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Coconut Oil In Sunscreen: Beneficial OR Harmful?

Coconut oil has been used for decades as an effective and relatively inexpensive moisturizer for skin, hair and nails due to its ability to lock in moisture and maintain the protective skin barrier.

Containing lauric acid, coconut oil lubricates and softens the skin while also functioning as a mild antiseptic and normalizes the skin’s pH level—excellent qualities for healing.

DIY homemade coconut oil sunscreens are increasingly popular on blogs and in social media. With a favorable scent and with natural botanical ingredients, these are sought after.

However, the reality is coconut oil is not an effective sunscreen and provides poor sun protection.

Coconut oil only blocks less than 20% of the sun’s rays (SPF 7 vs recommended SPF 30 by the American Academy of Dermatology). Despite combining coconut oil with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, the potency and stability of these homemade sunscreens with combined ingredients and when exposed to sunlight is unpredictable and often result in the dreaded sunburns!

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