A. Can Coconut Oil Relieve Sunburn?
There are many health and wellness claims associated with oil made from coconut. Some of these claims include increased weight loss, lowered cholesterol and increased energy levels. In this article, we investigate whether coconut oil can help with sunburn.
1. What is coconut oil?
Coconut is a tropical fruit whose products are widely used for cosmetic, culinary and medicinal purposes. People living in tropical regions of the world have long used coconut oil as a moisturizer. As consumer interest in natural beauty products increases, coconut oil is being incorporated into many commercial hair and skin care products.
Coconut oil is made from the so-called flesh of the coconut fruit. To make refined coconut oil, the pulp is dried before the oil is extracted. The oil is then bleached and deodorized to remove contaminants and odors. Virgin coconut oil is less processed and can be made from coconut milk or fresh coconut meat. It is not bleached or deodorized. Nutritionally, coconut oil is almost 100% fat, of which 90% is saturated fat.
2. Benefits of Coconut Oil for Sunburn
Coconut oil is often mentioned as a natural remedy for sunburn. However, to date, there hasn’t been much research to support the use of coconut oil to treat sunburn. However, the oil can help relieve some of the symptoms associated with sunburn, such as dryness and itchiness. Listed below are some of the skin benefits of coconut oil that can help relieve sunburn:
Coconut oil’s high fat content makes it a great moisturizer. One study compared coconut oil and mineral oil as treatments for people with very dry skin. Both oils helped to improve skin hydration when applied twice a day. After the 2-week study period, coconut oil proved to be more effective. However, more research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of coconut oil as a treatment for dry skin.
Sunburn can cause itchy skin. Although eczema is not associated with sunburn, it is another condition that causes dry, itchy skin. Eczema is more common in children than in adults, and coconut oil has been studied as a possible treatment. In a study of children with mild to moderate eczema, virgin coconut oil and mineral oil were compared as treatments. About 1 teaspoon of oil was applied to the children’s skin twice a day for 8 weeks.
Virgin coconut oil was found to be a significantly more effective treatment than mineral oil. More than 90 percent of children in the virgin coconut oil group had moderate or excellent improvement in their eczema. Based on the above results, coconut oil can potentially alleviate the itchy skin caused by sunburn.
Virgin coconut oil is a source of antioxidants. Because antioxidants are known to fight inflammation, virgin coconut oil can potentially reduce skin inflammation associated with sunburn. A study in rats found that virgin coconut oil was temporarily able to reduce the swelling caused by inflammation. The same study also found that virgin coconut oil reduced fever in rats and possibly gave them pain relief.
3. How to use coconut oil for sunburn
Choose cold-pressed coconut oil for use on the skin. Processing methods that use heat or chemicals destroy some of the ingredients in coconut oil that can help with skin burns. Coconut oil should not be the first step in treating sunburn. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends taking a cool shower first to reduce the heat of a sunburn and then applying a moisturizer to the skin.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, oil-based lotions can cause burns to the skin to retain heat, which can make the burn worse. For this reason, it may be helpful to wait at least 1 day after the burn before applying coconut oil to sunburned skin. After the skin recovers, coconut oil can be applied as a moisturizer. Coconut oil can be used alone or in combination with another skin soothing agent, such as a few drops of lavender essential oil or aloe vera gel.
To reduce inflammation, hydrocortisone cream can be applied to the skin or an anti-inflammatory can be taken orally. Hydration is also very important, as sunburned skin absorbs water from other parts of the body. Blisters are a sign of severe sunburn and coconut oil should not be used. Sunburns that cause blisters are considered second-degree burns. People should see a doctor if the blisters are large or accompanied by other symptoms such as chills, headache, or fever.
4. How to prevent sunburn
Preventing sunburn is very important in reducing the risk of certain types of skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, the incidence of skin cancer has increased and is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States today. The best way to prevent sunburn is to use sunscreens that block the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Products with a high sun protection factor (SPF) better protect the skin against sunburn.
