Hi everyone! This is a new series that will be posted on Fridays, covering skin tips and DIY skin remedies that will help you stay flawless!
These posts will be short but full of useful tips and tricks, so make sure you check it out on the site every week. 🙂
Summer is my favorite season, and it’s finally here!
I’m practically a sun-flower: meaning that I’m happiest when the skies are a beautiful bright blue. I’m really looking forward to spending some days soaking up the sun, and for sure many of you are too!
For most people, summer is all about getting that perfect brown tan that will last you through winter, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, you still got to watch out for the sun….screen.
Most sunscreens/sunblock contain harmful skin chemicals.
Yes, that’s right. Sunscreen.
Did you know that most sunscreens and sun blocks contain toxic chemicals that can damage your skin? Especially if you have sensitive skin or eczema.
Research shows that the average sunscreen has a high contamination of toxins such as fragrances, parabens, alcohols, petroleum oils, and solvents that can irritate the skin and actually break down when exposed to sunlight.
This means that most typical sunscreens have chemicals that damage the skin, and can’t even adequately protect you against the sun and melanoma!
But what about more expensive brands?
Earlier I was reading this interesting article that discusses the dangers of using sunscreen:
The Environmental Working Group….has released an investigation of nearly 1,000 brand-name sunscreens that says four out of five don‘t adequately protect consumers and may contain harmful chemicals.
The article goes on to say that some of the leading brands like Coppertone, Neutrogena and Banana Boat are some of the poorest performers.
This means that even if you’re buying “top-of-the-line” sunscreen, you still have the chance of not being adequately protected.
A better alternative to sunscreens?
Instead of toxic sunscreens, I’ve been using coconut oil to tan and protect my skin while I’m in the sun.
In fact, many islanders in the Pacific have been using it for years. Coconut oil is 100% natural and free of toxic chemicals, affordable, efficient and smells great!
There are also healthy skin benefits to using coconut oil for tanning:
• Less peeling
When your skin is burned by the sun, the moisture is lost and your skin will start to crack and peel. This can happen even when you’re using sun screen, because as mentioned, the average sunscreen has chemicals that break down under sunlight.
Coconut oil, however, contains stable saturated fats that hold up well under high heat.
When you use coconut oil in the sun, these saturated fats form a protective layer on the skin that reduces the loss of moisture from your skin, leading to less peeling and drying. This works to retain the skin’s moisture, preventing the skin from being burned and cracked.
• Faster tan for less time in the sun.
Because you bronze faster with coconut oil, you don’t need to spend as much time in the sun as you would with sunscreen or sunblock.
Coconut oil activates the melanin below the skin quicker, creating that enviable tanned look in a shorter time. I’ve seen people lying out in the sun for hours, covered in sunscreen—as if that’s going to protect them fully from the UV rays.
Despite what most people think, if you want to get a tan, spending over 3 hours in the sun at once isn’t the best way.
Tanning slowly (especially for lighter skin types), is better for your skin and health. Spending 20 minutes in the sun with coconut oil at at time, taking breaks in between, will give you a better, darker, healthier bronze than lying out for 3 hours covered in sunscreen will.
• It doesn’t block natural Vitamin D.
Using coconut oil for tanning allows your skin to absorb natural Vitamin D, while most sun screens and sunblocks don’t.
Sunscreens and sunblocks usually work by blocking the sun’s UV rays, but the problem with this is that they also block our skin’s ability to absorb natural vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiencies are very common amongst patients with eczema, so blocking the sun completely might do more damage to your skin than good.
How to use coconut oil for tanning
Put the coconut oil all over your body just like you would with any sun tanning lotion or sunscreen. If you’re going to the beach or pool you can put it in one of those pump or spray bottles.
If it’s your first time using coconut oil, lather a generous amount all over your body and re-apply every 10 minutes.
Don’t stay in direct sun for longer than 20 minutes at a time, as the effects can vary from person to person depending on your skin type. If your skin burns fast, you might want to wear a hat or some protective clothing to shield you from intense rays.
Lastly, just remember that coconut oil does not protect you 100% from the sun’s rays, so you shouldn’t stay out too long with it in the sun.
