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

October 3, 2023

The answer to can you use coconut oil for tanning is, no.

Even though my field of expertise is nutrition, several of my clients have approached me about using coconut oil as an alternative to sunscreen. This is what led me to check out the rumors behind this particular coconut oil trait. I discovered that there is no truth to this myth.

In the following post, I will outline why you shouldn’t use coconut oil to tan with and discover the SPF elements as well. You can also discover some tips on how to use a more responsible option for your skin. Here is what you need to know:

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.

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.

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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.  

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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.

tanning at the beach

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.

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 No products found.. 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 Pinterest Page.

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.
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