However, coconut oil isn’t totally useless when it comes to recovering damaged skin. Because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it can be useful on the skin after — and only after — the burn stops developing, which could take up to 12 hours after you first spot it. Even then, whether you prefer coconut oil or not, you should avoid immediately covering your sunburn in any kind of heavy lotion. “While you do want to keep the skin moist to prevent it from getting brittle from the damage, it’s best to use a lotion that has a lighter consistency,” Rouleau explains.
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