I've read about coconut oil being a natural sun-blocker, and I have started to use it for past couple weeks. i am very pale, and as for now it seems to be working fine.
I tried to spread this idea to others, but when a friend asked me for some facts I realized that I have only anecdotal information. I did some research, but haven't found anything solid.
Anyone has some solid information, research or studies on coconut oil's sun protection? If there is a concrete SPF given?
Is there anyone who has been using it for many years as sun protection?
I have no idea about coconut oil's efficacy as a sun blocker, but I do know that you will smell very, very tasty. For gosh sakes, don't wear any bacon.
Why are we talking about sun protection at all? I just think it's odd that the discussion on this thread seems to be going on completely separate from the one on this thread:
There Drew posted the link to this very, very impressive post by Dr. (Mike) Eades:
The thought is that if anything is being used on the skin that allows tanning but prevents a burn, then you're probably doing yourself harm, because you've removed your body's natural fail-safe for avoiding the dangers of excess sun exposure. What's the fail-safe? The feeling of starting to burn. When you feel it, you get out of the sun.
I know a lot of people on this thread were probably talking about just establishing a base tan in the first place, so I'm not trying to attack. Just wanted to get some communication going.
But I'm new so let me know if there is a more official way to link two threads together, as Patrik talks about in the FAQ.
I keep finding references to this "Provides protection form damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation form the sun. " (http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/)
"Coconut oil for sunburn? Pure or virgin coconut oil (VCO) will block the damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun." (http://www.coconut-oil-central.com/coconut-oil-sunburn.html)
"it acts the same way that drug store suntan lotions act. It blocks out harmful UV radiation and allows you to tan without burning. " (http://sg.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100215032415AA1k8qX)
And more. But no studies so far and thus, all of it is just "I read it on the internet".
As for myself, I use coconut oil on burnt skin and it works wonders, and a lot better than any "after sun spray". I haven't tried it for (preventive) sun protection yet but will do that in the next few days on a few square inches of my skin.
And it might make sense to ask Sean Croxton about it, he's one clever chap and maybe he knows more about it and how it could work.
Aloha! Been used here in Hawaii for a long long time as a tanning agent and skin conditioner AND the Hawaiian people have already brown skin! If you are pale I suggest a long sleeved white shirt and wide brimmed hat during the strongest rays!
Test tube experiments in the article cited below suggest that coconut oil has a spectrophotometrically calculated SPF of 7.1; olive oil being the highest at 7.5. The researchers also state that oils are "more effective for producing a uniform and long-lasting film of sunscreen on the skin."
Source: "In vitro sun protection factor determination of herbal oils used in cosmetics", Chanchal Deep Kaur and Swarnlata Saraf, Pharmacognosy Res. 2010 Jan-Feb; 2(1): 22–25.
This is a job for Science! I demand an experiment.
Who's willing to paint racing stripes on themselves?
Or a nice white V down from the shoulders to the navel?
Coconut oil has NO sunblocking protection but it does condition the skin and is not a carcinogenic. Use it on skin and in diet. Used with a natural clean Paleo diet nd you should have little problem burning in the sun under sensible conditions.
I decided to update with recent experiences. I've been using coconut oil for the past weeks, and recently have been spending a lot of time outside. After working physically outside for about couple hours, fully sweating and all of that, I got serious sunburn. Now, I have to add that I am quite pale and my shoulders saw direct sun for the first time in ... a decade or so. I keep on using it, as I think in the places where I haven't exposed the skin to too much sun (or it's parts that are more used to it, as forearms) I got a nice golden tan, which is not that common for me.
I am waiting now for the magenta to subdue. I hope coconut oil will help with recovery of the skin.
so in conclusion - it's a great moisturizer, helps the skin deal with moderate sun exposure, but it's not a miracle worker and there probably aren't that many natural substances that can let me be outside in the heat (it was around 100*F) without any risk.