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Ditch the Toxic Sunscreen; Use Coconut Oil Instead

Paul Fassa
by
June 29th, 2013
Updated 05/07/2014 at 8:21 pm
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sunscreen on beach 263x164 Ditch the Toxic Sunscreen; Use Coconut Oil Instead Summer time is beach time, or at least poolside time. But if you want some protection form the sun’s UV rays, don’t always reach for toxic sunscreens. Instead, pack some extra virgin coconut oil along with your beach towel and umbrella.

That’s right, the same extra virgin coconut oil found in your kitchen pantry will do the trick to protect your skin – minus the toxicity from health-compromising ingredients. Coconut oil has been used as an effective sunscreen for thousands of years by indigenous, pacific islanders. Why slather toxic chemicals on your body when you can use non toxic coconut oil instead?

There are two types of UV (ultraviolet) rays from the sun: UVA and UVB. UVA rays are primarily responsible for skin damage from excessive sun exposure that can lead to cancer and skin aging. However, although UVB rays can also cause damage and sunburn, they are necessary for your body to produce its own cancer protective vitamin D via the skin.

Sunlight is by far the optimal way to produce your vitamin D. Blocking UVB rays may inadvertently be increasing your cancer risk by blocking vitamin D absorption. Plus, sunscreen causes cancer through carcinogenic ingredients.

Avoid Toxic Sunscreens

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) approximately 75% of commercial sunscreens contain toxic chemicals that are linked to cancer and disrupt hormones.

Store bought sunscreens typically contain:

  • Retinyl palmitate, a known skin cancer hazard.
  • Oxybenzone, which disrupts hormones leading to cell damage and cancer.
  • Zinc and titanium nanoparticles are in colorless sun screen lotions.

Those and other chemicals rubbed on your skin are readily absorbed into your bloodstream and can be just as unhealthy and toxic as an oral dose.

The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) Hoax

An excerpt from a 2012 CNN article about sunscreens:

“The EWG said consumers should not purchase sunscreens with SPF greater than 50. SPF (sun protection factor) works by absorbing, reflecting or scattering the sun’s rays on the skin. It is very misleading to put high SPF numbers on labels because it gives consumers a false sense of security and doesn’t offer a lot more protection.”

While SPF 85 may sound like a lot more protection than SPF 30, the higher the number doesn’t always offer a higher return. Studies show that sunscreen with SPF 15 can block about 93% of all incoming UVB rays. SPF 30 blocks 97%. SPF 50 blocks 98%. The protective factors plateau from there.

“A product with SPF 100+ blocks about 99.1 percent of the UVB rays. You don’t really need a high number. They end up being expensive and don’t offer more protection than SPF 50. Keep in mind, SPF protects only against UVB rays.”

Coconut oil has an SPF of 10 which means 90% of beneficial vitamin D creating UBV rays are blocked. How many people know that SPF ratings do not indicate any protection from the highly damaging UVA rays?

Yet, the American Cancer Society advises to apply a generous amount of of toxic commercial sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure and minimally every two hours thereafter, reapplying after being in the water, sweating, and towel drying.

Choose Coconut Oil for Sunscreen Instead

Daily exposure to the sun is essential to your overall health; it’s the overexposure that could cause some issues. Sunshine exposure is the best way for your body to create health protecting vitamin D. To protect against sunburn, use a non-toxic sunscreen like coconut oil or opt for a low-risk, safe sunscreen that doesn’t contain health-compromising ingredients.

Bruce Fife, ND, author of Coconut Cures: Preventing and Treating Common Health Problems with Coconut Oil, explains that coconut oil applied on the skin protects against sunburn and cancer. Unlike sunscreen, unprocessed coconut oil doesn’t completely block the UVB rays that are necessary for vitamin D synthesis. It protects the skin and underlying tissues from damage excessive exposure can cause. Instead of burning or turning red, it produces a light tan, depending on the length of time you spend in the sun.

Fife asserts that “Consuming coconut oil also strengthens the skin and makes it more resilient and less prone to sunburn.” He warns against using hydrolyzed or processed oil. Just make sure the coconut oil is pure and not processed.

