This is just one person's experience, but I used coconut oil exclusively last summer at the beach, primarily as a moisturizer. I never burned. Not sure if that was due to my Vitamin D levels of 80, the oil, or using my head to move under the umbrella when I started feeling a bit too hot. Whichever, no sunscreen was used and I got a wonderful even tan (and moist skin).
I used extra virgin coconut oil (the kind you buy in the supermarket) all summer last year and did not burn. I spend alot of time at the beach, and achieve a nice golden tan, it also makes your skin feel silky smooth. I didn't feel like I needed to get out of the sun any earlier than before using the coconut oil, and usually spend about 2 hours at the beach 3 or 4 times per week. I'll never go back to 'chemical' sunscreens :)
I wish I remembered the details more, and I would look it up if I had more time right now, but Weston A. Price visited some islanders who were always out in the sun and always used coconut oil on their skin. It wasn't until the "white man" came that they started wearing more clothing and stopped putting the oil on their skin. Things, of course, went south from there..
My children and I have been using it as a sunscreen for about 3 weeks now. This week we have gone to the beach 5 times and the pool once- and no sunburns so far. We do, however, all tend to tan easily and I've read that if you burn easily you might need to apply more often. Just to be safe I apply it every hour.
We use raw, organic extra virgin coconut oil. Its about $9 for 16ounces which is much cheaper than the chemical sunscreen I was buying. Plus- you can smear it all over faces without worrying about getting it in the eyes, its an excellent moisturizer for both skin and hair. I put it on the part in my kids' hair so they don't get burns.. its much easier to wash out than chemical sunscreens.
Natural Sun Protection 6 Answers