Is Coconut Oil Good for Tanning?

Is Coconut Oil Good for Tanning?

Coconut oil has long been a natural, go-to solution for various skin care needs.

But is it effective when it comes to tanning? In recent years, there’s been some buzz surrounding this versatile oil as an alternative to traditional sunscreens and tanning oils.

In this article we will delve into the coconut oil craze and if it really is suitable for tanning or if its more of a sunburn risk!

Understanding Coconut Oil For Tanning

Coconut Oil For Tanning

Coconut oil has gained popularity as a natural tanning alternative, but there are myths surrounding its effectiveness as a sunscreen that need to be debunked.

Debunking Myths About Coconut Oil As Sunscreen

It’s time to address a common misconception: using coconut oil as a natural sunscreen.

While it is true that the oil presents numerous benefits for your skin, providing adequate sun protection is not one of them.

There is this pervasive myth that coconut oil can be an effective substitute for commercial sunscreens and protect us against harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Let me share my own experience. I once decided to go sunbathing at the beach with nothing but coconut oil slathered all over my body, believing that it would shield me from UV damage.

Much to my dismay, after only two hours in the sun, I was red as a lobster and had uncomfortable sunburned skin!

The fact is that despite claims of some SPF properties in coconut oil – ranging between 4-7 -, it simply does not offer enough protection against harmful UVB rays responsible for burns.

Potential Risks Of Using Coconut Oil For Tanning

It might be tempting to use coconut oil for tanning since it is natural and has a pleasant scent.

However, using coconut oil as sunscreen can actually increase the risk of sun damage.

This is because coconut oil does not provide enough protection from harmful UV rays.

Applying too much of this organic oil can clog pores and cause breakouts on the skin.

Also, when used in combination with prolonged sun exposure, it may lead to premature aging and uneven skin tone due to potential discoloration effects caused by heat from sunlight.

The Science Of How Coconut Oil Works On The Skin

Coconut oil is effective for the skin due to its rich content of medium-chain fatty acids, which are easily absorbed and strengthen the skin’s protective barrier.

This improves hydration and prevents moisture loss, promoting overall skin health. 

Coconut oil is also packed with antioxidants that shield the skin from free radicals and environmental stressors, minimizing premature aging and damage.

Its anti-inflammatory properties make it soothing and beneficial for conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

Coconut oil’s lauric acid has antimicrobial properties, which can help combat acne-causing bacteria.

With its multifaceted benefits, coconut oil is a good choice for skincare enthusiasts but leave it at home for your tanning sessions!

Alternatives To Tanning With Coconut Oil

Alternatives To Tanning With Coconut Oil

Instead of relying on coconut oil for tanning, here are some safer for-the-skin options that will protect you from UV rays whilst encouraging that glowing tan!

Sunscreen And UV Protection

Protecting your skin from the harmful effects of UV rays should be a top priority when it comes to tanning.

Sunscreen is a must-have item for safe and effective tanning, and you should choose one with an SPF factor that is appropriate for your skin type and level of sun exposure.

In addition to sunscreen, wearing protective clothing such as hats and sunglasses can offer additional protection against harmful UV rays.

It’s also important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water while spending time outdoors in the hot sun.

Tanning Oil with SPF

Using a tanning oil with SPF offers a superior option to coconut oil for achieving a safer tan.

These specially formulated oils combine the benefits of a traditional tanning oil, such as hydration and enhancing skin color, with the added protection of SPF.

By incorporating SPF into the oil, you can enjoy the benefits of a beautiful tan while safeguarding your skin from the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays. 

I would not recommend tanning oil for fair skin and only as an option after your skin has been used to the sun for a period of time such as a week or so to avoid sunburn.

Self-Tanning Products

As an alternative to traditional tanning methods, self-tanning products are a great choice for anyone who want a natural-looking glow without the potential risks of the sun or tanning beds.

These products come in various forms such as sprays, lotions, and mousses; they work by reacting with the amino acids in your skin to create a tan-like appearance.

It is important to choose a product that matches your skin tone and type for best results.

Additionally, be sure to exfoliate before application and follow all instructions carefully for even coverage.


In conclusion, while coconut oil has numerous benefits for skin health and care, it is not recommended as a safe or effective option for tanning. 

While some people may still swear by its effectiveness in promoting natural tans or alleviating sunburns, scientific research suggests that coconut oil does not provide adequate protection against harmful UV rays from the sun.

Instead, we recommend using alternative options such as sunscreen with an adequate SPF rating or natural tanning oils made specifically for safe exposure to the sun’s rays.

Remember to always prioritize your skin’s health over achieving a particular aesthetic look when exposed to the sun.

Coconut Oil For Tanning FAQs:

Does tanning oil contain coconut oil?

Not all tanning oils contain coconut oil.

Tanning oils can have various formulations, and while some may include coconut oil, others may utilize different oils for their moisturizing and tanning-enhancing properties.

It’s important to check the product label or ingredients list to determine the specific oils used in tanning oil.

If you are keen on using coconut oil for tanning, go for a branded oil that includes both coconut oil and SPF for the best of both worlds!

Will coconut oil make you tan faster?

Coconut oil does not contain any SPF protection and therefore does not offer any protection against harmful UV rays.

So instead of tanning faster, using coconut oil as a tanning agent will very likely cause your skin to burn quickly, resulting in very red skin instead of bronze!