How Using Coconut Oil for Sunburn Can Help Heal Damaged Skin

What Is so Good About Coconut Oil?

Coconut oil is an all-natural substance composed of 90% saturated fats. At room temperature, the oil has a butter-like texture. When temperatures reach over 95 degrees, it melts into a liquid.

 

The fats within coconut oil are not comparable to the fats found in other oils like olive oil or vegetable oil. Over half of the saturated fats that make up coconut oil are composed of something called medium chain fatty acids. These medium chain fatty acids, or MCT’s for short, can increase good cholesterol, boost metabolism, and work wonders for your skin. Coconut oil is proven to be an excellent moisturizer. It aids in sun protection along with the revitalization of damaged skin.

 

What Are the Health Risks of Sunburn?

Sunburn is more than just a way to prove to your friends that you just got back from a long weekend on the beach. Sunburn is your body’s defense mechanism kicking in by producing a pigment called melanin. When your body is completely overwhelmed by the amount of solar radiation it’s taking in, the defense causes a toxic reaction. This reaction causes your skin to burn in hopes you’ll remove yourself from the sun’s harmful rays.

 

Of course, the primary concern with sunburn is the long-term effect of skin cancer, caused by repeated burns over the years. Short term, however, your skin may experience extreme discomfort, pealing, scarring, and pain to the touch. It’s critical to protect your skin from the initial sunburn, but if that doesn’t always work out, you should know how to help your skin recover quickly.

 

How Can Coconut Oil Help Sunburn?

When caring for your skin, use virgin or organic coconut oil for the best results. Most people think of coconut oil as a deep cleansing moisturizer, but there are other beneficial uses for the oil when it comes to your skin. Coconut oil contains an SPF between 4-7. While that definitely won’t protect your body from the sun for an entire day on the beach, it can help prevent burns you weren’t expecting during a walk in the park or reading on your back porch.

 

If you already use coconut oil as your everyday moisturizer, you’re also saving yourself from those little sunburns that add up over the years. Some of the fatty acids in coconut oil can help reduce inflammation and redness of the skin while speeding up the healing process of the burn. With more severe burns, coconut oil acts as a deep moisturizer. The moisturizing properties prevent your skin from peeling off from dryness while limiting the pain experienced from harsh sunburns.

 

How to Apply Coconut Oil for Sunburn

You should leave your sunburn completely unbothered for about 24 hours after the burn occurs. Once you wait it out, you should rinse your skin with some cold water to ease the pain and make sure you don’t have any other creams or moisturizers on the surface of your skin.

 

Gather some coconut oil on your fingers, and after you pat your skin dry, apply generously. The oil should start to melt because of your body temperature, which will only help by seeping deeper into your pores. From then on, you should re-apply the coconut oil on your skin up to 3 times a day, showering regularly. Over time, your skin will regain its moisture, it will heal faster, and the pain will subside.

 

Why else is Coconut Oil Good For the Skin?

Besides preventing sunburn and helping to heal damaged skin, coconut oil has some other benefits as well. Coconut oil contains vitamins D and E, which are essential nutrients for the growth and maintenance of healthy skin. The oil also reduces age-related wrinkling and scarring, along with helping to heal dry and itchy skin.

 

The fatty acids in the coconut oil attract protein molecules deep within the skin, aiding the repair of collagen, which is needed for a smooth and wrinkle-free look. You could even use coconut oil as a makeup remover, or a means to reduce acne. Coconut oil has anti-bacterial traits, which allow it to keep the bacteria on your skin in check. This could help with acne when it comes to whiteheads or blind pimples becoming infected from sweat or touching your face.

 

All Natural Way to Healthier Skin

Coconut oil has many uses including cooking, supplementation for energy and weight loss, sunscreen, moisturizer, using it as an additive for shampoos and conditioners, and even skin repair. Your skin is something you have to live in for the rest of your life, so why not use the best products to take care of it? The benefits of coconut oil use are unmatched, and it should be a staple ingredient in every household.

Content courtesy of Cognitune

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For an extended look into the science behind MCT oil please see the following post by Katie Mills here!

About the Author

Savannah Westerby BSc Sport and Exercise Nutrition.
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