15-20 minutes a day is all it takes to get a really deep brown tan and soak up an adequate amount of Vitamin D!
What’s the best coconut oil for tanning?
I’ve been getting a lot of readers asking what coconut oil to use for tanning.
Firstly, you need unrefined coconut oil. Only buy the ones that say unrefined/pure or virgin.
The refined ones won’t work as well because they don’t contain the necessary fatty acids, and you won’t get the same skin benefits (mentioned above) if you’re using a refined one.
Here are links to some of the ones I use whenever I want to get a tan!
1. Maldivan Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Luxury coconut oil from the Maldives! It’s a bit on the pricey side, but if you want a proper bottle (instead of carrying around a coconut oil jar lol), this is perfect! The packaging is very pretty, so it makes a pretty great gift!
2. Viva Labs Extra Virgin Coconut oil
If you can’t blow your budget, check out Viva Labs. It’s from the Philippines (land of coconuts!) and the smell is a lot more “coconutty”. Tropical island tan anyone? Click here to see reviews.
3. Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil.
Lastly, there’s Nutiva! This one you can find at almost any supermarket or health store, and it’s a good option if you can’t get the other two. However, it’s a bit more pricey than the others, so make sure you keep some for cooking! Click here to see reviews.
Did you enjoy this Flawless Friday post? If you used it, did you get a deep dark bronze? Let me know! Pin and share this article, or leave a suggestion below on what you would like to see next! 😀
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Love coconut oil! But on a side note, does Beachcomber budd coconut oil provide ANY useful qualities? I would assume because it is unscented that it is refined…?
To know if it’s unrefined, check the ingredients. The coconut oil should say Virgin or 100% pure. (Never tried Beachcomber budd coconut oil, but if the ingredients only say “coconut oil” without specifying what kind, then it’s probably refined.)
Great info! I’m sending this to some of my friends and family. They think I’m crazy when I mention what you mentioned. Thank you for this! Coconut oil it is ..
Do you put it on your face as well?
Hey Christina, I was wondering if mixing the coconut oil with sunscreen, would that better or not..thx
You could use a sunscreen first, and then put the coconut oil.
I would love to see the coconut products I like to buy that
My sisters baby started showing horrible signs of eczema all over his poor little body. She has since only used coconut oil in his baths. No soap no shampoo, just coconut oil. He has absulutely no sign of eczema now, and as you can imagine has beautiful skin. Well, you might think ” He is a baby, of course thats fine for him… He probably doesn’t need anything stronger to be clean.” Well, I also have started using coconut oil instead of soap on my skin while showering. I have been doing this for about 7 months. I can tell you that my skin is much happier! And I feel clean and smell great too. Coconut is amazing! Be Bold and be a Coco Nut!
I bought some extra virgin organic coconut oil today, it was only $4.99 for a large jar at my local grocery store, so I HAD to. I used it on my hair, and also on my skin because it is supposed to help with eczema (I recently starting getting eczema flare-ups), and let me tell you, it has already worked WONDERS! About 1 teaspoon covered my WHOLE body (I just dipped my finger in the jar and spread a little at a time). Also with my hair, I didn’t need more than 1 tablespoon! Now I am finding that coconut oil is great for cooking, sunscreen, hair heat protectant, growing your eyelashes, and so many other things. And the truly great thing, is that you only need small amounts to do a great amount! So, that $5 jar is going to give you so many uses, and it’ll probably last you anywhere from a month, to three months. I absolutely love it.
I think it’s great you use coconut oil for your eczema and so many other things! Definitely got to try the eyelashes one 😉
Ok so I have a question if you are going to a water park for like 3 hours and you are going to be in the sun for the majority of the time. Could I use coconut oil for a little while wash it off and then use sunscreen?
Just use coconut oil as sunscreen. It gives you a nice tan but I’m sure your method would work too
can you send me a picture of that jar?
Dose coconut oil give you a better tan the sunscreen
Hi Shelley, most sunscreens block the sun’s rays, and a lot of the average ones don’t hold up well underneath sunlight.
