This past week marks my first trial using coconut oil as a tanning lotion substitute.
I came across this article recently recommending coconut oil as a substitute for sun tan lotion.
So I decided to try it out.
In my first experiment, I went to a public pool one afternoon, rubbing pure virgin coconut oil on every exposed part of me. At the end of a two-hour period I experienced only a slight pinkishness on my shoulders, the part of my body most sensitive and often most damaged by sun.
This past week, I didn’t wear a single drop of manufactured sun screen. Each day i performed the same routine, spreading coconut oil on my person. The results were satisfactory. I gained a slow, evenly spread tan. No burning. No itching. No peeling.
During these trials I went to the beach about twice a day, once around 10am and once around 4pm. I put on sun screen both times, unless my trip was after 5pm. I spent some of the time under a canopy tent. I always wore a shirt to protect my shoulders and a “pirate” to protect my head. I will say that about 2 days worth of those seven days the skies were very cloudy.
I used virgin coconut oil, but the article recommended extra virgin. I may have been using a less potent concentration than recommended. I also recommended protecting your most sensitive body parts with another kind of covering, and spending no more than 2 straight hours at a time in direct sunlight, in the summer, on the beach, around noon.
Nobody wants a lobster.
Another benefit is the feel of the coconut oil. Most sun screens, especially the spray-on kinds, can be sticky and stiff. They also have a weird smell. Coconut oil is smooth and remains smooth through its use. If you like the smell of coconut, this is an added bonus as well.
I cannot vouch for the scientific evidence of blockage of exposure to cancer causing UVA rays. I’ll leave that to the researchers. What I can vouch for is the experiential evidence of protection from burned skin. If you’re looking for one more unendorsed testimony, here it is. In my experience, coconut oil works great as a natural alternative to chemically manufactured sun screens.
I find it no accident that coconuts grow on the beaches of tropical waters.