coconut oil as sunscreen?!?!?! - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 43 Old 07-08-2009, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
Chamsia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 401
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi all. My crunchy holistic vegan mama friend swears by coconut oil, of all things, to keep her family's skin safe from sunburn. Has anyone else heard of this? Of course I recall folks using coconut oil to get tan, to attract the sun to their bodies...

My friend said that the coconut oil doesn't stop the sun from getting to your skin, but somehow makes your skin tan instead of burn. She tested it on herself for over a year before using it on her toddler son. They certainly aren't burnt, and look tawny and healthy.

Has anyone else heard of this? Any dermatologists out there? It makes me nervous--we are of Swedish and Welsh stock=VERY vulnerable to sunburn! But the chemicals in sunblock (even "natural" brands) make me nervous too. Mostly we cover up, but for swimming and what not we do need protection.

Anyone?

Thanks, and happy summer!
Chamsia is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 43 Old 07-08-2009, 09:24 AM
 
ishyfishie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: WNY
Posts: 796
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Subbing, I'm interested in the responses! However, from what I understand, ANY change in skin color from the sun is a sign of damage, to whatever extent--so causing the skin to tan instead of burn is preventing maybe more severe damage, but it's not a "good" thing. As much as I don't like using chemical sunscreens, we're also super pale and the sunscreen prevents burns and tanning so is helping prevent any of that damage that can lead to skin cancer, not just the burns.

Rachel, mama to Lucy, born 9.9.07, and Caroline, born 2.25.10!
ishyfishie is offline  
#3 of 43 Old 07-08-2009, 09:33 AM
 
Ceili's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Bliss
Posts: 1,655
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I put long sleeve "rash guard" shirts on my ds when he's swimming and they work great. I'm skeptical about the coconut oil idea, even if it's blocking the UV rays that burn, that doesn't mean it's blocking the UV rays that cause skin cancer.

Is your friend fair-skinned? I have several friends that laugh at how covered up I keep myself and ds, but none of them are fair-skinned irish kids like me and none of them have to make semi-annual trips to the dermatologist for mole checks.
Ceili is offline  
#4 of 43 Old 07-08-2009, 09:40 AM
 
jeminijad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 896
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am familiar with the contention that eating of generous amounts of coconut oil- and other saturated but undamaged, unprocessed fats- will render you less susceptible to sun damage and its long term outcomes. Supposedly we are suffering from skyrocketing skin cancer rates partly because we've been eating processed commercial polyunsaturated fats that are unstable (oxidize quickly) and they have ended up in our skin, rendering it unable to react to sunlight in the way it is supposed to...

Maybe your friend eats this way, also, in which case her topical coconut oil may or may not actually help but then there may be a piece if this I am missing...

Mother to R- 2/09, & C- 5/11

jeminijad is offline  
#5 of 43 Old 07-08-2009, 12:01 PM
 
prescottchels's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Swimming in essential oils
Posts: 1,604
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
subbing

Former Nanny Extraordinaire, looking forward to being a Mama! treehugger.gif I love Organizing & being a Health & Wellness Coach eat.gif & I'm crunchy granola as long as it's organic and certified gluten free. GF since March '08 yummy.gif. Willoughby Nov '11  cat.gif TTC #1-still, again, some more, & seriously pondering adoption. 
prescottchels is offline  
#6 of 43 Old 07-08-2009, 12:22 PM
 
neverdoingitagain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: mountain/cow country in Canada
Posts: 2,226
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We used cocunut oil instead of sunscreen this year. I usually burn on my shoulders if I spend more than an hour outside. This year, I didn't. I have a tan for the first time without getting burned.
We're fairly deficient in vitamin D in my family, we need to be out in the sun more often. The difference in everyones mood since spending more time in the sun has been drastic.

waiting on the power of the three wolf moon. 
neverdoingitagain is offline  
#7 of 43 Old 07-08-2009, 12:42 PM
 
oceanbaby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 11,167
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ishyfishie View Post
Subbing, I'm interested in the responses! However, from what I understand, ANY change in skin color from the sun is a sign of damage, to whatever extent--so causing the skin to tan instead of burn is preventing maybe more severe damage, but it's not a "good" thing.
This was my understanding as well.
oceanbaby is offline  
#8 of 43 Old 07-08-2009, 12:43 PM
 
frogautumn's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,356
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeminijad View Post
I am familiar with the contention that eating of generous amounts of coconut oil- and other saturated but undamaged, unprocessed fats- will render you less susceptible to sun damage and its long term outcomes. Supposedly we are suffering from skyrocketing skin cancer rates partly because we've been eating processed commercial polyunsaturated fats that are unstable (oxidize quickly) and they have ended up in our skin, rendering it unable to react to sunlight in the way it is supposed to...

