I’m pretty sure every one of you is familiar with the health benefits of coconut oil. You might be probably wondering how does Coconut oil help you tan. It does, and I have seen many people using coconut oil for tanning and found fantastic results. After all, it is undoubtedly one of the best natural tanning oil.
Coconut tan is one of the easiest and best ways to get a natural and beautiful sun-kissed tan. The oil contains lauric acids and fatty acids which will hydrate your skin. A hydrated skin gets tanned way faster than dry skins.
But, let me remind you that there are few pitfalls. Coconut oil doesn’t have enough SPF to protect you from the sun UV rays. Don’t get disheartened. We do have the solutions for you, which we will discuss later in this article.
We will see how these oils help you to retain a youthful tanned skin.
What is Coconut Oil?
Coconuts are the fruit that comes from naturally occurring trees that generally grow near coastal waters. Over years of research and experimentation, coconuts have been proven for many benefits including skincare. For more comfortable use and maximum efficiency, coconut oil is extracted from coconuts.
Coconut oil is rich in Lauric acid and Vitamin E, both of which boost skincare and are incredibly beneficial when considering tanning.
As for the composition, coconut oil is made of:
- Lauric acid (41.8%)
- Myristic acid (16.7%)
- Palmitic acid (8.6%)
- Caprylic acid (6.8%)
- Monosaturated fats (6%)
- Polyunsaturated fats (2%)
Isn’t that list full of fatty acid and rich nutrition content? Yeah, this is why coconut oil since ages now has been used for skin and hair grooming.
Does Coconut Oil have SPF?
If you’re planning to get the help of coconut oil to tan, you should understand whether it has any SPF content.
Yes, coconut oil has an SPF level of 4. An SPF level of 4 provides about 75% blockade of the harmful UV rays.
SPF levels are measured from a scale of 1 to 40, where SPF level 40 provides about 98% blockade of the harmful UV rays. Coconut oil with SPF level 4 provides only 75%.
Is Coconut Oil bad for You?
During recent years, concerns have been raised over the degrading health risks coconut oil poses. The truth is:
- There is minimal research conducted on the harmful effects of coconut oil.
- Coconut oil is mainly composed of fatty acids and saturated fats. Saturated fats have already been proven to increase the amount of LDL cholesterol which in turn triggers many heart-related problems.
- Coconut oil does have a slightly harmful effect when consumed as edibles. This is mainly because of the high-fat content. People with a history of heart-related issues are advised to refrain from it.
- However, it does not have any harmful effects when used over the skin. The SPF level and oil composition together provide very healthy skincare.
How Does Coconut Oil Help You Tan
Many people ask questions like “Is coconut oil good for tanning?” and “will coconut oil help you tan?” Yes, it definitely will. Coconut oil may altogether eliminate your need to use synthetic sunscreens and tanning lotions. This is because of the composition and ingredients of coconut oil which we will now discuss in detail.
Here are 6 reasons why coconut oil is a must on your shelves when you consider tanning.
1. It allows vitamin D intake
Normally available sunscreens or tanning lotions do promise a lot when you have to step out for tanning. Most of these sunscreens are very effective when it comes to protecting your skin from harmful UV rays. What they don’t tell you is that they also block the Vitamin D content that is being delivered via the sunlight.
Vitamin D is precious and needed for your body and skin, both. Coconut oil, however, does not mess with the vitamin D that is being provided by the sunlight. It blocks the UV rays by a huge 75% but also allows all of the vitamin D to be absorbed by your body. That’s like an antivirus for your computer which doesn’t stop any useful updates from coming through.
2. Naturally triggers melanin production
I’m sure most of you know but for those who don’t, how does the sun help you get tanned? Your skin is made up of layers with the upper layer containing melanocytes which produce melanin. Melanin is a pigment produced by the skin to give it the ‘dark’ tone. The more melanin your skin produces, the darker your complexion is. Melanin is created when more blood is supplied to the melanocytes (after sun exposure).