Additional Sources:

HuffingtonPost

NY Times

From around the web:

  • Paddy

    Even Arsenic? xD blind hippies. Not everything that is a chemical is bad (water, baking soda, etc) and not everything that is natural is good. (Arsenic, EVERY single type of animal venom, all sorts of poisonous substances in THOUSANDS of common plants, the sun causes skin cancer, you can’t drink sea water… Need I go on) get out of the narrow-minded nonsense! The world is not black and white, medical science is aware that nature has much to offer us, and a huge percentage of medicines are devoped from natural products. It’s not like a battle with “nature” on one side and “drugs” on the other. They’re not mutually exclusive. Some medicines are natural, but some natural substances are useless as medicine. “Holistic medicine” cannot be trusted unless it has a legitimate scientific study proving its effectiveness, why would you trust your life and your children’s lives to something that didn’t? Then again, if it were scientifically proven, it’d just be called “medicine”.

  • Minion

    For all the people saying that stuff you put on your skin can’t be absorbed into your bloodstream. Try putting one drop of LSD on your skin and see what will happen. I am sure you will change your opinion.

  • disqus_3Rwed7bHqV

    Here’s what
    Dr. Dave Mihalovic, ND, has to say about this sun/cancer disinformation:
    “Those who have attempted to convince the world that the sun, the
    earth’s primary source of energy and life causes cancer, have done so
    with malicious intent to deceive the masses into retreating from the one
    thing that can help prevent disease.”

  • wildsky

    Well, it’s very disappointing to read an article making health assertions with no reference to evidence to back them up. Such assertions are no better than some random person on the street telling you ‘the end is nigh’. Please do your research. I’d love to see evidence about coconut oil ,if anyone can post it here, please.

  • brosal

    Sun DOES NOT cause cancer, if it did then Egyptians centuries ago would have had cancer, as many indigenous people would also have had, Sun gives us vitamin D and PREVENTS CANCER!!! Stop telling us lies please….. What is put on our skin is also absorbed into our bloodstream. So I think you need to defend your business in chemistry less Amy and defend the general public and our health instead of conning us to sell more medical drugs!!

    • Paddy

      Wow, your reasoning is hilariously naïve. So completely misguided. You SHOULD be as angry as you are about being lied to, though, because you are SERIOUSLY being lied to, just not by who you think you are. You really need to grow up and get responsible and aware about the world around you. Not everything “chemical” is bad, in fact most chemicals ARE NATURAL. Which leads me to the other part that people like you don’t understand, not all natural things are beneficial to us, in fact, many things from nature are actually most likely to HARM OR KILL US. That’s right. Not all of what you thought was bad is bad, and not everything you think was good is good… Its almost as if… The world were not black and white?! Oh yeah also where the hell did you hear that Vitamin D prevents cancer? That’s hysterical. You hippies will actually buy anything, won’t you? xD

  • http://www.squidoo.com/the-best-natural-sunscreen-oils-safe-sunbathing-without-toxic-sunscreens monika64

    Not only coconut oil is good for sun protection, there are also some other natural oils that have even higher SPF: check it out here http://www.squidoo.com/the-best-natural-sunscreen-oils-safe-sunbathing-without-toxic-sunscreens

  • Pamela

    i have read that coconut oil has an SPF of 4 not 10.

  • Dave

    My sunscreen is Astaxanthin, that protect me from radiation and UV rays. I also use light clothing and use it accordingly as I feel I have received enough vitamin D3.

    • Dave

      For those that do not know about astaxanthin; Astaxanthin is a supplement that helps build my immune system. The same ingredient found in Salmon, Flamingos, Krill and other crustaceans.

  • Dave

    Amy the chemist, WOW! Was I surprised to read your comment.

    Let’s look at some facts; The sun is strongest near the equator. The people who live in the area wear shorts, short sleeve shirts or no shirts. The skin cancer rate of Africa is almost nil. Now compare this to African American’s, where there is a 75% higher skin cancer rate than Africa. Now is skin cancer about the sun or is it the diet and/or weaken immune systems, due to poor diets?

    • Paddy

      You don’t get skin cancer from a weak immune system, and diet is hardly the biggest variable which dictates the strength of the immune system anyway, so comment discarded. Clearly your information is not credible, or at least misleading. Also, you must be trolling regarding the Africa thing. Did it really not occur to you?

