Hey Beautiful! This site is reader-supported and we earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site.

The health benefits of coconut oil are never ending. It has become a product that has become more prominent in many of our lives lately. Whether this be replacing cooking oil with coconut oil and seeking the health benefits that way, or using coconut oil to sort your split ends, coconut oil has a lot to offer us.

One thing some people have found, and many people ask, is whether you can use coconut oil for tanning outside or coconut oil after tanning to help improve your tan.

Having tried many different methods to help improve my tan, I thought it was worth testing coconut oil for tanning before and after to see whether you should use coconut oil or baby oil for tanning.

I have often used baby oil to help enhance my tan. There is no doubt that it works, but with the natural ingredients of coconut oil, I was determined to be able to answer, ‘does putting coconut oil on your skin help you tan?’

So, if you are looking for an affordable, natural, and successful way to enhance your tan, then read no further. Today I am going to tell you the results of using coconut oil to darken your skin in the sun. By the end of this article you may have a whole new avenue to getting the glowing, golden tan.

Raw coconut products, coconut flakes and coconut oil

What is coconut oil?

You may be reading this and wondering what is coconut oil and will coconut oil darken skin?

As I am sure you know, coconut is a fruit that grows on trees near the coast. They come with many healthy and nutritional benefits. For easier use, oil is extracted from coconuts and used in both cooking but also in beauty products.

Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid and vitamin E, of which both contain the ability to boost skincare through their vitamins and moisture.

Coconut oil is made up of:

These ingredients are full of fatty acid and rich nutrition, making them ideal to not only consume, but to use in skin and hair care.

Whilst a high fat level may be a negative for people on a specific diet, these fats do not have any negative impact when used in a skincare routine. There has been no evidence to suggest that coconut oil can have harmful effects when used in a beauty regime. 

How does coconut oil help you tan more?

Whilst coconut oil is great for restoring moisture, hence why it is so common in hair care products. It also contains many properties that help it perfect at assisting you in getting that eye-catching, sun-kissed glow. 

woman wearing bikini lying on pool lounger

Vitamin D

Like many tanning products, coconut oil contains vitamin D. However, many tanning products also block out the vitamin D that you would be receiving from the sun in order to protect you from other factors of the sun that may be harmful.

Vitamin D is vital for both your body and skin. Using products that block this out can stop you from receiving the natural benefits that vitamin D brings.

Coconut oil does not contain anything that prevents you from receiving the vitamin D from the sun. You will receive around 75% more vitamin D if you sunbathe using coconut oil instead of sunscreen.

So, does coconut oil contain SPF? Unfortunately, unlike sunscreen, coconut oil does not contain SPF and so using this a replacement for sunscreen can be risky. If you have a skin type that is prone to burning, you will need to use protection alongside your coconut oil which will unfortunately block out some of the vitamin D.

However, other factors of coconut oil can contribute to a healthy tan. So using it alongside sunscreen is not the end of the world and that extra skin protection is vital when lying in the sun.

Natural Shine

Tanning can often dry your skin out. So you may achieve a darker complexion, but your skin can often be left looking slightly dull and lifeless.

Using coconut oil to tan helps to rehabilitate that shine and glow. Although your skin absorbs some of the oil, a lot of it also stays on top of the skin giving it a gorgeous shimmer. 

This not only helps to boost the tan whilst it develops, but coconut oil can be used after tan to help give you that glimmer and really show off your new tan.

Antibacterial and Anti-fungal Properties

Lying in the sun for too long can damage your skin, as we know. However, what a lot of people don’t know is that the breakdown of your skin can lead to openings in the skin that are the perfect place for bacteria, fungus, and microbes to develop.

These can all lead to infections which can not only cause more skin damage, but can leave your tan looking very uneven and patchy. 

Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are well known to contain antibacterial and antiviral properties. This means that using coconut oil can prevent any bacteria and fungus developing in these openings of the skin.

Coconut oil will help to prevent these harmful microorganisms from developing, no matter how welcoming your skin is to them. So, not only does it help give you a shimmering tan, but can also medically prevent you from developing other infections and skin viruses. 

