Is Coconut Oil a Sunscreen? Here’s All the Information You Need

Sunscreen is a must-have in any skincare routine. They protect from ultraviolet radiation during exposure to sunlight. However, some of these creams contain heavy chemicals that have made some people turn to natural oils like coconut oil, which have the potential to work as sunscreen.

But there are a lot of questions about using coconut oil as sunscreen. Many sunscreens manufacturers use coconut oil alongside other ingredients in their formula to protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation. But does coconut oil alone suffice for sunscreen?

There’s only one way to find out. Continue reading to see answers to your questions on whether coconut oil is fit for sunscreen or not.

Is Coconut Oil a Sunscreen?

Coconut oil is a natural oil that has sunblock properties. It can hold off about 20% of ultraviolet radiation that can harm your skin. It makes the list of DIY sunscreens that some people have chosen to make a substitute for store-bought sunscreens.

However, experts advise against using natural oils as sunscreen. This is because it can only block 20% of the UV rays the skin is exposed to. Coconut oil is not yet confirmed as a sunscreen, despite its ability to serve as a UV filter.

Researchers say that they have not found anything that validates coconut oil to have the ability to absorb and block UV rays. For these reasons, coconut oil is not an ideal sunscreen for the skin.

However, this oil works well as hair sunscreen. It works together with a deep conditioning treatment to protect your hair from ultraviolet radiation which can make your hair frizzy and lose its elasticity.

SEE: How to Use Coconut Oil for Hair Growth- Here’s the Best Treatment Method for You

What SPF Is Coconut Oil?

Coconut oil has SPF between 3-8, which is nothing compared to the least recommended SPF. This value affirms that coconut oil can only do so little when you’re exposed to prolonged hours of training in the sun.

Moreover, this SPF value reveals that it cannot block UV rays for too long. This means that you’ll have to reapply coconut oil while you’re outside. Also, the SPF value of coconut oil makes it unfit for blocking UV rays of high intensity.

Is It Good to Use Coconut Oil as Sunscreen?

You can use coconut oil as sunscreen if you won’t be in the sun for long hours. The SPF value of coconut oil shows that it cannot hold off so much UV rays nor can it provide much protection. Experts advise against using coconut oil alone as sunscreen.

You can merge it with other oils like jojoba oil, avocado oil, and sunflower oil for a natural sunblock. Sunscreens do beyond protecting your skin from skin-related issues like hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and age spots.

By blocking off the harmful UVA and UVB rays, they protect your skin from worse conditions like cancer. Coconut oil cannot do this for your skin. And this is not an issue to be taken lightly.

While coconut oil seems good for a switch to natural sunscreen, relieving your skin from chemicals, it’s not fully a good idea. In addition, natural oils do not absorb ultraviolet radiation at the right wavelength. This inefficiency is dangerous and can pose more damage to your skin.

SEE: Is Coconut Oil a Good Moisturizer? Here Are Reasons Why Coconut Oil Is Good for Your Skin

Is Coconut Oil Better Than Sunscreen?

No, it is not. Coconut oil is not better than sunscreen. Although coconut oil is natural, sunscreens are carefully and better prepared to address your skin’s need for a product that shields it from exposure to sunlight rays.

Moreover, sunscreen blocks off up to 97% of UV rays, unlike this natural oil which cannot block up to a half of this. This oil has a lower SPF compared to sunscreen. They are no match to store-bought sunscreens because these sunscreens go the extra mile of protecting your skin from worse conditions.

Additionally, instead of a comparison of coconut oil and sunscreen, you can opt for products that include the oil in their formula. This is the best way to reap the UV rays coverage that coconut oil has to offer.

Should You Use Coconut Oil Before or After Sunscreen?

On the order of application of skincare products, the oil comes before sunscreen. Similarly, you should apply coconut oil before sunscreen. Sunscreen comes in at the last step of your skincare routine to shield your skin and protect it from photosensitivity.

Moreover, applying oil after sunscreen will be a waste of products and nutrients. Oils are heavy products and cannot penetrate past any other product. The oil will just sit on top of your skin and most likely clog your pores.

SEE: How to Use Coconut Oil on Face- Amazing Uses for Coconut Oil

Can You Use Coconut Oil as Sunscreen for Babies?

Yes, you can. Natural SPF is the best sunscreen parents are advised to use for their babies. OTC sunscreens contain heavy chemicals like retinyl palmitate and oxybenzone. These chemicals can penetrate the skin and cause skin allergies, especially in babies under six months.