  • Joseph Bizjak

    coconut oil has a weary bad name and sad history told by big oil company’s in the last 60 .y because of this was almost totally eliminated from the production.. and no need to say more greed chain of evil to hurt ………

  • Dan

    SOME chemicals that contact your skin may pass through, but your skin also has protective barriers in place to help with this. There is no evidence to suggest wearing sunscreen causes (or doesn’t cause) cancer, but every evidence to suggest that posting that it does is simply a way of fear-mongering as Amy said. All they need to do is feed into your oh so eager brains the idea that chemicals are unconditionally bad and coconut oil is 100% better. Don’t get me wrong coconut oil is great stuff, but chemicals are just chemicals. Coconut oil is made out of….chemicals. It’s just another way to get you paying through the nose to use a product that doesn’t work quite as well because you have a boner for nature, which is where we get all our chemicals from anyway.

  • Dave

    The only sun screen I use besides light clothing is Astaxanthin. It will protect me from ultraviolet radiation, and help reverse the visible signs of aging, as well as protect my immune system.

  • Pangloss

    I do not understand the paragraph which begins “Coconut oil has an SPF of 10 which means 90% of beneficial vitamin D creating UVB rays are blocked.” I thought that you were RECOMMENDING coconut oil. This seems to say the opposite. Please clarify.

  • Toxicologist

    I am a scientist. I would like to see your 28 second rule. I am also a toxicologist, I would like to see the source for this statement. As a published and lettered member of the scientific community, we hear by request you stop using the term “Scientific fact” with out peer-reviewed published data to back that up.

    • Undecider

      Why don’t you give your “expert” opinion in skin absorption rates and for a variety of substances!?

      P.S. The “global warming” crowd kind of ruined the credibility of “peer reviewed.”

  • anonymous

    Anything you put on your skin will be absorbed into your bloodstream.

  • nat

    Seriously, this is what one would expect to be a good, logical, smart post: one from a chemist! Ok chemist: your skin is your LARGEST organ. Did you not have to take any sciences to become a chemist? Even if the article was not worth reading, it would still not have to be written by a Dr or a scientist to have accurate info. Think logically, this is common sense. What do you think happens to things that are put on your skin, after hours and hours, days, years, etc? Your skin is absorbent, and vice versa: ie: sweat. The article suggests coconut oil to be safe due to being free of all the other additives/preservatives. Besides this, coconut is bacteriacidal, virucidal, fungicidal. Why not use something so wonderful for you vs something we all know to be mostly full of ingredients that are harmful. Would you eat your sunscreen (you realize you CAN safely eat the coconut oil)?
    …Also, I am so very sorry for your loss.

  • Lori

    It does work. I happen to love coconut oil and use it a lot in several ways. Last year, I wanted to get a little color/tan at our pool and decided coconut oil would be nice to use since it’s nice on my skin and smells great too. So I used it for two days of spending time at the pool and I hardly got any color if any in instances of sitting outside in my bathing suit. I thought it was really strange and thought maybe the coconut oil is actually a natural sunscreen so I looked on the internet and found out it is. I am a testimony to say, yes, it’s true!!!

    • Paddy

      Are you aware of the concept of “anecdotal evidence”, and are you aware it is considered to hold absolutely no weight in anything? It does not, in any way, count as validation or proof. Let’s see your clinical study, that is proof.

  • Megan Houser

    This is only a half truth. Coconut oil is fine for fall and winter but in no way good for spring or summer. They have absolutely no links to credible references or research. Basically it’s a snow job. So how many got conned?

  • Cynthia Welsh

    back in the 70′s we used coconut oil in suntan lotions to tan faster!!!!

    • Paddy

      Exactly, it is tanning oil, which, as every idiot knows, is NOT the same thing as sunscreen. It more or less does the opposite. DO NOT do this and expect protection! Most sunscreens are perfectly safe. This article was written by a hippie chemophobe who believes that ever chemical is harmful just because it is called a chemical. I wonder of the author realizes that water is a chemical, or that THE SUN is way more likely to give you skin cancer than sunscreen. Every single stastic and study has shown this, but oddly, this article doesn’t cite a single reliable source or scientific study.

  • Herman

    Surly these authors should have a responsibility. Does nobody (Editor?) at natural society check the facts in these article!?

    • LeiAngel

      I have used coconut oil for a while now. It does work. In fact, my family and I went to a picnic and I was the only one with coconut oil on as I use it for other reasons. My entire family left with sun burned skin and I did not. I think that’s good enough for me. Organic coconut oil for my family from now on.

