Nothing's more uncomfortable than a summer sunburn! But you don't need expensive creams to feel better. These ten remedies are not only all-natural, you probably have many of them in your cabinet already.
Please note: all remedies listed below are intended for first degree burns only. If you have a burn with blisters, please consult with a doctor before proceeding.)
Rub vinegar on the sunburned area with a cotton ball or soft cloth, or put some in a spray bottle and mist over your skin. You may smell a bit like salad dressing, but your skin will immediately feel cooler.
Green tea can be just as effective as aloe vera when it comes to helping the skin heal from sunburn. Use a cooled, tea-soaked washcloth as a compress on your tender skin. (Some people say topically applied green tea may even protect against skin cancer.) This is also a great way to ease a sunburned scalp. After washing and rinsing your hair as usual, pour the cooled tea over your scalp.
This may be what they were talking about when they said “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Just cut an apple in half, remove the core, and rub over the sunburned area for 3–4 minutes. Apples will keep your skin from blistering or peeling.
Potatoes are an ancient method of pain relief. Be old school by chopping a clean potato into small chunks and pulverizing it into a liquid using a blender or food processor. Add water if needed, and then apply onto burned skin as a paste. Let dry, then rinse off in the shower. You can also coat gauze with liquid potato and apply to the skin as a dressing. Let sit for up to one hour, and apply several times a day.
Coconut oil can immediately reduce the redness of a sunburn and also prevent peeling. Look for it in a health food store. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, so you may need to warm it first. Place the jar in a saucepan filled with water and heat it over low heat on the stove. Once the oil has turned liquid, pour some on a cotton swab, let cool slightly, and gently dab over affected skin. You’ll smell delicious as you moisturize and soothe your skin!
A cup or two of baking soda poured into a bathtub full of warm water will relieve sunburned skin and is a fantastic soak for those unfortunate enough to be burned over large areas of their body. You can also create a paste with baking soda and water and apply it as a compress.
Yogurt and Oatmeal
The healing properties of yogurt and oatmeal can be combined into a face mask or poultice. Combine 1/4 cup full-fat plain yogurt with 2 tablespoons oatmeal. Mix vigorously for one minute, then apply to the sunburn. Leave on for at least 10 minutes, then wash off with warm water.
We don’t know if Cleopatra suffered from sunburn, but legend has it that she used to bathe in milk. Milk is high in Vitamins A and D, which are great for nourishing the skin. Use whole milk or even goat’s milk in a compress to help sunburned skin heal more quickly.
Honey’s antioxidant properties make it a fantastic remedy for rejuvenating damaged skin. Apply a light layer of honey directly to burnt skin, let it sit for 20-30 minutes, then rinse off or dab off with a wet washcloth.
Cucumbers are known to be great with spa treatments, but did you know they're good for sunburns, too? They are cool, refreshing, and will reduce your itching. Gently rub the sunburned area with fresh cucumber slices. Better yet, lay the slices on the affected area and allow the juices to penetrate your skin for 10-20 minutes. If you want to rinse off, try waiting a few hours to allow the cucumbers to keep working their magic.
After your sunburn has faded away, stop it from happening again by choosing the safest sunblock. This handy guide lets you search for sunscreen by brand name and by type, such as sport sunscreens, SPF lip balms, or SPF makeup.
The suggestions offered here are for informational purposes only. The author and publisher do not accept liability for damages arising from the use, attempted use, misuse, or application of any of the suggestions included on this website.