Seeking Relief from Sunburns? Try Using Coconut Oil

Updated on January 17th, 2020
women with sunburn

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 is a good option, but they focus on preventing sunburns instead of curing them after the skin has been affected.

Coconut oil for sunburn(1) treatment can be very relaxing and provides relief from burning and irritation.

Coconut oil for Sunburn

Why 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.

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. It also 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.

[Read: Natural Remedies for Burns]

How to Use?

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.

The different types of coconut oil and mixtures that can be utilized for best results are:

1. Coconut Oil

coconut with oil
Image: Shutterstock

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 Essential Oils

Lavender Essential Oil:

coconut oil with lavender
Image: ShutterStock

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.

Tea Tree Essential Oil

When paired with anti-bacterial and anti-fungal tea tree oils(2), 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.

[Read: Essential Oils for Sunburn]

5. Mixed with Honey

Honey(3) 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 Oil

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.


  • 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 allergies about 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.

[Read: Amazing Ways to Treat Sunburn]

DIY Coconut Oil Ointment

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.


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.

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.

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