Maybe your friend eats this way, also, in which case her topical coconut oil may or may not actually help but then there may be a piece if this I am missing...
I've heard this too. As for the topical coconut oil, I imagine there's something to it...I may be willing to test the theory on myself for an hour in the backyard, but probably not for a full day at the beach...
frogautumn is offline  
#9 of 43 Old 07-08-2009, 01:33 PM
 
AbiSolsticebaby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 137
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Where are the scientists mamas out there?? I SO want this to be true, I would love to smell like coconuts vs. nasty sunscreen, ahh so tropical. In science classes I have taken we learned about caroteins(orange veggies)preventing sunburn but not coconuts. I would love to learn more.
AbiSolsticebaby is offline  
#10 of 43 Old 07-08-2009, 02:04 PM
 
tanyam926's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 1,508
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am more willing to believe that our diets (like a pp mentioned) have more to do w/the rising skin cancer rates and our body's inability to handle the sun, than the theory that the sun is bad.

I just can't fig out why humans would be put on the earth w/sun, have to work and live in sun exposure when it would be so bad for us. What did people do thousands of yrs ago?

I am almost sure that there isn't any scientific data on this however bc there's no money in proving that sunscreen isn't necessary and processed food is bad.

Wife to dh, Mommy to ds1 12/2002, ds2 9/2005, and ds3 9/2008.
tanyam926 is offline  
#11 of 43 Old 07-08-2009, 02:04 PM
 
blueridgewoman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,805
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I've tried it and gotten burned, but I'm pretty D deficient so that might have a lot to do with it. I'm also Irish, with skin so pale that it's sometimes blue.

This thread reminded me to take my CLO.

ETA: And YES- right on, tanyam926.

mom to one glorious sweetpea born 10/18/2007.

blueridgewoman is offline  
#12 of 43 Old 07-08-2009, 02:19 PM
 
sapphire_chan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 27,052
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tanyam926 View Post
I just can't fig out why humans would be put on the earth w/sun, have to work and live in sun exposure when it would be so bad for us. What did people do thousands of yrs ago?
Died before it mattered.
sapphire_chan is offline  
#13 of 43 Old 07-08-2009, 02:21 PM
 
Bri'sgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 616
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tanyam926 View Post
I am more willing to believe that our diets (like a pp mentioned) have more to do w/the rising skin cancer rates and our body's inability to handle the sun, than the theory that the sun is bad.

I just can't fig out why humans would be put on the earth w/sun, have to work and live in sun exposure when it would be so bad for us. What did people do thousands of yrs ago?

I am almost sure that there isn't any scientific data on this however bc there's no money in proving that sunscreen isn't necessary and processed food is bad.
I completely agree with this! In my experience, I've usually burnt pretty bad in the past. But, this year I've been eating a lot less processed foods with more healthy saturated fats, including coconut oil. All summer, I have only gotten one sunburn, but it went away so quickly. Usually when I burn, it's there for at least a week, but this was gone by the next day...and I almost wouldn't call it a burn, because it was just a little pink. I haven't tried the topical coconut theory yet, but I think I'll give it a go this week. Will post results in a week!

Wife to Bri, mom to G (8), R (6), I (5). Expecting #4 - 8.16.11
Bri'sgirl is offline  
#14 of 43 Old 07-08-2009, 02:24 PM
 
aja-belly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: North of Dallas, TX
Posts: 2,230
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
putting oil on your skin magnifies the rays hitting your skin. you would get more tan, but it's certainly not protecting your skin from the sun.

Mama to Jet 6/05, Marvel 8/06 and Cash and Fox 2/09
Expecting Ada Marianne 11/14
aja-belly is offline  
#15 of 43 Old 07-08-2009, 02:34 PM
 
JessicaS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 42,897
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Coconut oil does not contain any sunscreen properties.

Cocoa butter does, but it is not significant enough to matter.

Not all those who wander are lost 
JessicaS is offline  
#16 of 43 Old 07-08-2009, 02:37 PM
 
JessicaS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 42,897
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tanyam926 View Post
I am more willing to believe that our diets (like a pp mentioned) have more to do w/the rising skin cancer rates and our body's inability to handle the sun, than the theory that the sun is bad.

I just can't fig out why humans would be put on the earth w/sun, have to work and live in sun exposure when it would be so bad for us. What did people do thousands of yrs ago?

I am almost sure that there isn't any scientific data on this however bc there's no money in proving that sunscreen isn't necessary and processed food is bad.
Our ozone layer was thicker then.
jksmith likes this.