Some sunscreen products contain oils, and the oils themselves can increase your SPF number. A Trusted Source study found that coconut oil has a sun protection factor of around seven. This was the second biggest sun protection factor among the oils tested. First, there was olive oil with a slightly higher sun protection factor than coconut oil.
5. Ways to prevent sunburn
- Limited time in the sun during the hottest hours of the day
- Wear clothes and hats that protect your skin from the sun
- Apply sunscreen sufficiently and regularly
- Don’t use the solarium
When choosing a sunscreen, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends choosing one that offers broad-spectrum UV protection. This requirement means that it protects the skin from UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are responsible for more serious damage to the skin, but UVB rays are more likely to cause sunburn. The sunscreen must also be waterproof and have a sun protection factor of at least 30.
Sun protection must be used regardless of the season. Clouds and windows do not provide protection from UVA rays. Furthermore, water, also in the form of snow, and sand enhance the effect of ultraviolet rays. Sunscreen should be applied 15 to 30 minutes before going out into the street and every 2 hours thereafter. Sunscreen may need to be reapplied sooner if someone walks in water or sweats a lot. It is important to keep preventative measures in mind as sunburn will generally not be visible until 3-4 hours after the damage occurs. The full extent of a sunburn may not be visible for up to 24 hours after the damage.
B. Here’s What Dermatologists Have to Say About Using Coconut Oil For Sunburn
If you’ve ever had a severe sunburn, you know how calming aloe vera can be. But have you ever wondered if there are any other natural ingredients that could be more effective? Lately, beauty lovers have been experimenting with coconut oil – a fantastic ingredient for moisturizing the skin, but one that hasn’t necessarily proven its worth for after-sun care. Before we dive into the effectiveness and benefits of coconut oil, let’s get one thing straight: whether or not you should use a home remedy like coconut oil depends solely on the degree of your burn.
“The most common type of sunburn is superficial burns that cause redness, inflammation and discomfort,” explains Dr. Blair Murphy-Rose, NYC Board Certified Dermatologist. “When sunburns damage the deeper layers of the skin, they can form blisters and even damage the skin if they are severe.” Fortunately, she says, most sunburns don’t require medical care and can be easily treated at home. “Sunburns require medical treatment if the burn covers a large area of skin, the blisters are large, the pain is not controlled by NSAIDs, or you have systemic symptoms such as fever, headache, nausea, confusion, or fainting,” concludes Murphy -Roseosis, where these side effects are more common in second- and third-degree burns.
So because we’re just as eager to find new skincare products as you are, we asked some of the best skincare products on the market what they think about comparing coconut oil to aloe.
1. Benefits of Coconut Oil for the Skin
- Relieves itching and flaking
- Reduces redness
- Accelerates skin recovery (when used correctly)
- Ultra moisturizing
- Rich in fatty acids, it can be used as an emollient (also known as a skin emollient)
- Antimicrobial properties
According to New York Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Michele Green, coconut oil is great for the skin as it helps with all aspects of sunburn. From alleviating the burning sensation and reducing appearance to deeply moisturizing the skin to repair crunchy damage, it’s practically a godsend. Of course, it’s only as beneficial when used with care. More on this below.
2. Is it safe to treat your sunburn with coconut oil?
Yes, but only at a certain stage of the burn, otherwise it can get worse. While coconut oil can be especially beneficial to the skin, it’s only a useful addition to your after-sun care routine if it’s applied at the perfect time. According to Murphy-Rose, all occlusive products like oils and ointments should be avoided for the first few days after sunburn – which is why so many people have historically turned to aloe vera instead of coconut oil.