Using coconut oil for tanning will give you a much better tan, while its stable fats help you to peel less!
im usually pale do u think coconut oil will help me tan are will it not work on my skin
Hi Tiffany, if it’s your first time using coconut oil, lather a generous amount all over your body and re-apply every 10 minutes.
Spending 20 minutes in the sun with coconut oil at at time, taking breaks in between, will give you a better, darker, healthier bronze than lying out for 3 hours in sunscreen. Coconut oil also helps lock in moisture, so your skin won’t crack and peel as much: reducing burn too!
Let me know how it goes!
When you say taking breaks in between, how long of a break? one day, two?
I have really acne prone skin, but I really want to try this…I’m finally starting to get my face acne under control, so will this break me out if I use it?
I have the same issue! Since I turned 30, I’ve had acne flair ups and the coconut oil actually helps it. I also use Proactiv but I can’t use other moisturizers. Coconut oil is the only moisturizer I can use that doesn’t make it worse, so go for it!
Hi Brianna, it shouldn’t cause a breakout on your body, but if your face is sensitive, just try with a little at a time.
Let me know how it goes!
Can’t you recommend any?
Hi Steve, I just added links to the ones I use in the post. Check it out to see reviews!
Hope it works out for you, let me know!
can I use organic coconut oil?and does coconut oil protects from havent skin cancer?
Hi Angel, yes organic coconut oil is the best to use! Coconut oil doesn’t protect you 100% from the sun, so if it’s your first time using it, use a generous amount, wear protective clothing, and don’t spend more than 20-minutes at a time in direct sun.
Let me know how it goes!
hi my name is mary I just wanted to see if I can buy some coconut jars and was wondering where you buy them from?
Hi Mary, I just added links to the ones I use in the post. Check it out to see reviews!
Hope it works out for you, let me know how it goes!
Coconut should not cause you to have acne, I read where it is actually supposed to help with getting rid of acne. You should read up on what all coconut oil helps with. So many uses! I love it!
It’s great you love it too! I hope you can add tanning with coconut oil to the list of uses. 🙂
sorry… coconut oil lol
Chrisanna Fabela says
I use coconut oil for evetything i mix mine with vitamin e oil for tanning
That’s a great skin tip Chrisanna, thanks for sharing!
Will Fractionated Coconut Oil work too?
Hi we are going to the seaside tomorrow and was going to put my hawian topic dry spray oil 20spf on,I a quite tan on the upper half of my body but my legs never seem to take would this be ok to use to try and tan them abit
I already have natural dark skin I’m just wanting to get a lil darker does coconut oil protect you to much from the sun I usually use baby oil I have never had a sun burn and I live in Texas
Abigail Smith says
I’ve read that it blocks only 20% of the Suns UV Rays. I could be wrong however 🙂
I am loving reading this article and the additional comments being posted. It seems I used the “refined” coconut oil instead of the other types you recommended…I’m on vacation and only had that one. Will it do anything for me?
I don’t think it would be the same, as refined coconut oil doesn’t contain the same properties as the virgin coconut oil. You can try on a small portion first to see how you get along, or maybe you can find some where you are? Supermarkets usually carry it. Enjoy your vacation!
Berenice Sandoval says
Hi! Just wondering, I know you said just 15-20 minutes on the sun, but is that 15-20 on each side (Front and back) or for both? Thanks!
Hi! I suggest starting out slow: especially if you’re not used to tanning or being out in the sun without sunscreen. Maybe just 15-20 min total the first time?
Let us know how it goes. Enjooooy! 🙂
I use the 100% virgin coconut oil from maldives and let me tell you this, my skin absolutely loves it.
Abigail Smith says
ive just started to use coconut oil whist sunbathing and I’ve honestly found that it gives you a much faster and richer tan than bronzing oils do! It’s absolutely fantastic and I will have to start using it for all the other benefits that I’ve read.
Hi Christina,? I also just started using the coconut oil for my hair, and skin. It does wonders for the hair, helps it to grow faster, and is a excellent hair repair, my question is, when using it for taking I mix in vitamin E oil but was wondering what I can mix in to make it smell like the over counter suntan oils, such as banana boat.I over how that smells, so do you know what I can mix in to get that Hawaiian tropical smell?????
