Skincare 101: Is Coconut Oil Better Than Aloe Vera Gel For Treating Sunburns?


Aloe vera gel and coconut oil are two of the most popular ingredients used in skincare DIYs. While aloe vera helps to soothe sunburns, moisturise the skin and lighten blemishes, coconut oil helps to reduce inflammation, keeps the skin hydrated and helps heal damaged skin. Both these ingredients do more or less the same thing for the skin. However, when it comes to soothing sunburns, skincare enthusiasts are gravitating more towards coconut oil than aloe vera. Just before you decide to jump on the same bandwagon, we want you to know that there is a catch to using coconut oil to treat sunburns

Is Coconut Oil Better Than Aloe Vera Gel?

coconut oil for sunburns

Coconut oil and aloe vera gel both help to relieve itching. The fatty acids in the coconut oil help to hydrate dry skin and repair damaged, flaky skin. However, it all depends on the severity of your burn. If it's a first-degree burn that affects only the outer layer of skin, then it's safe to use coconut oil on the burn. For second-degree, third-degree and fourth-degree burns, you must consult your dermatologist.

Another fact about coconut oil is its ability to trap heat on the surface of the skin. Unlike aloe vera gel, coconut oil is not cooling for the skin. It's meant to only be applied on the skin when the burn has cooled down. Once the inflamed skin has cooled, apply coconut oil to soothe, nourish and energise damaged skin cells. The faster your skin heals, the faster it will shed those excess layers of dead skin cells.

It all boils down to which product you have at home. If the sunburn is fresh, use aloe vera gel. If the sunburn has cooled down, use coconut oil. Aloe vera gel provides instant relief because it contains enzymes, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, Vitamin A and E. The only downer for coconut oil here is that it takes time to heal the sunburn. As a natural bandage, you can also layer the sunburn using coconut oil mixed with aloe vera gel. 

The recovery time for the sunburn depends upon its nature. If the sunburn is covered with tiny blisters, bleeding, boils or pus, you shouldn't be trying a DIY to soothe it. If either of the ingredients doesn't agree with your skin, stay away from them. Consult your dermatologist before using them.

                                                    Also read: Baking soda for hair

To avoid getting a sunburn, wear sunscreen every day and avoid stepping out during UV peak hours that is from 10 am - 4 pm. Also, avoid touching inflamed skin with dirty fingertips as it could infect the burn. Hope this helps!

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