The UV rays of the sun can cause some serious damage to the skin if exposed for a long period of time. Some symptoms include red, irritated and inflamed skin, dry and red-hot skin with itching, pain, rashes, scars, wrinkles, blisters or skin peeling.
Artificial sunburn creams and lotions with chemicals increase the chances of further skin irritation. Natural home remedies to treat sunburn work best and coconut oil for sunburn proves an effective home remedy without any side effects. It is often a main ingredient in many cosmetic products that help to prevent swelling, redness, and itching.
Why Is Coconut Oil Good for Healing Sunburn?
Here are some of its properties which explain why it is so good for sunburn:
- It reduces the discomfort caused by peeling and excessive dryness of the skin.
- It nourishes the dehydrated skin and moisturizes it.
- It soothes the burned skin and tightens it to prevent lasting damages such as wrinkles, tanning, darkening the skin, etc.
- It is rich in vitamin D and E, proteins and other nutrients which are essential for skin.
- It has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties that regenerate your skin.
How to Use Coconut Oil for Treating Sunburn:
Coconut oil (or copra oil) is one of the few plant sources of saturated fats, including lauric acid and other unique combinational fatty acids that heal sunburned skin and relieve inflammation. The small and medium chain fatty acids allow the skin to absorb it easily for immediate relief from sun damage.
It is also rich in antioxidants that eliminate free radicals and cool your sunburn.
To take full advantage of the benefits of coconut oil, here is how you should apply it to best treat sunburn:
- Apply a sufficient amount of pure coconut oil to cover the entire sunburn.
- Gently massage it into your skin for a few minutes until fully incorporated. Be extra gentle with the sensitive burned area.
- Leave the coconut oil on your skin for the rest of the day or overnight. If you choose to wash it off, wait at least 30 minutes after applying.
- Repeat process 2-4 times daily, or whenever you notice dryness or irritation on the burned area.
If you are keen to experiment with other uses for your copra oil, try combining it with other household ingredients in one of the following variants:
1. Coconut Oil with Aloe Vera and Lavender Oil
This mix acts as sunscreen lotion that reduces sunburn and prevents its symptoms.
- Mix a few drops of lavender oil and aloe vera gel in 1/4 cup of organic coconut oil.
- Apply this to the sunburn and massage gently.
- Leave for a few minutes to dry.
- Apply this mix regularly.
2. Coconut Oil with Castor Oil and Essential Oils
Castor oil repairs and rejuvenates the skin from the damage of overexposure to the sun. Copra oil acts as healing oil that gently relieves your skin from painful sunburn, cracking, blistering and peeling. Essential oils nourish the skin and aloe vera soothes the skin.
- Mix 1/2 cup of virgin coconut oil, 1/4 cup each of castor oil, pure aloe vera liquid and apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons of vitamin E oil and 3 – 10 drops of these oils (neem oil, tea tree oil, rose oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, bergamot oil, tamanu oil, grape seed oil, rosehip seed oil or rosemary oil) in a bowl.
- Apply this oil mix on the sunburn.
- Massage gently and then leave for a few minutes to dry.
- Wash it off with water and pat the skin gently with a soft cloth.
- Note: Do not use ACV if your skin is broken.
- If your skin is badly sunburned, then you have to cool it by applying an acv cold compress before applying this oil mix to prevent magnifying the heat on the skin.
- Or you can simply apply an oil mix on the sunburn by stirring 1 part castor oil to 2 parts coconut oil.
3. Coconut Oil with Essential Oil
Essential oils like chamomile oil or lavender oil also help to soothe the skin to reduce the irritation and peeling caused by sunburn.
- Mix 20 drops of chamomile or lavender essential oil and 4 ounces of fractionated coconut oil.
- Apply this on the sunburn and massage gently for a few minutes.
- Wipe it off with a clean washcloth.
- Note: Do not use this on the day you got the sunburn.
- Mix 1/4 cup coconut oil, 6 drops each of rosehip oil and peppermint oil and 5 drops of lavender oil in a bathtub of cool water.
- Soak yourself for about 30 minutes to get relief from the sunburn.
4. Coconut Oil DIY Sunscreen
You can simply use this as sunscreen lotion.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of organic coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of organic Shea butter.
- Add 1 tablespoon of organic avocado oil, 1/2 teaspoon each of organic sesame oil and aloe vera gel and 30 drops of carrot seed oil and mix in.
- Pour into a glass jar and leave to cool.