Coconut oil, on the other hand, triggers melanin production without the need of having to lie down under the sun for long periods of time. This means you can get the tan faster than you were supposed to, and requires less amount of sunlight than it is supposed to. It’s a win-win!
3. Rehabilitates the natural shine
After long tanning sessions and sun exposures, your skin sure does get the tan you want but also lose its natural structure. The darker the skin, the duller it looks. Using coconut oil gives the skin back its shine. This is because of the composition of coconut oil which allows it to stay on the top of the skin for long times.
So, the next time you head out and lack shine on your skin, rub some coconut oil on it. This will give you instant shine and also a boost of confidence!
4. Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties
Lying under the sun and excess intake of UV rays damages your skin without a doubt. This damage then leads to the breakdown of the skin and creates an opening in the skin. These openings are a very welcoming place for bacteria, fungus, and microbes of all type that cause infections and fungal setups.
Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). These MCTs are well known by medical researchers to contain antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. Thus, the use of coconut oil while tanning will keep these harmful microorganisms at bay no matter how welcoming your skin is. What’s better than something that helps you tan but also keeps you safe from other microorganisms?
5. Natural moisturizing properties
If anyone of you uses artificial sunscreens and tanning lotions while tanning, they must also know about the importance of using a moisturizer after. During tanning session and sun exposures, the skin loses most of its hydration as vapor and the other to supply moisture to the dried out skin. The lack of moisture then causes cracks, peeling and in severe cases, a sunburn. Coconut oil is a liquid that doesn’t evaporate so fast.
The boiling point of coconut oil is 171 C, as compared to water’s 100 C. High boiling point combined with excellent moisturizing properties makes coconut oil a superb moisturizer which is better than water itself. The readily available moisture prevents your skin from breaking down under dry stress.
6. Free of harm
The last thing your skin needs is harmful chemicals during the stressful procedure like tanning. The skin undergoes stress, wear, tear and repair while tanning. Artificial sunscreens, moisturizers and tanning lotions always have harmful chemicals, depending on the ration. Substances like paraben, gluten and other toxic solvents damage and cause long-lasting issues for your skin.
Moreover, irritants that vary from person to person, also make the use of artificial products less preferable. Coconut oil, lastly, does not contain any harmful chemicals (unless mixed with other products). The composition of coconut oil is harm-free and productive when used over the skin. Isn’t that what all of us are looking for?
Why NOT to use coconut oil for Tanning?
With all of this information, you might have made up your mind to use nothing but coconut oil. However, it is also my sole responsibility to show you both sides of the picture.
The benefits do outweigh the downsides of using coconut oil, but the disadvantages are existent. Here are 2 reasons why you should not use coconut oil for tanning.
1. Coconut oil is not a sunscreen!
It is pertinent to mention that sunscreen is essential to use while tanning. Sunscreens protect your skin from excess UVA and UVB ray exposure which can later turn into sunburns (and sunburn into cancers). After reading all of its’ benefits you may want to skip the use of sunscreens over coconut oil, but don’t! Coconut oil, like I said, only has an SPF level of 4.
On the other hand, to adequately protect your skin from harm from the intensity you face during tanning, your skin needs an SPF level of at least 15. The sunscreen and coconut oil can combine to create a very sticky and irritating substance. This is why it is advisable to not use coconut oil during tanning (If you are using sunscreen too.)
2. It can backfire with oily skin type.
Is your skin oily? Do you face frequent acne breakouts? If yes, coconut oil may be a risky deal for you. People with oily skin have a lot of oil production daily. Combined with that, coconut oil (extra virgin especially) clogs pores. The clogged pores and excess oil production then result in acne breakouts.
How to use: DIY Coconut Oil for Tanning
Not just coconut oil, but anything if not appropriately handled cannot give you the results you want. If you have come this far and have made up your mind about the use of coconut oil, you might be interested in knowing some ways to use it. Here’s how.