Hi Carla! Coconut oil is amazing isn’t it? To get that Hawaiian tropical smell, I suggest adding some vanilla essence or cocoa butter oil to accentuate the coconut smell. What do you think? Let me know how it goes!
What kind of coconut oil do I need to get from Walmart ?
Any virgin coconut oil will do!
I have LouAna coconut oil 100% pure. Is this good to use?
Yes that sounds good
Hi Christina, I was wondering what I can mix in the coconut oil to make it smell like tropical suntan oils such as banana boat. I love how those smell! ? I use the coconut oil for my hair also, it helps it to grow and a great repair for hair.. There are so many uses for coconut oil ,I love it!?
Zoe Karam says
hey, i was just wondering if other oils such as macadamia oil would have the same effect?
Cindy S says
Does it work with indoor tanning beds too?
erica brown says
Oils should never be used in a tanning bed. Of any kind. The oil will damage the acrylic in the bed costing you money and also reducing the effectiveness of the bed by leaving a permanent film not visible to the naked eye, blocking the proper uv rays from creating a tan.
But will it damage a stand up tanning bed since you wouldn’t be touching anything? I’ve heard bad things about having to clean the bed after but good things about the actual tanning…
That’s a great question!! I would love to see someone that knows give an answer..
Or if you have tried it since asking how did it work?
It’s actually mineral oil which is found in most moisturizes and suntan lotions that damage acrylic not organic oil. I’ve been use coconut oil in the tanning bed for years and haven’t damaged them oh my skin!
Can u use unrefined virgin coconut oil. In a tanning booth
Never heard of it, but I don’t think you can use oil in a tanning booth… Anyone else tried this?
At the tanning place I go to u can’t use’it
in the bed they won’t let u
Yes you can i do
Will the coconut oil help with a tan if I use it while running. And If i go for a long jog with it on will that affect my skin badly?
Ryan Dolezal says
How long of breaks should you take while tanning with cocunut oil. After the 20 minutes that is?
Jayne Bhardwaj says
100% pure raw cold pressed extra virgin Coconut oil is the best. I found that Tiana was personally the best one for me. And it’s a fair trade product. Also Vita Coco , which I found in Holland and Barratt. I also found the Tiana brand there too. So nourishing for the skin and hair, and smells divine!. I achieved a beautiful all over deep golden tan. And following other steps helped too. I did apply a spf sunscreen before applying the coconut oil. And used Aloe Vera as an after sun moisturiser. And lashings of 100% Vitamin E Oil. Happy thanning!.
Jayne Bhardwaj says
I found Tiana coconut oil the best with lashings of Aloe Vera after sun care. And lots of 100% pure Vitamin E Oil. Works wonders!
I am a big time fan of skin moisturizing.
I had dry skin issues for years, then I discovered a cool trick.
When in the shower use only mildly warm water, not hot water!
Then completely cover yourself with coconut oil while showering.
Then let yourself air dry, no towel drying.
Your skin just drinks the oil in about 10 minutes.
Hey, there! Is tanning with coconut oil any safer for your skin than tanning with baby oil? Because I know that oils concentrate the heat and can really damage your skin. A lot of cases of melanoma stemmed from tanning with oils. Any advice?
Hi! Not sure about baby oil, but coconut oil is safe to use because it properly hydrates the skin (avoiding water loss which is what leads to sunburn, cracking, redness etc.).
To your point about there being more melanoma from oils — I’m not sure this is necessarily true. The deciding factor in a lot of cases of melanoma comes from over-exposure to sun. If you are lying out in the sun for hours at a time (regardless of whether you are using oil or sunblock), then yes the sun can really damage your skin.
That being said, 10-15 minutes of sunshine a day, definitely won’t kill you! Otherwise a lot of our ancestors who didn’t have sunblock wouldn’t be here. 🙂 When I tan with coconut oil I usually only stay 10-15 minutes. My skin doesn’t burn because I’m not over-exposing myself to sun, and because the coconut oil keeps it hydrated. Hope this answers your questions!
