Can You Really Use Coconut Oil To Treat Sunburn?

Coconut oil can be used in various life-changing ways. It can be utilized as shaving cream and as a teeth whitening agent, for example. But can it be used to treat sunburns? According to Good Housekeeping, the simple answer is yes. Coconut oil is a perfectly valid option when you need something to apply to burned skin generally and specifically for sunburns. Coconut oil is an excellent moisturizer, which is one reason why people often use it in their hair, but it also helps burned skin. Coconut oil acts as an anti-inflammatory agent, per Good Housekeeping, and this trait works in tandem with its moisturizing properties to heal your skin.

What's more, Good Housekeeping noted that you can wear coconut oil out to help prevent getting sunburnt in the first place. They recommended wearing it in addition to sunscreen (the coconut oil by itself won't fully protect you), as it will reinforce the sunscreen and moisturize your skin as well.

Here's how to apply coconut oil to your sunburn

Coconut oil makes perfect sense to use for sunburns, as it's also used to treat such skin conditions as eczema and dermatitis (via Healthline). Coconut oil is largely made up of saturated fats, and these fats are what give coconut oil its moisturizing ability. The fats also cool your skin and relieve pain when you're sunburnt. The sunburn side effects that coconut oil particularly helps with itching and peeling, per Healthline.

To apply coconut oil to sunburnt skin, first give your skin time to cool down. Healthline recommended taking a cool shower or leaving a cold compress on the impacted area. They noted that the cooling down process can take several hours, but once your burn is cool, you can apply coconut oil to it.

Finally, while there isn't any conclusive science on coconut oil's effect on sunburns, some existing studies may point in the direction of it working. According to Healthline, a study from 2012 suggested that lotions or creams with high lipid (fat) percentages helped accelerate burn healing. A study from 2014 suggested that using coconut oil could prevent infection in the sunburn.

Once again, it seems coconut oil is coming to the rescue.