Coconut oil has been used as a medicine against many illnesses, in a lot of traditional medicine branches. However, the effectiveness of coconut oil as a protectant against sunburn is still a topic of debate. But it is possible to understand the science behind the same and then come to a conclusion regarding the same. In this article, we will help you learn about the scientific characteristics of coconut oil and how it may or may not protect the skin from sunburns. This article will also discuss the right way to use coconut oil if you need to use it as an SPF.
Coconut Oil As A Protectant Against Sunburns
Coconut oil began to be used as a protectant against sunburns when people began to notice its effectiveness in treating skin diseases and conditions such as eczema and dermatitis. Coconut oil works as a soothing agent for the skin conditions mentioned earlier. It helps the skin to calm down, reduces itching, and redness and prevents skin peeling. Thus it also began to be assumed as effective against the redness and burns caused by the harmful UV rays from the sun.
The higher content of saturated fat in coconut is potent enough to moisturize human skin properly. So when someone affected with sunburn applies coconut oil on their skin, it may help to soothe the skin and also rebuild its moisture barrier.
How To Use Coconut Oil Against Sunburns?
If you notice signs of sunburn on your skin after going out and getting your skin exposed to the harmful UV rays of the sun, do not make the mistake of applying coconut oil directly onto your skin.
Coconut oil may also trap the heat inside the skin which may further worsen the condition of the skin after getting burnt from the rays of the skin. Hence make sure you take a cold compress and apply it onto the affected area for at least a period of 15 minutes.
You may also go for a cool shower and wait for a couple of hours. After this, you can apply coconut oil to the affected areas which may help in calming the skin, reducing the redness and itchiness.
Science Behind The Role Of Coconut Oil As A Protectant Against Sunburns
While we look into the scientific evidence of coconut oil as a protectant against sunburn, there are not any significant studies or proofs available supporting the same. However, it can be seen that moisturizers and lotions with a higher lipid profile can be preferred by people who are affected by sunburns since they may help reduce the healing duration of the skin. It may also help the skin to replenish by absorbing its higher moisture content.
Coconut oil contains a saturated fat called lauric acid. This acid has antibacterial properties which can be highly beneficial in treating sunburns by preventing any kind of infections on the skin. When the skin gets affected by sunburn, it is highly likely that it to become more vulnerable and catch infections too soon. So application of coconut oil can prevent such infections and thus keep the skin safe and give it a clean environment and time to heal.
Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties also. This may help the body temperature to go down and help in the calming process after the burn. After the burn, the temperature of the affected region would be higher than normal, making it quite difficult for the individual to endure with the uneasiness. These irritations can be effectively subsided with the right application of coconut oil.
While considering such an abrupt replacement, the first thing you should get to know is the SPF value of coconut oil which is just 7.1. If you need decent protection from harmful UV rays, make sure you are using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF value of 30 or above and reapplying it at regular intervals.
There is nothing wrong with using coconut oil after getting burnt by the UV rays. But if you are looking for a preventive method, coconut oil may not be highly beneficial and cannot outdo a dermat-approved sunscreen.