      • Paddy

        Anecdotal evidence may be good enough for you, and that’s fine, but most people would prefer facts, or things that actually count as proof like real scientific studies. Glad to hear you like it but scientifically it doesn’t make any sense. Coconut oil is basically tanning oil, which is NOT the same thing as sunscreen. Its as simple as that, it is NOT a replacement for sunscreen, because it doesn’t do the same thing. I mean, its great that you use the oil, though, because it actually is very very good for your skin in other ways, and is a decent tanning oil. This article just stretches the truth a little too much and fails to back any of its claims up with proof.

        • LeiAngel

          I don’t need studies and research and 1000 page papers to tell me it WORKS! As a sun screen, insect repellent, laxative I have tried it and it freaking works! Gheeze!! Always a sceptic out there. As with any suncreen it must be reapplied over and over again through out the day. I went the WHOLE summer without suncreen and I’m outside quite a bit. Instead of looking for your precious facts why don’t you try it. That’s all the proof you will ever need.

    • Paul

      It’s a fact that people use coconuts, oil or pulp, as sunscreen. It has been recorded and is still done.

      • Megan Houser

        People in tbe tropics use it but their genetics are different than the rest of us and are less prone to burn. That is no basis to state something as fact.

        • Paul

          Your statement doesn’t remove the fact that it is used.

  • Dano

    This guy’s an idiot. The proof is in trying it: and trust me, if you want to get a great sunburn use coconut oil!!

    • Graham

      Oh the irony!

  • Kachina Lively

    I Love Coconut Oil..however, remember this..so do bee’s…

  • Laura B

    Coconut oil ( & yes it was organic & the best on the market) DID NOT work well as a sunscreen at all. In fact, I used no sunscreen on my backside at all, fell asleep for over 40 minutes, and did not burn at all! The front side however, I did use my coconut oil as many suggested as a great sunscreen… and I am sun burned. Seriously, I have not sun burned ever like this, since I was a teen slathered in baby oil many years ago! I literally feel like I was roasted in the sun. The coconut oil definitely did not work for me. :(

    • fredrik

      Ive heard it got a SPF from 4 to 15 so if u use a sunscreen with spf 15 or more I would guess it aint just as good. Since you were burned after 40 mins I guess you were some place with strong sun. Also heard you should use it a while before to make it absorb into the skin. If it lays on the skin it might be like water, reflecting the rays and making it worse or equal.

  • Daniel Dalet

    Carrington Farms is NOT great quality oil.

  • Daniel Dalet

    Its not made up, only unregulated. Anyone can say extra virgin with no consequence… however there is a vast difference in coconut oils that are extracted with minimal heat and time for oxidation and those that are exposed to high heat and extended periods of oxigenation.

    In this sense, when picking an oil that says extra virgin, you should research the extraction process. Any reputable brand will tell you how they extract their oil. The thing is that there are very few “processors” in the world… most brands you see on the shelf are brokers of very similar oil.

    It is more than safe to assume that any oil that says “expeller pressed” is not extra virgin in the sense stated above. Cold pressed is also a very vague term, and in most cases will not be extra virgin.

    Of course now the problem is that people want the best, at the cheapest price. Coconut is a tough fruit to process correctly, take it from me. I see offerings on the market at prices that are rock bottom that can only mean it is refined coconut oil selling as unrefined.

    In short, yes the right type of Coconut Oil is miraculous. The less than the right type wont be good for you and can in fact be dangerous to your health.

    What to look for: 1. Look for a brand that freely talks about their extraction process and is transparent. 2. Look for Origin. 3. Look at price. (you get exactly what you pay for) 4. Look for taste, the coconut oil that smells the least of coconut and tastes the least of coconut, is the highest quality.

    I hope this helps a few of you.

    • slavko

      how can oil that smells the least or tastes the least of coconut be the highest quality? Sounds to me like you are trying to sell overly processed coconut oil that has the least of coconut in it.

      • Daniel Dalet

        Sounds ironic, but it is the truth. A strong coconut smell in virgin coconut oil is a dead giveaway for high heat processing. I am not trying to sell you anything. The highest quality oil will have a slight coconut smell. You have to be very well educated on the expelling procedures to understand why… But in short, it is a roasting effect of the solids of the oil before it is expelled that gives the oil the steering coconut scent… The higher the heat during processing, the stronger the scent of coconut, the lower the quality of the oil in every respect.

