With summertime well and truly here we turn our thoughts to the body beautiful, getting fit and looking good! And like most people living in the UK we cant wait for the opportunity to get out into the sunshine. The sun being extremely powerful needs to be treated with the up most respect, even on a cloudy overcast day the sun has the potential to burn!! So lets talk about coconut oil for sunscreen protection.
Now there are hundreds of thousands of blogs and posts out there as you would expect all with conflicting views and theory’s on whether or not coconut oil can be used as a sunscreen, having done a little bit of our own research we thought we would contribute our thoughts and would love to hear yours.
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.
It is the ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun that can be extremely harmful and cause your skin to burn. The sunscreen lotions we buy to protect ourselves are designed to either penetrate the outermost layer of the skin to absorb UV rays or coat the surface of the skin to act as a physical barrier to the UV rays and they are given a sun protection factor (SPF) rating.
Here’s what we found out….
A sunscreen with an SPF factor of 85 may sound like a lot more protection than sunscreen with a SPF 30 factor, the higher the number Dosen’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 SPF. They end up being costly and don’t offer anymore protection than SPF 50. Keep in mind, SPF protects only against UVB rays.
How many people do you think know that SPF ratings do not indicate any protection from the highly damaging UVA rays?
Makes you wonder doesn’t it?
Apparently only 25% of sunscreens on the market are effective and work without potential harmful chemicals. The chemical compounds that make up the majority of SPF lotions are mostly synthetic and will have a highly toxic affect on and in the body.
Look out for these chemicals when buying your lotion:
Retinyl palmitate, a known skin cancer hazard, Oxybenzone, which disrupts hormones leading to cell damage and cancer and Zinc and titanium nano particles which are found in colourless sun screen lotions. These 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.
I guess its true what they say “Always read the label”!!
Coconut Oil has an SPF factor of around 10 which is why even today many sun screen lotions include coconut oil in their formulas. Coconut oil has an amazing ability to heal the skin and block the damaging effects of UV radiation from the sun. One of the reasons why it is so effective in protecting the skin is its antioxidant properties, which helps prevent burning and oxidative damage that promotes skin cancer.
So why is it that it works on some people and not on others?
The effectiveness of coconut oil in protecting you from sunburn depends also on your diet.
In his book the Coconut Oil Miracle, Dr Bruce Fife says that when you eat large amounts of unsaturated oils they will remain in your skin tissues. This is particular with polyunsaturated oils as they are often hydrogenated and even rancid. Unsaturated oils are also heat and light sensitive (will oxidise easily). These oils are highly vulnerable to peroxidation and contribute to the cause of sunburn.
So to get the great affects of coconut oil as a natural sunscreen keep your diet free from unhealthy fats and oils. Your skin can then remain clean and free from the micro-fungi and bacteria that these displaced oils will create on your skin. It will also be useful to use coconut oil as a moisturiser and to exfoliate regularly.
If you are not used to getting a lot of sun it’s a good idea to limit your exposure to start with as your body needs to get used to producing it’s natural protective layers. Your body needs to build up it’s natural tolerance.
It is also important to use coconut oil for cooking and consume coconut oil daily as this will help to detox your body, and most of all by using it as a cooking oil, you will stop ingesting ‘displaced oxidised oils’. When an unsaturated oil is heated it becomes displaced and highly toxic in the body, this toxicity will then contribute to the cause sunburn.
We all deserve a little sunshine in our lives but we also need to stay safe, Bouoli organic virgin coconut oil we believe makes a perfect base for your skin whatever the weather but as a sunscreen we think it really boils down to the individual and would always recommend seeking professional advice in choosing the right protection for your particular skin type. Were all different with different levels of tolerance but the sun certainly wont discriminate.