Moisturizing Properties

One of the most obvious benefits of tanning with coconut oil is the moisturizing benefits it comes with. Coconut oil is constantly used in beauty products to bring about a natural level of moisture. 

During a tanning session your skin can become extremely dried out, especially if you become slightly burnt. Using an agent that provides such a deep moisture, such as coconut oil, can help prevent this during the tanning process, but also after.

Coconut oil does not evaporate as fast as other products. So while your skin will quickly absorb other products and they may not keep you moisturized for long, coconut oil keeps your skin hydrated for a noticeably longer period of time.

Moisturizing whilst sunbathing will help you to create a healthier, deeper tan. As the sun can dry out your skin, this often means the top layer of skin will eventually drop off, making your tan less prominent. Exfoliating and moisturizing is the perfect way to ensure the top layer of skin is healthy, giving you a much richer and longer-lasting tan.

So, does coconut oil help you tan faster? Yes, it absolutely will as it will remove those top layers of skin that are dead. Not only that, but using coconut oil after tanning will help to keep the skin hydrated, keeping your tan as fresh as possible for as long as possible. 


Free of Harm

Because coconut oil is naturally extracted from coconuts, it does not contain any harmful chemicals or ingredients that may be damaging to the skin. This makes it an ideal product for people who may struggle with sensitive skin. 

Far fewer people have noted allergic reactions to coconut oil due to this. This means that it is a versatile and reliable product for people who usually struggle to find tanning products that don’t irritate the skin. 

It is important to check the ingredients of your coconut oil before using it. Whilst coconut oil itself is a natural agent, many coconut oils are mixed with other ingredients when used to create beauty products. Buying 100% coconut oil will be the best route to go down when choosing which one to use. 

Can coconut oil reduce tan?

Coconut oil will not reduce your tanning session. The moisture in the oil helps you to achieve a hydrated and deep tan.

However, when using coconut oil in the sun, it is important to remember that it is not SPF. You should use it alongside other sun protection.

Further to this, coconut oil can react badly if you have a naturally oily skin type. Applying oil to your skin can potentially clog your pores. For those people who already suffer from oily skin, applying more oil of any type can risk the cause of  breakout. 

It is important to know your skin type before applying coconut oil to not only tan, but for any beauty purposes at all. 

Ed Hardy Coconut Kisses Golden Tanning Lotion, 13.5 oz | BEST SELLERS | Tanning Paradise Black Coconut Love Tanning Lotion | Coconut Oil | Age-Defying | Tattoo Protecting Formula | Ultra Hydrating Dark Tanning Lotion, 13.5oz
Buy Coconut Oil Tanning Lotions on Amazon

So, is coconut oil good for tanning?

To answer your question, coconut oil is excellent for tanning.

It provides extra moisture, vitamins, and antioxidants that can prevent you from developing any bacterial skin infections.

The moisture helps you to achieve a deeper tan, but also keeps your skin fresh, giving you a beautiful glow by the end of it all.

Coconut oil is natural and reliable, whilst remaining affordable and accessible. Alongside this, you can use it after tanning, and so it doubles up as a tan accelerator and a moisturizer – ideal! 

Be wary of using coconut oil in place of sun protection, as it will not provide the same benefits. Combining protection with coconut oil is a great way to enhance your tan and remain protected.

So, what are you waiting for? Get down to your nearest drug store or supermarket, grab a tub of coconut oil, and not only will you be glowing, but you will be smelling delicious whilst you do so!

Here are more posts on the blog to help you achieve the best tan:


Is coconut oil or olive oil better for tanning?

Whilst both help to boost your tan, the natural properties of coconut oil come with many more health benefits.

Is coconut oil or baby oil better for tanning?

Whilst both enhance your tan and keep you moistruzied, the natural ingredients of coconut oil make it a much more beneficial product, suitable for all skin types.

Does coconut oil help you tan in a tanning bed?

It is not recommended to use coconut oil in a tanning bed, due to the oily properties. However, using coconut after a tanning bed can be a great way to prolong your tan and keep your skin hydrated.