your shower or bath. Coconut oil can’t retain moisture that’s not already there.
Coconut oil reflects the sun’s rays off your skin.
Whether you apply coconut oil on its own or mix it with other oils or liquids, it will form a protective layer. Coconut oil is not a replacement for high SPF sunblock but it will help to reflect some UV rays off your skin.
Coconut oil offers protection from infections and soothes irritation.
This is an added benefit while you’re trying to get all glowed up. Pools and beaches can be hotbeds for bacteria. Coconut oil has gentle antimicrobial and anti-fungal qualities which can help protect your skim from germs in the environment. If your skin is a little inflamed, this seemingly magical oil can also help.
Coconut oil lets you get your vitamin D.
Exposure to sunlight helps your body to get its vitamin D requirements. Many sunscreens block your absorption of Vitamin D while blocking UV rays. Coconut oil doesn’t do this.
Coconut oil lasts longer than many sunscreens and tanning lotions.
Organic coconut oil has no expiration date once it’s properly stored. You can, therefore, keep it for as long as it lasts without wondering if it will go bad like some commercial products.
How to use coconut oil for tanning
So now that you know the benefits, you may be wondering just how you should go about using coconut oil. Some people simply slather a small amount of the oil all over the body and massage it in. Others use it as a carrier oil and add other oils like while olive oil (SPF 8), avocado oil (SPF 15), raspberry seed oil (SPF 25) and carrot seed oil (SPF 35). Some people also add fragrant essential oils for a true tropical experience.
You can also add carrot juice to speed up the tanning process or iodine tincture to help block radiation. Bronze mica powder can also be added to any tanning oil for some extra color.
You will need to reapply the oil every thirty minutes or so or after your skin gets wet. If you’re going to be outside for a long time you may also want to take an umbrella or a hat to prevent sunburn. If you’re still concerned, you can also add some chemical-free sunscreen to ensure your skin is really protected. You may need to experiment to see if you get the best results with coconut oil on its own or a mixture of oils.