        You can purchase virgin coconut oil that says cold pressed and still be purchasing product that had been exposed to very high heat… Case in point, spectrum, Carrington farms. I would suggest going for a company that is absolutely transparent in their manufacturing procedures… Tough to find but rewarding in the oil that you get by an exponential factor…. But not cheap.

        • Nicole Cornejo

          Do you know of any brands that are of this high quality?

          • Daniel Dalet

            Nutiva and artisana are the closest I’ve tasted in the us, but they aren’t exactly transparent in their extraction process so I can’t be sure. Stay away from spectrum, or the generic brands from the retailers… Although cheap, they are of very poor quality…

          • freedomdove

            I like Tropical Traditions Gold Label (which is organic) and Dr. Bronner’s. Nutiva is also acceptable, IMO. Daniel’s right about at least one thing–Spectrum isn’t a good brand, in general. They are owned by a large corporation that isn’t really in business to make people healthy and happy, if you know what I mean. Unfortunately, they’re one of the only makers of non-hydrogenated solid oil, so I do purchase that when needed (which isn’t much–I still have a tub of it in my cabinet that I bought many years ago and I only use it to season my cast iron).

        • freedomdove

          You obviously have never had a really high-quality coconut oil processed the old fashioned way (and with heat–but not to boiling temp) because it does have a very distinct coconut smell; too much sometimes (when you don’t want that distinct flavor). Try Tropical Traditions Gold sometime, and you’ll see what I mean. The anti-oxidant level in this oil is far higher than the oils that aren’t heated, so your statement that heat-treated oil is sub-par just isn’t true.

          • Daniel Dalet

            You are incorrect. Take it from me. If it smells like roasted coconut, it’s been through significant hest, and thus is not virgin in the sense of the word that refers to the oil in its natural state.

            • freedomdove

              No, I’m not incorrect. Why should I take your word for it when I have experienced something for myself? The oil I spoke of doesn’t taste or smell like roasted coconut. It just smells and tastes heavily of coconut and it’s loaded with anti-oxidants. If you have a problem believing my word, go to their website yourself. They are very transparent about their processing methods.

              • Daniel Dalet

                Yes you are and you are providing people incomplete information. I cannot say how I know without it looking like I am promoting my brand, which I won’t do, since my intent is to help educate the public not sell my product.

                • freedomdove

                  You really should stop acting like you know everything since obviously you don’t. And stop continuing to tell me that I’m wrong when I have my own experiences that say otherwise. YOU are the one confusing people.

                  Did you bother to go to the Tropical Traditions website? Did you read about how they process all their different grades of coconut oil? Probably not, since you’re obviously a competitor of theirs….

                  Well, I’m telling you that I have read their webpages and I’ve also been a customer of theirs for 8 years or more and their Gold label is how I described it. It is processed the old-fashioned, labor-intensive way and its smell is very strong of fresh/fermented (not roasted or burnt) coconut; they heat their oil (under boiling point, though); and its anti-oxidant levels are pretty much the highest on the market (canceling out your statement that heat-treated oil is inferior). They use a wet-milling process for the Gold label that utilizes the *fresh* coconut. So contrary to what you’d like everyone to think, there IS a brand of high-quality VCO out there that is heavily scented and hasn’t come from high-temp-roasted coconuts.

                  Nutiva’s also smells of coconut. You know, the brand which you have previously recommended. Can you see why I think you’re confusing?

                • Daniel Dalet

                  I know TT quite well, you may like it, your choice. However the priori of that pull is not what you think because it uses the fermentation process that’s been around for a very long time. The long exposure to water brings the free fatty acid levels of the oil higher than average. Free fatty acids are molecules that result from the degradation of the original fat molecule. As such, these levels of ffa are a marker for purity. I’m not here to argue with you, I love that you are so passionate about the brand that you like. However, from someone who knows and is trying to get people to get the right oil in their hands, yes you are generally incorrect… A string roasted coconut scent may smell great to you, but without fail that oil will test very high in impurities via ffa. I also did not say to purchase nativa, I said it was the least poor choice in the states. Almost all of the oil in the states is purchased unlabeled and unbranded in the Phillipines. Inbox me if you would to go into a technical discussion of why and how oil gets the scent when the solids are heated to a degree threshold.

