If you are wondering why I have been writing so much about coconuts recently there are two, no three reasons:

  1. Natural Curiosity. I realised how little I knew about this king of oils when I started hearing from many people who were using it as a cure-all,  protect-all and general hero and didn’t really know why. To me coconut oil has always just been a soap thing.  I wanted to find out more. 
  2. SPF. Being summer over here (and a hot one to boot) we are all drenching ourselves in sunscreen. The fact that some of my ‘natural alternative’ friends use coconut oil as a sunscreen initially worried me as I have always thought that oils onto the skin would be akin to a human basting.  This ‘fact’ needed some serious testing.
  3. I love coconuts – the smell, the colour, the versatility of this crop, the taste and the robustness of the crop.

OK, so far I have looked at the basic chemistry of coconut oil and I have had some SPF tests run on the best organic product I could get my hands on (and it was no good at all to be honest).  I have attempted to answer the question ‘is coconut oil sunscreen right for me’ in a philosophical way and I have uncovered a previously unknown to me fact about coconut oil that could be a game changer (for me anyway, it seems that other people already knew this stuff….)

Coconut Trees Fiji

This game changing fact-to-be-tested is:

The method of extraction of your coconut oil matters.  Being ‘organic’ is not enough, the oil has to come from the cold pressing of the fresh fruit, the old-fashioned way. 

So,  I packed up my bags, pulled on my walking shoes and hiked off into the Fijian sunset to bring back some old-fashioned oil to test.

And here it is:

Coconut Oil Cold Processed

So, it doesn’t look that flash but I am rather hoping that this stuff works out better than the organic oil under the SPF testing protocol – I will be keeping my fingers crossed.  Depending on how that goes I’ll also get the oil chemically analysed if I can find a meaningful protocol as I would be interested to measure the antioxidants and other skin beneficial ingredients in this vs the standard oil.

In the meantime I found this video made by a company that exports this virgin coconut oil to the USA from the Philippines and I thought I’d share it with you.