The reason you wouldn’t want to apply coconut oil to newly burned skin is because, thanks to its occlusive properties, it can smother the skin and make the burn worse. “That’s because applying oil over a recent sunburn traps heat at the skin’s surface,” explains Green. “This can make the burn worse, increase inflammation and keep the skin warm and red, making the healing process longer.” Because of the potentially harmful effects of immediately applying coconut oil to burned skin, Murphy-Rose says you’re better off sticking to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen combined with aloe vera gel, hydrocortisone cream, and cold compresses. Your burn has slowed down a bit – which brings us to the next point.
3. How To Use Coconut Oil Safely Against Sunburn
If you can’t shake to coat your skin with coconut oil (it will moisturize and eventually smell good), wait for the burn to cool. Depending on the severity of the burn, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. The best way to measure is to put your hand (or a friend) on the skin and see if it still gives off more heat than normal. If it’s not too hot, you’re good to go.
“Once your skin has cooled down, it’s time to make the most of the benefits coconut oil has to offer your skin,” exclaims Green. “Using organic coconut oil to relieve sunburn nourishes and energizes skin cells. This will stimulate your body’s healing and repair process to naturally help your skin remove excess layers of dead cells that make it rough, bumpy, opaque and flaky. ” But remember, whatever you do, don’t apply coconut oil to blisters or cracked skin – even if it feels cool to the touch. Both Murphy-Rose and Green advise against it, as it is a cheater.
4. Is coconut oil effective in relieving sunburn?
The general consensus is that coconut oil can be beneficial for superficial sunburns, but it shouldn’t be considered for anything other than a first-degree sunburn – and never before the skin has cooled.
“Still, I prefer aloe vera in the early stages of sunburn. It doesn’t clog the skin or retain heat, so it can be used to soothe (and even cool) the skin instantly,” says Murphy-Rose, noting that she likes to moisturize it after the skin cools. creams] with ingredients such as ceramides, shea butter, oats and hyaluronic acid to continue to soothe and protect the skin’s barrier during the peeling process.”
5. When to skip coconut oil
We know, we know, we’ve gotten over it. But let’s be 100% clear. Listed below are cases where you should never apply coconut oil for sunburn relief.
- Immediately after getting burned
- While the skin is still warm to the touch
- When there are bubbles in sight
- If it’s anything other than a first degree burn
“There are many home remedies that can heal and soothe our skin after a sunburn. It’s safe to use home remedies if the sunburn is mild and there’s no exposed skin under the burn,” says Green. “However, it is recommended that you see a doctor if it is a second or third degree burn with a high fever or extreme pain, nausea or vomiting, blisters covering a larger area of the body and yellow drainage from the body can cause blisters. ”
6. How coconut oil compares to aloe vera for sunburn relief
Right now, it’s no secret that aloe vera is a fan favorite when it comes to sunburn relief. That’s because, according to Green, aloe vera is rich in antioxidant and antibacterial properties that work together to inhibit bacterial growth and promote overall skin health and healing. “Aloe vera is also known to help speed healing in burns – studies have shown it to be an effective topical treatment for first- and second-degree burns,” she adds. “Aloe vera can also be beneficial to the skin – it contains enzymes, vitamins A and E and anti-inflammatory properties that can help with dry skin, acne (especially superficial acne instead of deep or cystic acne) and inflammation.”
Of course, coconut oil has its benefits. “Coconut oil is a great moisturizer when you need something that is both calming and simple,” says Green. “Aloe vera gel and coconut oil are a wonderful natural combination to use after a long day in the sun. When aloe vera gel and coconut oil work together, the results are amazing, your skin is soothing, refreshed and hydrated. ”
Remember that home remedies should only be used for mild sunburn (which most sunburns do). If the sunburn is accompanied by severe blisters, fever, or spreads over large areas of the body, you should see a doctor right away and skip home remedies. If you have a mild burn that can be treated at home, coconut oil is considered a safe treatment, but only after the burn has cooled down. If your sunburn is still hot to the touch (or if you have blisters or cracked skin), skip coconut oil as its occlusive nature can trap heat and delay the healing process. In general, aloe vera is still considered more suitable for healing sunburn more quickly and effectively.