Coconut Oil for Tanning

Myth or Fact: Can You Use Coconut Oil for Tanning?

Everyone is after the gorgeous glow that you get from spending time in the sun.

Some people will spend hundreds of dollars trying to replicate that same sun-kissed look.

Unfortunately, nothing matches up to a real-life tan.

This is why you may be looking for a tanning oil that will make it easier to perfect that bronzed look.

If so, you may be considering coconut oil for tanning.

Well, before you go ahead and do this, there are a few things that you should know. So, let’s get started.

What is Tanning Oil?

First things first – what is tanning oil?

Well, this is a product that is designed to attract UV rays onto the skin. This increases the rate of production of melanin on the skin, making your skin appear darker.

Tanning oil tends to have a lower SPF to accelerate the tanning process. 

tanning at the beach

Does Coconut Oil Have SPF?

As mentioned, tanning oils have lower SPFs, but a small amount of sun protection.

This is important because proper protection from UV rays can help to prevent sunburn, skin damage, and even skin cancer.

Unfortunately, coconut oil has a very low SPF rating – around 4 to 7, depending on the kind used.

This means that coconut oil only deflects around 20 percent of the sun’s rays.

Is Coconut Oil Good for Tanning?

Of course, the SPF number doesn’t tell you whether or not coconut oil is a tanning accelerator.

Well, because coconut oil has a low SPF, it can help to get a tan much more quickly.

As it doesn’t offer much protection from the sun, you will notice that your skin begins to brown within a shorter period.

Coconut Oil vs. Sunscreen

So, how does coconut oil measure up to sunscreen?

Well, sunscreen has been specifically designed to protect your skin from the sun. This means that it doesn’t help with tanning in any way.

However, if you were to use a sunscreen with around SPF 30, you would be able to block around 97 percent of the sun’s rays.

Needless to say, this drastically reduces your risk of getting skin damage or skin cancer.

As mentioned above, coconut oil doesn’t offer this level of protection from sun damage.

It should also be noted that most experts advise you to use a sunscreen that is at least SPF 30. This is true regardless of how much time you are planning on spending in the sun.

lady applying sunscreen

Can You Use Coconut Oil Over Sunblock?

OK, so what if you use sunscreen, but simply layer coconut oil on top? Can you get the best of both worlds?

Regretfully, you can’t do this either. 

For one thing, it can be difficult to know how the coconut oil will interact with the ingredients in your sunscreen.

Furthermore, slathering on coconut oil atop your sunscreen means that you are diluting your sunblock.

As such, it will not be as effective at protecting your skin from the sun.

Should You Use Coconut Oil as Tanning Lotion?

What's the final verdict? Can you use coconut oil to tan?

Now, despite what many people think, you know the answer to the question “is coconut oil a natural sunscreen”.

Due to this virtually negligible sun protection factor, you shouldn’t use coconut oil as a tanning lotion.

Yes, it will help in getting you a suntan but, at the same time, you could end up with a nasty sunburn.

Not to mention every time you use coconut oil for tanning outside, you increase your risk of developing skin cancer.  

Can You Use Coconut Oil for Tanning Bed?

Perhaps you prefer tanning salons over the real sun. In this case, can you use coconut oil?

No, you shouldn’t use coconut oil in tanning beds either.

Understand, tanning beds utilize UVA rays to darken your skin. This means that you need proper sun protection to avoid any kind of damage.

Furthermore, most tanning salons will advise you against using coconut oil in the beds. This is because the oil can interfere with the functioning of the beds.

How to Use Coconut Oil after Tanning

This doesn’t mean that you have to completely steer clear of coconut oil, though.

The truth is that it can be excellent for aftercare once you have spent the day in the sun.

For one thing, coconut oil is great at keeping your skin moisturized.

If you have been out in the sun for a while, there is a good chance that your skin feels a little dry.

Thus, applying coconut skin will help to add some much-needed moisture to your dermis.

Simultaneously, it can also help to lock moisture in your skin. This cuts down on any flaking, allowing your skin to feel moisturized for a longer period.

There is also the fact that coconut can help to accentuate even lightly tanned skin. It can make your skin look healthy and glowing, ensuring that you look amazing.

Due to this, you won’t even need to tan all that much to get your desired look.

One product that you can use for this effect is Viva Naturals coconut oil. It is incredibly moisturizing and can help you get that glow that you are looking for.

What's more, the oil is readily absorbed by your skin and features a lightweight formula. As such, it will not clog any pores.

This is what you need to about coconut oil and tanning. As you can see, this isn't a remedy that you should attempt yourself.

If you wish to use coconut oil, make sure to use it as a form of aftercare for your skin. 

In case you are eager to learn more about the benefits of coconut oil for your skin, make sure to check out our Facebook posts.

Riya Borah


Riya Borah 

Nutritionist Educator

Riya Borah is a nutritionist educator and her job involves guiding people towards a healthier lifestyle. Growing up in India, Riya was aware of just how much coconut was used on a daily basis. This encouraged her to research the properties of this versatile drupe. It opened her eyes to both the limitation and possibilities of coconut. Her aim is to now educate as many people as possible about the best ways to utilize coconut in their own lives.

Related Articles

Fact or Fiction: Can You Use Coconut Oil and Lemon Juice for Grey Hair?

A Bit Off the Top: How to Open a Young Coconut

Coconut Oil for Toenail Fungus: Why It Works and How to Use It

An Important Disclaimer
The information on this page should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Consult a doctor if you wish to consume any kind of tea regularly for the purpose of treating any condition or illness.