Thanks for posting. I actually use coconut oil every day to moisturize both my thick / frizzy hair and my skin after showering. It works so much better than every general beauty product, costs less, and feels natural. The eczema on my skin goes away when I use it too. I’m happy to learn I can use it in the sun too, because sunscreens never seem to do the trick for me.
Funny that I found this great cluster of posts after using coconut oil today for tanning on a whim. I used 100% virgin coconut oil ($6 Trader Joe’s in glass) and I was amazed how tan I got in two 20 minute sessions. I got a base tan started, and will be doing 20 minutes everyday this summer (So Ca).
Vitamin D3 is so important for Breast Cancer Prevention, and sunbathing beats a pill. I looked up sunscreens on “Skin Deep” database, and that stuff is a toxic cocktail. I love the way coconut oil feels. I am also using it as an eye oil. BTW, I cover my hair and face with a lite towel, so I don’t dry them out from the hot sun.
Carla and anyone else into smells, I like them too, but stay away. Breast Cancer has been linked to many chemicals used in fragrances (I’ve got 15 years in BC Prevention Groups), so I like the advantage of a 100% clean coconut product. If you can ingest it, it is generally safe to put on your skin. Remember, your skin is your largest organ.
I’m a “seasoned” fit lady, who thinks coconut oil is much smarter than any alternative. Just tan slow and steady, and nourish your skin.
Will using coconut oil work better or the same as using a tanning oil?
Thought i would leave a comment regarding baby oil. I really wouldn’t use that. I used it a few years back when in the sun and it really damaged my skin. There are a lot of chemicals in it that really don’t mix with the sun. Coconut oil however is perfect and works great
I make mine using coconut oil, Shea butter and peppermint oil. It dies take time to melt the Shea butter and whip in the coconut oil and peppermint oil but I live in Central Texas where 100+ degree days are common. I love this combo. My tan is beautiful and I get lots of compliments. I also use it as a moisturizer after showers. It’s a win win.
Found an useful post!! thank you so much:)!
Hi I’ve been shopping for coconut oil and want to know whether there is any difference between the whiter substance and the clearer nicer looking one?
Coconut oil can turn white when it’s cold. And it’s clear when it’s melted. Is that what it looks like?
Hi! May I know where I can buy Maldivan VCO in the Philippines?
Emily Helvin says
Hey! I just did my first tanning session with coconut oil and plan on keeping it up and hopefully get great results as I’m basically a home-bound albino being lol
Question! How soon after using this tanning method can I shower? Thanks!!!
Tina Armenta says
I suggest shower and exfoliate before you tan, tan as normal, come in, lightly dab ur skin with a cool towel or spritz cool water with a spray bottle to cool skin down, then rub in another layer of coconut oil…then wait about 2-3 hours to shower. Then use MORE coconut oil after shower (just a thin layer) to lock in moisture.
Hey there! So will the coconut oil protect me from UV rays? Probably not completely, but enough so it doesn’t bring any harm to your skin? Thanks so much for sharing! I’ve never tanned very well using sunscreen, so hopefully I will see better results with this! Thank you!!!!
Hi, I use coconut oil for everything!! I friend if mine told me she melts the oil and puts vanilla extract in it and outs it in a spray bottle. Says it works amazingly.
Tina Armenta says
I adore coconut oil! I have dried flaky skin on side of my feet during winter time…i put it on my feet at bed time after washing and exfoliating, then slip socks on…gets rid of it 100%. In summer, i use it on my skin, my hair, my nails, just everywhere! I get mine at walmart…the great value brand…organic, unrefined, extra virgin…think was like $3.49 last jar i bought…i usually use like 2 jars a year coz a little goes such a long way!
If I’m at the lake during the summer and I’m outside all the time can I put coconut oil on all day and still get a tan ? And I have acne prone skin and I was wondering if I put the coconut oil on my face if it would make me break out worse? Because would love to get a tan on my face without getting acne.
If you have acne prone skin I wouldn’t use it on the face.
I wish ppl would read the whole article before leaving a comment.Christina actually stated everything ppl are asking about several times.especially about refined or unrefined coconut oil. Or where to get it. Please read from start to finish just saying.
You can also add iodine for an even darker tan. Use coconut oil on the dark circles under your eyes.