Not all those who wander are lost 
JessicaS is offline  
#17 of 43 Old 07-08-2009, 02:42 PM
 
Zenful's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: in my center, my true home
Posts: 193
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've heard neem oil is supposed to be a really good natural alternative to sunscreen...haven't put it to the test but it was highly recommended by our holistic pediatrician. I remember her saying that coconut oil is good for when you're going to be exposed to chlorine, like in public pools and such. If you smear it on your skin before you go in the pool then it will help you not absorb nearly as much as you would normally. I haven't heard it being used as sunscreen, though...
Zenful is offline  
#18 of 43 Old 07-08-2009, 02:46 PM
 
JessicaS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 42,897
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenful View Post
I've heard neem oil is supposed to be a really good natural alternative to sunscreen...haven't put it to the test but it was highly recommended by our holistic pediatrician. I remember her saying that coconut oil is good for when you're going to be exposed to chlorine, like in public pools and such. If you smear it on your skin before you go in the pool then it will help you not absorb nearly as much as you would normally. I haven't heard it being used as sunscreen, though...
Neem oil has like 1-2 spf, not effective sunscreen

Neem does make a good insecticide though I use it when one would use spray on bug stuff.

Not all those who wander are lost 
JessicaS is offline  
#19 of 43 Old 07-08-2009, 02:49 PM
 
AlexisT's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Central PA
Posts: 2,208
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I remember the suntan oil my mom used when I was little had coconut oil in it.

As for what our ancestors did... my pale skinned ancestors lived at 50 degrees latitude. It makes a substantial difference.

DD 01/2007, DS 09/2011

AlexisT is offline  
#20 of 43 Old 07-08-2009, 03:00 PM
 
kmeyrick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,813
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
With travel being a big part of our history, here's something to consider-

Most people's skin tones were designed to match our original environments. Swedish folks are fairer to get vitamin D in the Arctic, and Kenyans are darker to protect their bodies from the sun. So since we've all traveled and migrated and relocated- well, Irish people in Texas need to watch out! The climate is beyond what their skin can handle!

Also, being black or dark skinned is not a guarantee of your safety. If you rip off your bikini and see a tan line, you have damaged your skin. Proceed with caution.

Cocoa anything does not protect you from harmful UVA/UVB rays, which is what you want to avoid.

That said, I tanned a little this year, because I wanted to clear my skin, and it has worked. My mom was dumb and let me tan as a little kid, for which I could hit her with a wet noodle for.

Children may tan beautifully but you are doing MAJOR damage to their skin later in life by letting them do so. They should never, ever burn or tan if you can avoid it.
kmeyrick is offline  
#21 of 43 Old 07-08-2009, 03:25 PM
 
aja-belly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: North of Dallas, TX
Posts: 2,230
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by abimommy View Post

Neem does make a good insecticide though I use it when one would use spray on bug stuff.
i hadn't heard that. does it smell awful?

Mama to Jet 6/05, Marvel 8/06 and Cash and Fox 2/09
Expecting Ada Marianne 11/14
aja-belly is offline  
#22 of 43 Old 07-08-2009, 03:56 PM
 
JessicaS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 42,897
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by aja-belly View Post
i hadn't heard that. does it smell awful?
It does smell awful...like garlicy sulfur. I would recommend adding scent.

Not all those who wander are lost 
JessicaS is offline  
#23 of 43 Old 07-08-2009, 04:38 PM
 
Bri'sgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 616
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Just don't use neem oil when you're pregnant, because it can cause miscarriages.

I've always heard that pure virgin coconut oil has a natural spf of 4. I'll look for links and references when I have a chance.

Wife to Bri, mom to G (8), R (6), I (5). Expecting #4 - 8.16.11
Bri'sgirl is offline  
#24 of 43 Old 07-08-2009, 04:56 PM
 
JessicaS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 42,897
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It doesn't have any.

Cocoa butter has negligible sunscreen properties and Avocado butter has some natural sunscreen properties (I think about spf 4? Not really enough to recommend it for that purpose)

Sure, coconut oil is good for your skin, hair and body but it contains NO sunscreen properties.

If you are looking for safe sunscreen I like using the Cosmetic Safety Database.

http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/wor...oducts&start=0

Not all those who wander are lost 
JessicaS is offline  
#25 of 43 Old 07-08-2009, 06:38 PM
 
DevaMajka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Burnaby, BC
Posts: 10,344
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
moving to natural body care

Becky, partner to Teague, SAHM to Keagan (7yo), Jonah (2yo)
 

DevaMajka is offline  
#26 of 43 Old 07-08-2009, 07:42 PM
 
CorasMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Standing on my head
Posts: 2,353
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceili View Post
I put long sleeve "rash guard" shirts on my ds when he's swimming and they work great. I'm skeptical about the coconut oil idea, even if it's blocking the UV rays that burn, that doesn't mean it's blocking the UV rays that cause skin cancer.