                • freedomdove

                  I’m not sure how many times I have to tell you this, but my coconut oil does NOT smell like roasted coconuts. They do NOT roast/dry their coconuts at high temperatures (for the Gold label). I do agree that most coconut oil on the market is shameful, but TT and Dr. Bronner’s are okay. I’ve also used Nutiva and find it acceptable. I happen to like TT most because of their practices (fair wages to the farmers, etc) and I like their Gold label because of how it’s processed. And FYI, the expeller-pressed oil doesn’t have as strong of an odor and it *has* been processed more in a way you describe, so really I have no idea how/where you get your information. You seem to have things backwards.

                • Daniel Dalet

                  I get my information from decades of experience in the industry, as a coconut plantation owner, a coconut oil processing facility owner and operator, a masters in chemistry and supporting resources related to our agroindustrial operation. I have not recommended any brand, I said nutiva and artisana smell and taste like they are ok. However, this may also be because they are adulterated or ‘mixed’ with milder palm oils. There are no controls in this industry for that, so you really want to find a manufacturer, as you suggest, that is really transparent with its extraction procedures. TT is a great brand and a great choice that fills in all those blanks, but that does not change the fact that they use the fermentation process for extraction. All extraction processes have their pros and cons: if you read what I am trying to say, you might learn a bit more about something you are really passionate about. Trust me, I love to see people passionate about VCO, since it is truly a fabulous natural product.

                  The fermentation process involves letting coconut milk separate naturally. This usually takes between 24 and 48 hours, depending on the average viscosity of the oil in that particular batch and the enzymatic levels of the solids in the water. From this point, the oil can be roasted or centrifuged. The pros of this process is that you can accomplish it with truly ‘zero’ heat. The cons are that the triglycerides, or fat molecules in the oil, start to break down exponentially faster the longer the oil is exposed to oxidation (water and oxygen). This leads to a product, that although could have been processed with very little to no heat, will have varying levels of purity depending on when it is consumed. Furthermore, this oil will never have the level of purity that an oil that was devoid of water within an hour of commencing the oxidation process. I didn’t want to get too technical on here, but this is hard science.

                  Is it better to buy TT than nutiva or artisana, OF COURSE, with TT you at least know what you are getting. Artisana and Nutiva, and most any other US brand are BROKERS, which means they buy unbranded and unadulterated coconut oil, which traders (who source the oil for brands) themselves say up to 70% are adulterated (mixed with other oils).

                  That being said, is TT the purest coconut oil on earth? No. For that you have to find a processor that expels oil at zero heat and in less than an hour (the fastest possible). This is expensive and requires a vertically integrated operation, however, under lab tests, this type of oil is 50 times purer on average, than what you can get like Nutiva, Artisana, etc.

                  So what is the effect of purity? The purity level directly correlates with the level of lauric acid, which when metabolized by the body and in interaction with sugars in the blood turns to monolaurin. Monolaurin offers the most benefit to our biology in consuming VCO. Nutiva, artisana, barleans, tree of life, most of which is the same oil and we tested in a lab setting, contain between 50-52% lauric acid content. Honestly, we have not tested TT for LA content, however the expelling process that isolates the oil from water and oxygen in less than an hour tests LA levels at 60-62%. This is considered close to maximum, as if the nut were still on the tree. This is a 20% premium on those ‘antioxidants’ you were talking about. In chemical composition terms, this is night and day between one oil and the other in terms of purity.

                  This is the truth

                • freedomdove

                  What’s your point again? LOL. From what I understand, the no-heat method is *not* superior to the process TT uses for their Gold Label (which is heating of the oil and not the actual coconut). I encourage you and anyone else interested to visit this page and read what they have to say about heat-treated CO since studies have shown that they have more anti-oxidant properties than non-heated oil.

                  http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/what_is_virgin_coconut_oil.htm

                • Daniel Dalet

                  Ok I give up.

        • Aaron Holmgren

          I have a tub of industrially processed, high-heat, completely refined coconut oil. It has no coconut smell or taste whatsoever.

          • Daniel Dalet

            Yes, refined coconut oil has no smell or taste.

            Virgin coconut oil should have a taste and smell, but the more subtly it is, the purer the oil and the lower the temp it was processed under (generally).

            • Daniel Dalet

              BTW, at least 70% of the Coconut oil that comes out of the phillipines and sold under “virgin”, is adulterated, meaning it has been mixed with refined coco oil or palm oil. Look carefully at the next jar you buy, if it says product of the phillipines, there is a good chance it is mixed. Worst part is there are no controls for this. How do you combat this? Buy from a transparent manufacturer directly. Consuming refined coconut oil is one of the worst things you can do for your health…

  • John Dough

    If you want to age your skin with UV rays, then take the advice in this article. Yes coconut oil does provide some protection. Other oils offer even better protection such as Buriti and Red Raspberry. These oils will NEVER substitute for a quality sunscreen used in the right amount. Non nano zinc oxide is best. And you most certainly don’t need the sun to get vitamin D. Supplements work just fine. This has been proven for many years now.

