Coconut Oil - Nature's Sunscreen

Coconut Oil - Nature's Sunscreen

We're in the thick of summer now! It's a great time to hit the dog park or the beach with your buddy and soak up some summer sun. And as you grab your sunhat and sunglasses, did you consider that your dog might need sun protection, too? But hats and sunglasses and cover-ups aren't the best accessories for dogs so you may be wondering if there is a natural sunscreen option available for your pet.

We're in the thick of summer now! It's a great time to hit the dog park or the beach with your buddy and soak up some summer sun. And as you grab your sunhat and sunglasses, did you consider that your dog might need sun protection, too? But hats and sunglasses and cover-ups aren't the best accessories for dogs so you may be wondering if there is a natural sunscreen option available for your pet.

Nature's Sunscreen Alternative

Reach for coconut oil! Historically, indigenous people living on islands have been using coconut oil as a sunscreen for many generations and by millions of people today. Coconut has so many healthy uses and it is a very good sunscreen alternative. Initially, when suntan lotion was first sold to the public the main ingredient was coconut oil. Over time, however, coconut oil was replaced with unhealthy chemical sun blocking agents. In addition to the disruption to the hormone system (unless listed as organic) attributed to these chemicals such as oxybenzone,  when you block these natural wavelengths you can cause more harm than good as getting adequate natural sunlight is beneficial and healing. Sunlight helps balance hormones and is necessary for the production of vitamin D.

Vitamin D Does a Body Good

Vitamin D has been gaining a lot of attention in the scientific community in recent years and for good reason. Vitamin D is necessary for the formation of healthy, strong bones and for the prevention of osteoporosis, rickets, and osteomalacia. It is essential for proper immune function and is needed to help fight off infections, inhibit the development of autoimmune diseases (diabetes, lupus, MS, etc.), and block the formation of cancer. In addition, vitamin D helps regulate blood sugar levels, moderate blood pressure, ease chronic inflammation, helps prevent dementia, and can even ease risks associated with exposure to radiation.

Unlike other vitamins, vitamin D is produced by the action of UV rays from sunlight interacting with cholesterol in our skin. There are very few good dietary sources of vitamin D. The best sources are organ meats, particularly liver. If you don’t eat liver or fish liver oils then you must get your vitamin D from sunlight.  Dietary supplements are a poor substitute for natural sources of vitamin D, and usually do not provide an adequate amount to satisfy needs. Consequently, most of us are vitamin D deficient. Many of the health problems people battle with nowadays are either caused by or at least intensified by a vitamin D deficiency. Simply getting more exposure to sunlight could make a very significant difference in many people’s health.

This problem has been compounded by a fear of skin cancer as we are continually warned to avoid getting too much sun and always put on protection when we do. It is wise to avoid getting sunburned but not to avoid the sun altogether as many people seem to do. If you put on sunscreen, you block out the UV rays needed for vitamin D formation. With sunscreen covering your body, you can bask in the sunshine for hours and produce little vitamin D.

Coconut oil protects the body from sunburn and skin cancer without blocking the beneficial UV radiation. Coconut oil doesn’t rely on blocking out the sun’s rays, it works by preventing free-radical reactions which lead to all the consequences caused by overexposure to the sun.

When to Use Coconut Oil on Your Pet

Just like humans, cats and dogs are most sensitive in all the places where they do not have hair or fur. So those pink little noses are susceptible to sun overload. As are those bellies that are exposed when back loungers stretch out in the sun. And, as to be expected, hairless breeds are most prone to sunburn so it's important to protect their skin.

Coconut oil has no harmful or discomforting side effects and is completely non-toxic to both humans and pets, making it a great natural way to protect yourself against the harmful sun rays while allowing you to soak up the benefits of the Vitamin D it provides.

 

 

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