Coconut Oil for Sunburn: Uses, Safety, and Effectiveness

  • You should not apply coconut oil to sunburn as a result of it could entice warmth in your pores and skin.
  • Coconut oil can delay painful irritation and is simply too thick to be an efficient moisturizer.
  • Should you’re going outside, use a sunscreen with SPF 30 or greater to keep away from getting sunburnt. 
  • Go to Insider’s Well being Reference library for extra recommendation.

Coconut oil underwent a surge in recognition just a few years in the past, with a seemingly infinite string of functions from an antibacterial mouthwash to pores and skin moisturizer. However what about serving to a sunburn heal? This is what the analysis says.

Why you should not apply coconut oil to a sunburn 

Specialists agree that coconut oil shouldn’t be a superb therapy for a contemporary sunburn, notably in case your pores and skin is uncooked or blistered. 

Coconut oil is a thick, fatty substance that is strong at room temperature – image one thing like vaseline. And it is one of many final belongings you need on sunburned pores and skin as a result of it would not handle the impact of a burn, says beauty dermatologist Kenneth Mark, MD. 

That is as a result of making use of any type of oil over a contemporary sunburn will entice warmth on the floor of your pores and skin, worsening the burn. This will delay irritation and maintain your pores and skin sizzling and pink for longer, prolonging the therapeutic course of. 

Do not use coconut oil as a moisturizer after a sunburn

Orit Markowitz, MD, Director of Pigmented Lesions and Pores and skin Most cancers at Mount Sinai in New York provides that coconut oil solely capabilities as a “topical oil,” and is simply too thick to penetrate the pores and skin and provide any important hydration.

It is principally simply offering some momentary moisturization, one which’s not practically as long-lasting as a thick moisturizing cream. Actually, Markowitz suggests utilizing a product with ceramides, like CeraVe, and reapplying a number of occasions per day to help the pores and skin in its therapeutic course of. 

When to make use of coconut oil  

Nevertheless, you possibly can check out coconut oil’s moisturizing talents after the worst of your sunburn has healed. It may not assist as a lot as different treatments, like thick moisturizing lotions or aloe vera gel, which is anti-inflammatory.

And also you would possibly wish to attempt it out on a patch of pores and skin first. Should you do not expertise any antagonistic reactions, you possibly can apply it just a few occasions a day. Search for a product with few, if any, different added components, in order that the product is as clear and pure as doable.

Additionally, take into consideration the significance of avoiding sunburn within the first place. Sunburn causes discoloration, wrinkling of the pores and skin, and finally pores and skin most cancers, says Markowitz. Should you’re not already incorporating a every day utility of sunscreen in your routine, it is time to begin.

And no, coconut oil shouldn’t be a superb sunscreen substitute. One 2011 research discovered that oils together with coconut, peanut, and olive oil blocked 20% of UV gentle from the solar. However that is nothing in comparison with SPF 15, which filters out 93%, SPF 30, which filters 97%, or SPF 50, which filters 98%. 

“It’s critical to at all times apply sunscreen part of your morning routine after you moisturize and earlier than you apply make-up,” says Markowitz. “It is very important begin your routine no less than half-hour earlier than you allow the home in order that your SPF is absorbed by your pores and skin.”

Insider’s takeaway

You need to by no means use coconut oil as a sunburn treatment. It may entice warmth in your pores and skin and delay the irritation attributable to a sunburn. As a substitute, it is best to go for a greater topical treatment like aloe vera and at all times put on sunscreen with SPF 30 or greater if you’ll be within the solar. 

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