Coconut oil is a good option of natural sunscreen to use for babies. Its SPF value is sufficient enough to shield your baby’s skin from sunburns and skin damage. Coconut oil is mild and gentle on the skin. While it provides sunblock benefits, it protects the skin it’s anti-inflammatory properties.

Furthermore, when you use coconut oil as sunscreen for babies, you should reapply it at intervals for optimum protection.

Can Coconut Oil Remove Sunscreen?

A quick way to remove sunscreen from your skin is to wipe it off with coconut oil. It works most especially for zinc sunscreen. Zinc sunscreen is water-resistant and this makes it quite difficult to take off at the end of the day (although this is a great benefit while you are out in the sun).

  • To remove sunscreen with coconut oil, apply drops of the oil to your palm and gently massage your face with the oil
  • Leave it to dissolve the sunscreen for about a minute or two
  • Afterward, dampen a towel with hot water but not hot enough to scald your skin
  • Use the towel to wipe off the oil and sunscreen. Make sure you wipe every corner of your face
  • You can repeat the process again if you feel you still have sunscreen on your face
  • Thereafter, you can use a face cleanser to mop up your face

Can You Mix Coconut Oil With Sunscreen?

Yes, you can. Most sunscreens have coconut oil as one of the ingredients. Its ability to filter UV rays synergizes with other ingredients in the sunscreen to provide optimum protection. It boosts your skin moisture level while shielding your skin from UV rays.

All you need to do is add a few drops of the oil to the sunscreen lotion in your palm. Rub both palms together to mix the products. Then, apply it all over your face.

SEE: Best Sunscreen Lotion for Your Beach Time

How to Make DIY Coconut Oil Sunscreen

Coconut oil alone does not suffice as sunscreen, so you need to have other additives to boosts its UV filter property. You can make a DIY coconut oil sunscreen to serve when you’re in a pinch, for your infants, or the day out at the beach (provided that you reapply at intervals).

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • ½  cup coconut oil
  • ½  cup shea butter
  • ¼ cup sesame or jojoba oil
  • 3-4 tbsp. Beeswax granules for water repellent
  • 2 tbsp. Zinc oxide powder (optional)
  • 2 tsp. Red raspberry seed oil
  • 20-30 drops carrot seed essential oil
  • About 20 drops of lavender or rosemary essential oil (all essential oils are for fragrance)


  • Put a small pan over very low heat and add the coconut oil, sesame or jojoba oil, beeswax, and shea butter together. Allow all these to melt into liquid
  • Afterward, remove the pan from the heat and leave it to cool to room temperature
  • Now, for zinc oxide, pour it into the liquid and whisk so you have an even mixture
  • While you whisk, you may find lumps in the mixture, you do not have to force them to break or dissolve, they will break up eventually
  • Refrigerate the mixture in the pan for 15-30 minutes
  • When the timer goes off, take the mixture out of the fridge and whip it again. You may need a hand mixer to do this
  • When you have a fine mixture, pour in the red raspberry seed oil, the carrot seed oil, and any essential oils you choose to use
  • Continue to whip until you have a light and fluffy mixture
  • Sunscreen is ready. Store it in a glass jar
  • The best way to preserve your DIY sunscreen is to alternate keeping it in and out of the fridge


Is coconut oil good for your under eyes?

Yes, it is. Coconut oil is mild and gentle for the skin around your under-eyes. It is a good moisturizer and this is of great benefit to your under eyes which is prone to dryness and wrinkles. Applying coconut oil to this area helps to plump and tighten the skin, and keep it looking youthful.

Will coconut oil remove dark circles?

Yes, it will. Coconut oil has great anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties which makes it a good pick for an anti-aging skincare routine. It helps to lighten dark circles that make the eyes look tired and more aged.

Which oils are natural sunscreen?

Asides from coconut oil, wheat germ oil, sesame oil, avocado oil, olive oil, soyabean oil, almond oil, and cottonseed oil are some oils that have UV filters. They provide your skin with protection against ultraviolet radiation during exposure to sunlight.


Coconut oil may fill in for sunscreen because it is reported to have an SPF value of 8. However, this value is way less than the least recommended SPF value for the skin (SPF 30). This means that it is not sufficient to replace your sunscreen lotion.

However, you may find store-bought sunscreens that incorporate coconut oil as one of the ingredients in their formula. This is because of its UV filter property that works with other ingredients in the product to provide sun protection.

In essence, use coconut oil as sunscreen if you’re not likely to be exposed to sunlight or you won’t be in the sun for long. Store-bought sunscreens are better options for optimum protection from ultraviolet radiation.

Thanks for reading.

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