- Apply this mix as a sunscreen lotion regularly.
5. Coconut Oil for Sunburned Lips
- Apply cold pressed, virgin coconut oil on the sunburned lips.
- Massage it gently for a minute or two with your fingertips.
- Leave it on and repeat regularly.
6. Coconut Oil for Sunburn Itch
This combinational process reduces the pain, irritation, and inflammation of the skin.
- Mix 2 – 4 drops of tea tree oil with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil.
- Apply on the sunburn and massage gently for 1-2 minutes.
- After a few minutes, wash it off with water and apply aloe vera gel.
7. Coconut Oil with Apple Cider Vinegar
This combinational method helps the sunburn to heal.
This process acts as sunscreen lotion and thus heals the damaged skin quickly.
- Mix 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1 cup of water.
- Put in a spray bottle and spray onto the sunburn.
- Leave on to dry then apply pure organic coconut oil.
- Dip a washcloth in cold water and wring it out.
- Splash some organic apple cider vinegar on the wet cloth and dab on the sunburn.
- Leave it on for few minutes and then apply virgin coconut oil and a few drops of lavender or peppermint oil.
- Leave this on overnight if possible.
8. Homemade Coconut Oil Sunburn Spray
Aloe vera and coconut oil help to re-hydrate the skin and peppermint oil soothes the inflammation and lavender oil calms the pain, irritation, and discomfort caused by it.
- Melt 1/8 cup of fractionated coconut oil and 1/2 cup of pure liquid aloe vera juice in a jar over hot water.
- When combined, add 10 drops each of peppermint and lavender essential oils.
- Pour into a spray bottle and use when needed.
9. Coconut Oil with Honey, Sea Buckthorn Oil, and Aloe Vera Gel
Honey is very effective in curing burns with its soothing and moisturizing properties and sea buckthorn helps to reduce swelling, pain and promotes cell growth.
- Heat 1 teaspoon of beeswax.
- When it is about to melt, add 1/4 cup of unrefined, organic coconut oil.
- When both are melted, add 1/4 cup of raw honey (prefer manuka honey) and 1 tablespoon of sea buckthorn oil.
- Stir for 30 seconds then remove from the heat.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of aloe vera gel or rose water and pour into a container.
- Allow it sit for overnight to cool and then apply on the sunburn.
- Or you can mix 1/4 cup of unrefined coconut oil, 1 heaping tablespoon each of manuka honey and sea buckthorn seed oil and apply this on the sunburn.
- Alternately, you can mix 1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil (in liquid form), 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of raw honey and aloe vera gel and apply this to the sunburn.
10. Coconut Oil with Sandalwood Pack
- Mix 4 teaspoons of sandalwood powder, 2 teaspoons of almond oil and 5 tablespoons of coconut oil in a bowl.
- Apply this on the face as a face pack and leave it on for few minutes to dry completely.
- Wash it off with water and pat the skin dry.
- Mix equal quantities of sandalwood powder and turmeric powder, enough organic coconut oil to make a fine paste.
- Apply this paste on sunburned areas and wash it off with cool water after 15 – 20 minutes.
11. Coconut Oil with Camphor
- Mix camphor in coconut oil and stir it well until the camphor is mixed in.
- Apply on the sunburn and leave for a few minutes before washing with water.
- Do this process regularly.
Tips and Precautions:
Follow these tips and precautions for best results.
- It’s recommended to use pure and organic coconut oil.
- Do not use coconut oil remedies on the affected day because it traps the heat inside the skin and makes it difficult to heal. Wait until a day after getting the sunburn before using these remedies.
- Including organic coconut oil in your daily diet can also help.
- Drink a lot of water and keep yourself hydrated.
- Always remember to do a patch test before trying any of the above home remedies.
- It is best to apply this virgin coconut oil after taking a shower.
- Coconut oil can be used as sunscreen lotion (with SPF 5 – 10).
- Consult your doctor if the burn is severe or these remedies don’t give relief.
If you know any other coconut oil remedies, please share your experience with us.
Hi everyone, this is Rajee!
I live the beautiful city of Baltimore, where my husband works.
I’m from India. I have been visiting India on and off for past few years and my mom was an inspiration for me to start this site. She has a wealth of knowledge on home remedies for a large number of health problems, and we grew up in an environment where frequent visits to the doctor just wasn’t logistically or financially feasible.
Despite this, she managed to raise a family of healthy kids, and my goal here at Home Remedies for Life is to pass on some of her knowledge of natural remedies.