On a recent trip to tropical far north Queensland I accidentally performed an experiment. Having heard about the natural SPF properties of coconut oil I decided I’d give it a try. Exhausted from the lead-up of this long awaited holiday and keen to lie on the beach my husband and I laid out our towels in the full sun. It was about 1pm. I covered myself from head to toe in organic coconut oil, my husband refused my offer with a grumbling, ‘what do I need that shit for?’ and we both fell asleep. Sound asleep. We woke up at about 4.30pm. Whoops. Massive whoops. I am a fair-skinned redhead. I’ve had to be careful in the sun my entire life. My husband is an olive skinned Greek/Italian who tans easily.
Keep in mind that I (very fair) used coconut oil and he (olive skinned) used nothing. I had a little rosiness on my stomach, he was burnt to a crisp. I kid you not! By rights I should not have come out of that little mishap so well. He should have been sporting a glorious tan. I should have been hospitalised for sunstroke. Instead I had the start of a tan, and he had a blistering burn. The only protective factor was the coconut oil. I was amazed and converted from that moment on. Thankfully I knew better than to test the theory without covering my face (I did so with a sarong), but the rest of me was glowing. My husband was sore to touch for days and peeled with a vengeance. He also had to cover up for the rest of the trip. Pretty sad considering it was only our first day!
I can definitely vouch for the fact that coconut oil works as a glorious natural sunscreen. It smells amazing, it’s cheap, a little goes a long way and it does not contain harmful chemicals. How great is that?
Please Note: I DO NOT recommend falling asleep for hours on end in the full sun, certainly not without finding some shade or covering up, but I can recommend coconut oil as a sunscreen. I still wear a hat in the full sun to protect my face (which gets enough incidental sun anyway), and I carry a light scarf as a cover-up in case I’m caught for a little too long. It’s important to be smart about it.
Coconut oil is a beautiful carrier oil and can be combined with essential oils for different effects. I keep a little bowl of it in my bathroom and use it as a moisturiser. I put a drop of lavender oil and it calms my eczema, also after-sun care or if I have a sunburn. I also use this combo as a hand cream.
Coconut oil is also naturally anti-fungal, can help control frizzy hair, can reduce the irritation caused by mozzie bites, cold sores and chicken pox. With a few drops of certain essential oils you can make a chemical-free insect repellent (recipe coming soon). There are so many uses for coconut oil and I promise to delve a little deeper another day!
If you’re interested to know more have a look at the following links: