We all know the rule: Use sunblock to avoid sunburns and reapply new layers frequently.
But sometimes, lounging in the summer is so relaxing you can forget about protection. As a result, the outer layers of your skin gets inflamed by ultraviolet sun rays which can cause redness, itching, pain, irritation, swelling, peeling and even some nasty blisters. The symptoms from sunburns can last from three to seven days and are very uncomfortable.
Repeated sunburns can cause rapid skin aging and increased risk of developing skin cancer, so be sure to rub enough sunscreen before your next sunbath.
Whenever sunburns occur, you can try these traditional and effective natural sunburn remedies that can soothe and heal the damaged skin.
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For immediate relief, take a dip in cold or lukewarm water to keep the burns moisturized and cold. This method will reduce the swelling, will alleviate the pain and will sooth down the sunburns immediately.
Make sure not to use hot water or any harsh soaps, shower gels and coarse luffas. As alternatives, you can use a cold compress or a wet towel and apply it on the sunburned area for 15 minutes at a time.
Milk has amazing cooling properties and it is a great natural remedy for sunburns. Dip a cotton ball into milk and apply it directly to the affected area.
Honey is a miraculous natural ingredient that has been traditionally used to utilize many health and beauty benefits. It contains a lot of anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties which makes it an amazing sunburn remedy.
Apply a thin layer of honey to the sunburned skin and cover it with a clean cloth or gauze.
White vinegar has been known to ease sunburn pain, inflammation, and itching because it contains acetic acid, which is one of the components in drugs like Aspirin. Soak few towels in a mixture of vinegar and water and apply them on the affected area. Leave the towels on the skin until they are dry. Repeat the procedure if necessary.
If your sunburns itch a lot you can try the vinegar bath. Fill the bathtub with a lukewarm water and add two cups of vinegar before you get in.
You can also try the vinegar-baking soda mixture. Mix these ingredients to make a thick paste and apply it over your sunburns before bedtime and leave it overnight. Do not use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar.
The gel from this African cactus plant is another natural option for treating sunburns and providing quick and effective pain relief. It is maybe the best natural remedy for treating mild sunburns because it moisturizes the skin, it soothes and calms sunburns and it can speed up the healing.
Use a fresh piece of the plant leaf, (or buy organic 100% pure aloe vera gel) split it and apply a light coating of the gel directly to the sunburned skin. Reapply several times a day if necessary. Aloe vera also works great for treating wounds because it speeds up the healing process and prevents scar creation.
Coconut oil is another amazing healing agent for treating sunburns. It contains the fatty Lauric Acid which helps with itching, redness, swelling, dryness and peeling of the skin.
Coconut oil can also be used as a sunblock because it has an SPF of 10, it is completely natural and it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals. It is not enough for a full day sun protection but it is more than adequate as an everyday option for a mild sun exposure.
Rub some plain coconut oil into the sun damaged skin and you will quickly feel relieved. It will decrease the burning and stinging sensations in just a few minutes and it will relieve the swelling and redness of the sunburned area.
You can also add some aloe vera gel or few drops of lavender oil into the coconut oil to make even more powerful sunburn remedy. If you have sunburns wait for at least one day before applying coconut oil because it will trap the heat inside your skin which leads to slower healing.
This is another quite unknown sunburn remedy that you already have in your fridge. Mix equal amounts of milk, water, and ice cubes in a bowl. Dip a clean cloth into it, apply it on the sunburn area and leave it on for few minutes. Repeat the process two-three times.
The pH, fat, and protein of milk have anti-inflammatory properties on the skin and the cold temperatures will reduce the swelling and redness.
There are many cooling essential oils that relieve the burning sensation like lavender, eucalyptus, sandalwood, chamomile, rose hips and others. Essential oils like lavender oil have anti-inflammatory and healing properties that can quickly soothe the affected area, relieve the discomfort and regenerate the tissues.
You can add few drops of the oil of your choice in a bowl of water, soak a cloth in it and apply it on the sunburned areas for five minutes or you can apply the oil directly on the skin. Essential oils can also be added directly to a bathwater. Mix few drops of essential oil with aloe vera for extra soothing effect.
Some veggies like cucumber, lettuce, potato and tomato are other amazing natural cures for sunburns.
Cucumbers are 96% water and they are rich with alkaline, vitamins and minerals and have many antioxidant and analgesic properties. There are few ways to use cucumber as a sunburn remedy. You can gently rub the sunburn with sliced cucumber and then leave the slices on for 30 minutes. As an alternative, you can make a juice of water and cucumber using a blender, apply it on the skin with a washcloth and leave it for 15 minutes. Also, you can make a paste of cucumber pieces, apply it on the damaged skin and leave it on for 20 minutes.
Lettuce also contains anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties and can relieve the burning sensation from sunburns. Take little lettuce leaves out from the fridge, wash them nicely and boil them in water for about 15 minutes. After the water cools down, soak a cloth or cotton ball into the water and wipe the sunburned skin with it. Repeat the process multiple times if necessary.
The potato will give you relief from pain and stinging sensations caused by sunburns thanks to the starch component. Cut a potato into slices and rub them gently on the sun-damaged skin or make a paste with blender and apply it to the skin. You can repeat the procedure 4-5 times a day.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a very powerful antioxidant which creates a cooling and soothing effect and the vitamins C and A in them will regenerate your skin. Grind two tomatoes, extract the juice, add one tablespoon of yogurt and mix well. Apply the mixture on sunburned skin and leave it on for 20 minutes, before washing out. Repeat this few times a day.
If you’ve been overexposed to sun not only you may get sunburns but your skin will lose its natural moisture and you whole body will be dehydrated which may result in feeling tired. To prevent this, make sure you drink plenty of water and eat water-filled fruits and veggies at frequent intervals to help your skin heal faster. Not only that you will help your skin to heal faster, you will lose some weight as well.
Ninja tip: Not just for sunburn…
So I mentioned Aloe Vera as a great sunburn relief remedy. But it doesn’t stop there, you can use Aloe for almost anything! I always carry a bottle with me, for scrapes, dry skin, bug bites, and many other applications. Make sure your aloe gel is cold pressed and organic, so it retains it’s healing power at a maximum.
Organic Cold Pressed Aloe Gel by Amara Organics
- This gel is 100% natural, 99.75% organic Aloe Vera Gel
- No added color, fragrance, or alcohol
- Soothes itchy and dry skin, itchy scalps, insect bites, razor burns, sunburn.
- Helps with acne problems
- Can be used as an after shave, leave in conditioner or hair mask
- Non-sticky, is easily absorbed by the skin
If you’d like to add Aloe Vera to your self-care rituals, treat yourself to a bottle on Amazon.
After the sun sets you should take a walk because fresh air helps sunburns to heal faster than wrapped in bandages.
Do you know any other effective home recipes for soothing sunburns? If you do, please share them in the comment section below.