  • celiayounger

    DOES COCONUT oil protects from sun rays? or increases the color of the skin? I don’t think coconut i has any protection to radiation or rays. Am I wrong?

  • celiayounger

    are you sure of that? I know my mother uses oil (coconut) and helped her to get suntan quicker. but i don’t think it protected her. It will be nice that scientist really investigate this and what you say is true. Thank you.

    • Aaron Holmgren

      tanned skin protects you from burn

  • celiayounger

    I don’t think so. that’s only my opinion. any oil cooks your skin. It has to be a natural product that will cover and protect from sun rays. One thing you can do is cover your arms with a very thing -silk or… cotton, almost transparent- blouse.

  • Hennie

    I am a redhead..freckles and very prone to sunburn. I never sunbath, avoid sun at midday, but it is unavoidable in the Mediterranean to get sun. Face and arms are always exposed. Would you still recommend coconut oil?

  • Josh

    Whatever else the article may have gotten right or wrong, the claim that SPF is a hoax is based on a mathematical misunderstanding. By definition, SPF X means that X hours in the sun with protection is the same as 1 hour in the sun without. The numbers he gives simply prove this to be correct.

    So, according to the math, an SPF 10 would block 90% of the sun's rays. An SPF 30 should give us three times the protection. Does that mean it blocks 270% of the sun's rays? Of course not. By blocking 97% of the sun's rays, only 3% gets through, vs the 10% on the SPF 10. You're only getting a third of the sun's rays and therefore three times the sun's protection.

    In other words, after saying the SPF is a hoax, he immediately gives numbers to prove it right.

    • Anonymous

      The article doesn’t say that SPF is a hoax, the section is titled, “the SPF hoax.” The hoax is that consumers are led to believe a much greater protection factor is available in higher SPF products, not that the calculations are bogus.

  • ratp

    Other info I have read contradict the 90% stat listed above. Like this, which is worth further research for anyone interested: "Coconut oil protects the body from sunburn and skin cancer without blocking the beneficial UV radiation. Coconut oil doesn’t rely on blocking out the sun’s rays, it works by preventing free-radical reactions which lead to all the consequences caused by overexposure to the sun. So the SPF number of coconut oil is meaningless."

  • http://www.sunology.com/ Sean Carter

    Great advice. really learned a lot about the different numbers associated with sunscreens. We have been on the look out for the best natural sunscreen we could find. It really seems like the best option. Protecting ourselves this summer is the key !

  • Nicole Hood-Dolderer

    Love everthing natural

  • Elaine

    Amy, if you are a chemist, you should know that it only takes 28 seconds for anything you put on your skin to absorb into your bloodstream and that is a scientific fact. Go ahead and lather up!

    • Liz

      28 seconds? So I put this steak on my arm for an hour, but I'm still hungry….

  • Mary-Ann Young

    Hmmm, I'm a bit confused by the term "extra" virgin. Everything I have ever read about coconut oil states the same, it is a made up marketing term. This is one example http://www.coconut-oil-central.com/extra-virgin-c

  • tuco22

    An easier thing to do would be to just not "lay out" for hours on end and wear sun-protective clothing if you have a tendency to burn.

  • Moe

    Sorry. I said Google "no such thing as virgin olive oil." Of course, I meant "No such thing as extra virgin coconut oil"

  • Moe

    This is great information. Just one problem with the wording. Unlike Olive oil, the industry has never set a standard for Virgin coconut oil. It is basically Organic oil (no chemicals, etc,) Extra Virgin is just a gimmick by manufacturers to make it sound extra special. I don't trust distributors who use the Extra virgin term. Google "no such thing as virgin olive oil" and see what comes up.

    • Elaine

      Extra Virgin just means that it is not heavily processed and is in a more pure form. I reserve my extra virgin olive oil for salad dressings or drizzling over pastas. The coconut oil I purchase is 100% organic, pure, unrefined and cold pressed. Carrington Farms is the brand and I purchase it at Costco. A 54oz jar is only $15.99 If you have not yet discovered the joy of cooking with coconut oil, I highly suggest you try it! Oddly enough, it does not cause your food to taste like coconut.

