Your skin is the most exposed part of the body and is at risk of getting affected by the environment. One of the most common skin ailments is sunburns. Extreme exposure to Ultra Violet (UV) radiation causes direct DNA damage to living tissues in the human body, like the skin. Applying. Sunscreen and moisturizing lotions are a good option, but they focus on preventing sunburns instead curing them after the skin has been affected. Coconut oil for sunburn treatment can be very relaxing and provides relief from burning and irritation.
Causes of sunburn
The most common factors affecting the skin and leading to sunburns are:
- UV Intensity
- Natural and Artificial Tanning
General visible symptoms of sunburn
You should look out for these common symptoms that indicate sunburns:
- Initial redness (Erythema) along with varying intensities of pain
- Severe irritation and itching
- Peeling of the skin
- Painful Rash
- Nausea, fever, and chills
- Fainting (Syncope)
Coconut oil for sunburn
Coconut oil is a viscous, transparent fluid obtained from coconuts by drying them. It is considered to be extremely beneficial while treating sunburns. It is rich in fats, vitamin content, moisturizing properties, and antioxidant components. However, one should not substitute coconut oil for sunscreen. It doesn’t provide the required protection against UV radiation. It has a sun protection factor of about 2.5 which is only enough to protect you when you take out the trash during the day or water the plants quickly.
Coconut oil is believed to have a lot of healing qualities in it, this is a known fact since the old ages. We all have grannies at home applying coconut oil on our bodies when we have a severe sunburn. Natural remedies like this are a part of our culture and have been tried and tested, they have been passed down the generations. Coconut Oil is used to cure sunburn since a long time and it is better than applying any sunburn cream which can have its own side effects. Coconut oil is the best natural remedy to ease the irritation and pain experienced during a sunburn.
Why use coconut oil for sunburn
This oil speeds up the regrowth of the skin cells and the healing of the burnt area by protecting the inner layers of the skin. Sunburn causes immense pain but even after it has been treated; it leaves behind sunspots, wrinkles and permanent coloring of the skin. Coconut oil improves the elasticity of the skin and prevents wrinkles.
The antioxidants present in it prevent discoloration of the skin and the appearance of sunspots. The inflammation caused by the burn is unbearable and causes immense pain. Applying some oil on the burn provides a cooling effect as it absorbs the heat from the burn with its anti-inflammatory properties bestowed by the fatty acids. Sometimes the skin starts flaking and blistering after a severe sunburn. This causes permanent scars and makes the skin susceptible to infections. Application of coconut oil soon after sunburn can prevent these adverse effects.
How to Use Coconut Oil On Sunburn?
Coconut oil can be used to treat this skin ailment in numerous ways, as it has excellent moisturizing properties, vitamin content, permeability, and high concentration of beneficial fatty acids, as mentioned before. Healing and effectiveness of the oil can be maximized if it is used with other ingredients that aid these processes. You must apply the coconut oil at the right time and in the right quantity. The most common and easy way to use coconut oil to cure sunburn is by applying it on the skin and gently massaging your skin.
The different types of coconut oil and mixtures that can be utilized for best results are:
1. Pure Coconut Oil
Pure or Virgin coconut oil is one of the best remedies to treat sunburn. It should be gently applied to the entire burnt portion and massaged delicately so that the skin can soak it in and get moisturized.
2. Mixed with Bath Oils
Adding ¼ cup of coconut oil and 5-6 drops of peppermint oil to a cool bath can provide quick relief against sunburns. Soaking in the bath for 30 minutes will give the best results and you can take a similar bath daily until the burn is cured.
3. Mixed with Lavender Oils
2 tablespoons of coconut oil mixed with a good amount of aloe vera and a few drops of lavender oil cleanse the skin. The antiseptic components of lavender oil ensure that no pathogens infect the cracked or peeled skin or blisters.
4. Mixed with Tea Tree Oils
When paired with anti-bacterial and anti-fungal tea tree oils, the mixture gives incredible results. Adding and thoroughly mixing 3 to 5 drops of tea tree oil in 1 – 2 tablespoons of coconut oil before application increases the anti-inflammatory properties of the resulting mixture and soothes the burnt area.
5. Mixed with Honey
Honey is considered to be one of the purest and highly nutritious, naturally occurring substances. When a mixture of equal parts of honey and coconut oil is applied on sunburnt skin regularly for an hour, the skin rejuvenates, stays moisturized and the pain is relieved.
6. Mixed with Castor Oils
When one part of castor oil is mixed with two parts of coconut oil, the mixture can be used to treat sunburns as it effectively coats the skin and prevents pollutants, irritants, and pathogens from affecting the exposed skin.
Precautions to take while using coconut oil:
- Apply the coconut oil gently on the burnt area.
- Massage a little bit but avoid excessive pressure or rubbing as the skin is sensitive due to the sunburn.
- Beware of nut allergies that can cause much adverse effect than the sunburn. Consult your health care expert regarding your threshold for nuts, and only then proceed further.
- Always select organic coconut oil or virgin coconut oil for applying on the sunburn.
- Ensure the validity and authenticity of the product you plan on using by checking for federal approval from the USDA before using the oil.
Prepare these at Home with Coconut Oil to treat sunburn
Coconut oil is a truly versatile ingredient with some excellent properties. It can be mixed with some other ingredients to prepare a potent remedy for sunburn.
Coconut Oil Ointment
Ingredients: – Coconut Oil 4 tbsp, Vitamin E Oil 2 Tbsp, Lavender Essential Oil 8-10 drops
- Add the coconut oil to a glass bowl and smooth out the lumps.
- Now, add the Vitamin E Oil to the same and stir well.
- Now, add the lavender essential oil and mix it thoroughly.
- Pour this mixture into a glass jar with an airtight lid.
- Gently apply it over the affected area, twice every day.
Home remedies to treat sunburn:
In addition to using coconut oil for sunburn, you can also use these other home remedies that provide significant relief from sunburn without any side-effects. These remedies can be used as a standalone treatment or in combination with coconut oil.
1. Vinegar Bath
This is what is called a good old-fashioned bath! Run a bath with cold water and add apple-cider vinegar by following the ratio of one cup of vinegar for one gallon of water.
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is one of the most common ingredients in lotions these days. Even though it doesn’t provide UV protection, its cooling effects on the burnt area soothes the pain and provides the relief one desperately needs in such situations. Only 100% Aloe Vera is effective. Any other ingredient can intensify the existing ailments.
3. Damp Washcloth
Applying a damp washcloth on the burnt area for 10 to 15 minutes as soon as the burn is noticed can be beneficial. Stay indoors for a few days and repeat the same process several times a day.
Start rehydrating properly and with the right fluids. Drink water, diluted coconut water or electrolyte powder (WHO certified) dissolved in water.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Add two tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar to a bowl of fresh water. Soak a clean cotton cloth in the mixture and apply over the affected area. Leave on for ten minutes. Repeat twice every day until you notice a visible improvement.
This is all the information you need to know and understand the benefits of using coconut oil for sunburn. Utilize these remedies at home or in a hotel where you are staying while you travel and treat the painful sunburn before it causes further damage. Take proper care of your skin and avoid getting artificial or even natural tans just because it makes you look good.