5 Reasons to Use Coconut Oil for Sunblock ( UPDATED 2014 )

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( Little Nevaeh soaking in the hot sun for our all day trip across the bay – this fair little child didn’t burn at all! )

RECENT UPDATE ( 2014 ): Lol! This post has received more attention by far than anything I have posted yet – I literally thought it would circulate through my family and friends on Facebook and end there as with my usual posts ( why this post God? lol ). Mostly I have received a lot of flack for it, and LOADS of hate. I should again note that my children, particularly my daughter who is pictured above, are extremely fair. I wrote this post not long after returning from our first family vacation together in Florida, the whole time using only coconut and emu oils as protection, without a single burn.

That being said, my husband did burn the back of his neck during a subsequent 2013 Mexico missions trip, and my I got slightly pink recently on our Hawaii family vacation. #1, my husband did not have me there to reapply every hour like only a natural-obsessed woman as myself would do, and #2, my skin reacted very differently in Hawaii as I was pregnant, and we all know that pregnancy skin is very sensitive.

SO, does coconut oil provide natural sunblock? Yes, and I still know many who use it as their only source of protection just fine. As I originally  mentioned however, it is something you literally have to apply all the time. For a more effective approach I recommend making your own DIY sunblock. I have since experimented with mixing 1 cup coconut oil, 1 cup emu oil and 15 drops of the essential oil Helichrysum ( which is a natural sunblock itself).

You can also find an excellent DIY sunblock here that I intend to make use of this summer 🙂 http://raising6kids.wordpress.com/2013/06/13/let-the-sun-shine-on-me/. She also provides excellent links and information about the link between diet and skin health.

So again, take caution ( and do heed warnings about conventional toxic & carcinogenic sunblock ), but I still do encourage you to explore all that nature has to offer as sun protection – it works. > > >

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I can only hope you’ve been able to enjoy this fabulous weather as much as the kids and I have been! It’s been phenomenal; gardening, outdoor play dates – all slathered up nice and good with coconut oil!

Why coconut oil?

Yes, I always get funny looks, lol, but I assure you it works better than anything else for us, and is much safer too!

The Polynesians, a culture known for their radiant skin and hair, have used coconut oil traditionally for many things, including skin protection, for hundreds – probably thousands – of years. A lot of people assume that only those with naturally darker pigmentation can safely use oils as effective sunblock, but it’s totally perfect for us pasty folk too! I’ve used both emu ( yes, it’s oil from the emu bird, and though a wonderful oil, it is far more expensive than the latter ) and coconut oils on my children ( both as fair as fair gets ) for years now, and they have never once burned with it on.

So, seriously…why coconut oil? Why not sunscreen?

Ok, 5 reasons to use coconut oil instead ~

#1) Number one, lets start with whats wrong with sunblock:

a. For one, it blocks more than just damage from rays, it actually blocks a good portion of the vitamin D and other important nutrients ( that we lay in the sun for in the first place ) as well! Coconut oil protects your skin from damage, while allowing your skin to absorb everything good and essential from the sun.

b. Second, but most importantly, sunblock is now a known carcinogen. When the suns rays hit the sunscreen on your skin, a chemical reaction occurs that actually creates and grows cancer cells inside your body, not only causing skin cancer, but contributing to a multitude of other types of cancers as well.

There is no disputing this today, as any current* cosmetologist or skin care specialist can tell you the very same facts. Why, then, are we still told to use it? And on our children? Because it is still widely believed that there is no better protection for our skin than the good ole’ laboratory – made concoction of chemicals :/ Wrong! I’m here to tell you that when God provides, he truly delivers every time! God – made beats man – made every day!

#2) Now, it depends on what grade sunblock you generally prefer to purchase, but coconut oil is generally the same price and in many cases much cheaper than your average sunscreen. Case in point.

#3) So, if you’ve read my Beauty Products page, http://holisticchickblog.com/beauty-products/, you totally already know my policy of ,”It only goes on my skin if I can drink it”. Our skin is the largest organ of our body, and it only takes 23 seconds to absorb whatever chemical we put on it. We don’t often think of it this way, but whatever goes on our skin literally is in our body as much as if we drank it down like water. When we look at it like that, it can really make us think twice about what we honestly want to use lotions/cosmetics wise.

One of the thousands of things that is super cool about coconut oil is that – wait for it – it cleanses our blood when used topically. Yes, I’m totally serious! Apply, absorb, and clean and heal! This means stable blood glucose levels ( unless you’re simultaneously chowing a burger or other insulin spiking food, but you know ), which means less binges and cravings.

And one more fact about coconut oil – it’s a thermogenic fat burner, which means it signals your body to create extra heat that in turn burns calories and fat cells. Detoxing and weight loss by applying lotion? Bring it, baby!

#4) Coconut oil has strong anti bacterial, anti microbial, anti fungal and anti candida properties – now doesn’t that just sound like a nice thing to put on your skin? For this reason it makes for one of natures most excellent and effective wound healers/cleansers, but I digress…

#5) Coconut oil prevents and diminishes wrinkles and sun spots. In short, coconut oil is a saturated fat that acts as an antioxidant on your skin, helping it maintain it’s youthful elasticity, tone and texture, and slowing down the rate of wrinkling from oxidation( not that I appreciate societies blatant disrespect for the aging process, but there you go ).

There you have it, the 5 most important reasons to make the switch from traditional sunblock, to incredible coconut oil!

*Caution for first time users:

Until you know your skin with coconut oil better, and depending on how thick you apply, re-apply a light layer about once every hour, especially on particularly hot days, and always for children.

Be sure to use a quality oil for effectiveness. Select only oils that say ‘cold pressed’ or ‘raw’, and always organic because non-organic may contain traces of formaldehyde.  Below are the three brands I prefer from my local grocery store.

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10 thoughts on “5 Reasons to Use Coconut Oil for Sunblock ( UPDATED 2014 )

  1. Pingback: A DIY life: Let the sun shine on me, naturally sunscreen free | Natural & Frugal: Raising 6 kids

    • Melissa, yes! It is a fabulous alternative for those who avidly avoid carcinogens, however you will have to keep up on it more than commercial sunblock. Ive used it on my children for three years and they’ve never burned, that being said I always reapplied every hour, and twice and hour on vacation. For longer lasting natural block you can use emu, however it is more expensive.

  2. I was all excited when I read this article. I slathered up with organic unrefined coconut oil before a 2 hour motorcycle ride. I was totally burned when I got off the bike. This did not work as a sunblock at all.

    • I’m sorry you had a bad experience Sally, however I do mention in the article that first time users need to apply every hour, especially on hot days. This alternative is for individuals who are against conventional sunblock that they do not mind reapplying all the time.

  3. Are there any peer reviewed research articles published in scientific journals on this? Turning red is just one part of getting sunburned– would be interesting to know if there were any long term effects that aren’t mitigated by coconut oil.

    Cheers! =)

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