  • Bob Cotton

    Another method I have used for over forty years of running is to take PABA pills. Adele Davis recommended this, and it has always worked for me, though I avoid extended exposure at midday. PABA is naturally present in the body, though it is not itself an essential nutrient.

  • Marji

    This is a perfect example of the problems with our educational system. There is very little 'critical thinking' going on here. To summarize the claims about sunscreen oils: (1) SPF 15 blocks 93% of all incoming UVB rays. (2) SPF 30 blocks 98% of same. (3) SPF 50 blocks 98%. HOW COULD COCONUT OIL WITH SPF 10% BLOCK 90% OF UVB RAYS? Come on you guys… do the math!

    • Guest

      SPF 10 blocks 90%, SPF 15 blocks 93% of all incoming UVB rays, SPF 30 blocks 98% of same, SPF 50 blocks 98%…
      Why are you confused by this progression?

  • Ned

    Um, I meant, If chemicals aren't absorbed through the skin, why is most testosterone replacement therapy applied through the skin?

    • Rich

      To be clear, you must have misunderstood. Chemicals emphatically ARE absorbed through the skin, here's a quote from the article above: "Those [ ie. Retinyl palmitate, Oxybenzone, Zinc and titanium nanoparticles] and other chemicals rubbed on your skin are readily absorbed into your bloodstream and can be just as unhealthy and toxic as an oral dose."

      The hormone replacement therapy creams are rubbed on to the skin precisely because the skin will absorb them quickly and efficiently.

  • Ned

    If chemicals aren't absorbed through the skin, why is testosterone most replacement therapy applied through the skin?

    • Elaine

      It only takes 28 seconds for anything you put on your skin to be absorbed into your bloodstream so it is best to only use natural and organic products. Sunflower oil is also good to use as a sunblock.

  • Paul

    'As I've mentioned on numerous other occasions, it's important to understand that chemicals are readily absorbed into your bloodstream and body through your skin. And sometimes this can be even more hazardous to your health than swallowing it.'–Dr. Mercola

  • Amy the chemist

    This is so bad! Sunscreen cannot be absorbed into your blood screen! The chemicals used in sunscreens are not harmful unless you start eating the stuff in cup fulls everyday. This is just fear mongering BS to make people read their articles. It was obviously not written by a scientist or Dr and is just a bunch of misinformation found on Google. This whole article is bullshit! Coconut oil does have some skin protecting qualities but it is not a replacement for your sunscreen. The SPF is used as a UVB rating but if the package says Broad Spectrum it has UVA protection too.

    The links are to sources on this website. I was to see the actual data. Sunscreen does not cause cancer. SUN DOES! I love my grandma and my grandpa-in-law to Melanoma.

    • Michael Ross Pomroy

      Amy Maybe you should go back to school. If chemicals applied to the skin cannot enter the bloodstream let me give you a test. Take a clove of garlic. Slice a place in your shoe. In about 15 minutes you will have garlic breathe.Explain haow this happens.

      Paul I have used Diatamatious Clay with the coconut oil to create a sunblock. Thanks for the article.

    • Matt

      Okay Amy, since cupfulls won't kill you please start eating spoon fulls of the stuff every day and report back. Sunscreen makes me feel bad, period. I don't need to be scientist to figure that out.

    • suss

      amy your a typical "brainwashed so called educated moron" love the garlic analogy btw!!!! ha ha ha sorry to be so mean but seriously i'm so sick of your "type" your "type" are the very reason mankind are killing us and the planet!!!!

  • Paul

    Paula – Yes, that sentence is correct: 'Coconut oil has an SPF of 10 which means 90% of the beneficial vitamin D creating UVB rays are blocked.'

    • suss

      i use coconut oil as my regular body moisturizer, then am i blocking vitamin d? i don't want to? or does the protection wear off fairly soon- i hope!!!

  • Shirley

    Should you re-apply after being the water?

  • Paula

    Coconut oil has an SPF of 10 which means 90% of beneficial vitamin D creating UBV rays are blocked.

    Is this sentence, in your post, correct?

    • Anonymous

      Cant even do a spell check let alone actual facts on the matter!

      • Anonymous

        You forgot the apostrophy in can’t. Ironically you can’t spell check either apparently.