1. Using coconut oil as a deodorant
- ¼ cup of coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
- 3 teaspoons of baking soda
- Essential oil
- A container
Pour ¼ cup of coconut oil into a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Stir the mixture. Add your preferred essential oil to the mixture (around 20 drops) depending on the intensity.
What you get out of this is a coconut oil deodorant. You can apply it before heading out to work or after coming back from a tanning session. Excess sweating and increased excretion during long sun exposures give an awkward scent to your skin. This deodorant will not only deodorize the skin but also moisturize it.
2. Using coconut oil as a Tanning Lotion
I’m sure you’ve heard about coconut oil and its uses as a tanning lotion. Well, not all of them are wrong. Coconut oil can be used as a tanning lotion when limited to short, calculated exposures to the sun. All you have to do is take a little amount of coconut oil and rub it all over your body, evenly.
This will not only give your body a boost of melanin production but also provide antioxidant, antibacterial and moisturizing properties. It should be, however, keep in mind that coconut oil is not a sunscreen. Mixing coconut oil with sunscreen is also not a good idea. It is very irritating, and you will not like spending hours in the sun wearing this combination.
Moreover, people who burn very easily in the sun, shouldn’t try using coconut oil to get tan. The lower level of SPF might make you burn.
To be honest, I would suggest you to use some of the top-rated tanning oils to achieve a perfect tan. We have an amazing article written on these products here: https://tanvogue.com/best-tanning-oil-reviews/
We don’t recommend you to use coconut oil for a tanning bed. These oils are not designed to use in tanning beds, and prolonged usage might affect the quality of the bed. You can find more on this here.
Our Top Picks: Best Coconut Tan Products
After giving you so much information, I didn’t want to leave it incomplete without suggesting products from my experience. If you are looking for nice and genuine coconut oil products over the shelves, I’ll drop down these 3 coconut oils which have proven themselves worthy to me.
This one isn’t just on my bathroom shelf but my kitchen shelf too. Nutiva coconut oil is made from coconuts that have been control farmed. Yes, from the very roots, the coconuts have been planted to provide the perfect coconut oil. For cooking purposes, it can be used in almost anything. For skincare specifically, apply it before, during and after your tanning sessions.
- Long lasting
- Extreme moisturizing
- Trustworthy brand
- Delicate packaging.
This one is a little different from the one above. This, too, makes it to the top of my shelf. Majestic Pure is a fractionated coconut oil. For those who don’t know, fractionated coconut oil is the by-product after removal of long-chain fatty acids. After the removal of these fatty acids, the coconut oil becomes easy to be absorbed by the skin. Its liquid composition also makes it an excellent choice to be mixed with other oils.
- Good moisturizing properties
- Push to eject mechanism
- Easily mixable with other oils
- No significant cons
This one here is a combo of both the products above. It can be used for tanning purposes too, but I usually use it for my hair. As its name suggests, it is made of purely natural ingredients. It works well with my skin and also my daughter’s skin, which is quite sensitive. Good for tanning and equally better for hair and other skincare.
- Good moisturizing properties
- Pump extraction
- Doesn’t cause any reactions
- No significant cons
With all of this being said, it is upon you to decide for yourself. Coconut oil has been researched and proven to be good for skin care and especially tanning. Read for yourself, research and know how to use it before actually using it. If used properly, coconut oil can eliminate the need of using other products for your tanning needs.
Let me once again summarize what we have covered in this article:
- Coconut oil is not bad for tanning
- They don’t have enough SPF
- You can still use coconut oil to get tan (don’t overexpose yourself to sun rays for a longer duration)
That’s it guys! I hope you found the article interesting to read.
Nothing makes me happier than seeing that smile on your face after having a wonderful tanning session.
My name is Stella Cristin, the owner of Tan Vogue. I am in love with beauty and health products. My great passion is to help people learn about tanning. Read More
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