ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Coconut Oil as Natural Sunscreen

Updated on August 14, 2013

Are you aware?

Did you know that natural oils can be used as sunscreen?

See results

Natural and Safer sunscreen

My daughter has been a member of their school’s soccer varsity team for three years now. She has been using sunscreen to protect her from UV rays every time they have a game. Truth be told, another reason I always make sure she has her sunscreen is because she is using whitening soap. My daughter, like me and my husband has dark complexion. Even though she has not been conscious of her skin color before, being a teenager now, she aims to at least lighten it even just a little by using whitening soaps. I have heard that when you are using whitening soaps on a regular basis, your skin is more sensitive to UV rays, hence the need for a sunscreen. As we all know, UV rays in small amounts are beneficial to people in the production of vitamin D, but prolonged exposure can affect our skin. According to, UV rays cause premature ageing, in which our skin becomes wrinkled and drier, and there is mottled pigmentation. Further, they stated that according to The Skin Cancer Foundation, “90% of the signs of ageing we experience are caused by skin damage from UV rays”, and that UV light also affects the cellular DNA of our skin which can lead to skin cancer. I have nothing against synthetic sunscreen, since I have mentioned above that my daughter has been using it for almost three years, and thankfully, my daughter has not experienced any skin problems that may be caused by UV rays. But I kept thinking about them being synthetic and the possible chemical compositions or ingredients that may have been used and the possible side effects of continued use, which prompted me to do some research on articles which discuss them and to try to look for natural alternatives which my daughter can use.

Physical and chemical sunscreen

I have come across one which states that there are two categories of sunscreen: physical and chemical (Loux, R., 2012). According to Loux, physical sunscreen, or sunblock, “contains natural minerals such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide that cover the surface of skin to physically block or reflect broad spectrum of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays, but, says that unless you’re using high-end physical SPF products, sunblock can be thick and messy to apply, and sometimes leave a white sheen and residue that can clog pores and require scrubbing and rubbing to remove.” Chemical sunscreen on the other hand, she says “contains synthetic ingredients such as oxybenzone and octinoxate”, which are absorbed into the skin protecting it from UV rays, including the deeper layers but can lead to skin irritation and other adverse reactions. “Plus, the ingredients can generate cell-damaging free radicals when exposed to the sun.” She added that other ingredients that should be avoided are Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate), Homosalate and Octocrylene.Loux adds that FDA studies show “that retinyl palimitate may speed the development of malignant cells and skin tumors when applied to skin before sun exposure”, Homosalate “accumulates in our bodies faster than we can get rid of it, becomes toxic and disrupts our hormones”, and Octocrylene “absorbs the rays and produces oxygen radicals that can damage cells and cause mutations” (6 Scary Sunscreen Ingredients and 6 Safe SPF Products, 2012).

Natural oils as safe alternatives

Instead of this chemical and physical sunscreen, my daughter, a dark skinned beauty, now uses virgin coconut oil now. It is readily available here in the Philippines, aside from being inexpensive and it has been proven safe because coconut oil has been used as sunscreen for a very long time now specially by islanders in tropical countries.Paul Fassa, in his article Ditch the Toxic Sunscreen, Use Coconut Oil Instead, stated that “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, and unlike sunscreen, unprocessed coconut oil doesn’t completely block the UVB rays, thus, our body’s access to vitamin D is not hampered. It protects our skin and underlying tissues from damage which is caused by excessive exposure, strengthens it and makes it more resilient and less prone to sunburn.” Blocking about 20% of UV rays when applied, coconut oil is effective enough when reapplied as often as you think necessary.

I am hoping that by using virgin coconut oil, the risks of my daughter getting skin cancer will be minimized, since she plans on playing soccer indefinitely. She is hoping that she gets to become a varsity player in college.

There are other natural oils that can be used as safe alternatives. has shared a list of natural oils along with their corresponding spf: carrot seed oil, spf 38-40; wheatgerm oil, spf 20; coconut oil, spf 2-8; macadamia nut oil, spf 6; shea butter, spf 3-6; raspberry seed oil, spf 28-50; avocado oil, spf 4-15; olive oil, spf 2-8; almond oil, spf 5; jojoba oil, spf 4. Other botanical oils that can be used as natural sunscreen are: cupuacu seed butter, grape seed oil, hemp seed oil, mango butter, rice bran oil and sunflower oil. These oils, aside from the fact that they are safe as sunscreen also helps our skin in terms of moisturizing, cellular growth and repair, anti-inflammatory and healing property, and anti-aging due to their anti-oxidant contents (Miller, S., 2012).


Loux, Renee. 2012. 6 Scary Sunscreen Ingredients and 6 Safe SPF Products. Retrieved at 8 August 2013.

Miller, Samantha. 2012. Natural Sunscreen Ingredients. Retrieved at 8 August 2013.

Fassa, Paul. (2013). Ditch the toxic sunscreen; use coconut oil instead. Retrieved at 8 August 2013.

(__). 10 Oils With Natural SPF. Retrieved at 8 August 2013.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)