Is your friend fair-skinned? I have several friends that laugh at how covered up I keep myself and ds, but none of them are fair-skinned irish kids like me and none of them have to make semi-annual trips to the dermatologist for mole checks.
this is all good! but not only those of us who glow in the dark get damaged by the sun; we just show it quicker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeminijad View Post
I am familiar with the contention that eating of generous amounts of coconut oil- and other saturated but undamaged, unprocessed fats- will render you less susceptible to sun damage and its long term outcomes. Supposedly we are suffering from skyrocketing skin cancer rates partly because we've been eating processed commercial polyunsaturated fats that are unstable (oxidize quickly) and they have ended up in our skin, rendering it unable to react to sunlight in the way it is supposed to...
I would like to see some science on this. It really doesn't make any sense to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tanyam926 View Post
I just can't fig out why humans would be put on the earth w/sun, have to work and live in sun exposure when it would be so bad for us. What did people do thousands of yrs ago?
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
Died before it mattered.
got it in one!
Quote:
Originally Posted by abimommy View Post
Our ozone layer was thicker then.
that, too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmeyrick View Post
Children may tan beautifully but you are doing MAJOR damage to their skin later in life by letting them do so. They should never, ever burn or tan if you can avoid it.
:

I can't say this clearly enough. A tan IS a burn. It's just a matter of degree, but there's no such thing as "the glow of a healthy tan"

scifi-convention runners Kate, DH Drew 11/07, DD Cora 12/97. We , ,
Welcome to baby Fiona with a giant omphalocele, 6/17/10!
CorasMama is offline  
#27 of 43 Old 07-08-2009, 11:36 PM
 
savithny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,732
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexisT View Post
I remember the suntan oil my mom used when I was little had coconut oil in it.

As for what our ancestors did... my pale skinned ancestors lived at 50 degrees latitude. It makes a substantial difference.
And our ancestors did not spend a lot of time in their huts, out of the sun. Northern ancestors were outside a lot from the time the sun was too weak to burn them, day in and day out. This meant that they built up a protective tan very slowly. Tanning is still not good for the skin, but tanning tends to cause the kinds of skin cancers that grow much more slowly. Burning -- which is what happens when you suddenly throw off your coats and start running around in the sun -- is more likely to cause melanomas, which kill you much faster.

You'll notice that traditional people closer to the equator who were lighter skinned frequently adopted full-coverage clothing, too. The traditional dress of the arab nomads, for example...

savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).

savithny is offline  
#28 of 43 Old 07-09-2009, 06:38 AM
 
CorasMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Standing on my head
Posts: 2,353
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The protective, aka "base" tan, is a myth. Sun damage is sun damage. As was said upthread, there are more likely explanations for the upswing in skin cancer. Also, where are these records that people kept of causes of death in the long-ago-days when people didn't die of skin cancer?

scifi-convention runners Kate, DH Drew 11/07, DD Cora 12/97. We , ,
Welcome to baby Fiona with a giant omphalocele, 6/17/10!
CorasMama is offline  
#29 of 43 Old 07-09-2009, 09:51 AM
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Not in a bubble!
Posts: 1,769
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post
You'll notice that traditional people closer to the equator who were lighter skinned frequently adopted full-coverage clothing, too. The traditional dress of the arab nomads, for example...
For sure. This summer we have been trying to keep our Scottish/English/German/Danish skin covered up from 11am-3pm. It has been working well although we sill have farmers tans. :

Wearing long sleeves and pants is actually cooler in the hot sun as well.

I eat a lot of CO and even have CO in my homemade lotion but my skin still burns really bad in the hot sun.
ParisApril is offline  
#30 of 43 Old 07-09-2009, 10:59 AM
 
savithny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,732
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by CorasMama View Post
The protective, aka "base" tan, is a myth. Sun damage is sun damage. As was said upthread, there are more likely explanations for the upswing in skin cancer. Also, where are these records that people kept of causes of death in the long-ago-days when people didn't die of skin cancer?
I agree-- the point was that slow-tanning tends to result in a different kind of skin cancer, which doesn't kill as fast (and, in the Olden Days, was less likely to kill you before you died of something else). In the modern era, sunburns went way up, resulting in more melanoma which is more "noticeable" a cancer, if you will...

And you're right, too, that records on cause of death aren't so good for the Good Old Days. I've gone digging on that. It's hard, when the parish register says some guy died of "The black spit" or "The bloody flux" if he had a disease or if he had cancer rotting his guts out.

savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).

savithny is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off