The sun’s out, and it’s time to play. Whether you’re at the beach or in your backyard, time flies when you’re having fun. Even with sunscreen, spending too much time in the sun can result in sunburn. Fortunately, sunburn relief doesn’t always require expensive lotions or a trip to the doctor. Here are 9 easy ways to naturally soothe a sunburn…
Natural remedies don’t get simpler than water, and staying hydrated is a great way to help your skin recover from sunburn. Burned skin loses moisture at an accelerated rate, increasing the risk of exhaustion and dehydration. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and avoid coffee and alcohol.
2. Baking Soda Bath
A refreshing bath is a great way to soothe burned skin. The goal is to simply soak in the tub for 10-15 minutes without rubbing or scrubbing the skin. Adding a few scoops of baking soda can help equalize the acid and base concentration, assisting your skin’s repair process.
3. Cold Compress
A tried and true way to relieve headaches, a cold compress can also mitigate the discomfort of a sunburn. Cold compresses are easy to make: just wrap a towel or cloth around an ice pack or bag of frozen veggies. Apply the compress to the burned area for several minutes at a time. Avoid direct contact with ice, which could cause a cold burn on your already sensitive skin.
4. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is one of the most effective natural remedies for sunburn. In fact, it has been used for millennia to soothe discomfort. You can find aloe vera based creams and lotions at most stores. You can also extract aloe vera gel straight from the leaf. Consider growing an aloe vera plant to have as a multi-purpose remedy.
5. Loose Clothing
It’s a good rule of thumb to avoid wearing tight clothing, and it’s even more applicable when recovering from a sunburn. Loose clothing gives your skin much-needed breathing room, which is essential to the healing process. Choose natural fibers such as cotton, silk, or hemp for optimal comfort.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another remedy with multiple uses, including sunburn relief. The key ingredient is malic acid, a type of alpha-hydroxy acid that accelerates the transport of vital nutrients in your blood to the site of the injury. The acidity of the vinegar also helps prevent the skin from peeling off and forming blisters. If the skin has already peeled, apple cider vinegar can kill microbes, protecting against infection. You can find apple cider vinegar in most grocery stores.
7. Black or Chamomile Tea
The soothing properties of tea, specifically the black and chamomile varieties, may help soothe sunburnt skin. After brewing, let the tea cool to roughly room temperature. Soak a towel or washcloth in the brew, and apply gently to the burned area. If you have a pollen allergy, avoid using chamomile tea.
More than just a hearty breakfast staple, oatmeal can do wonders for sunburn. After cooking, let the oatmeal cool to room temperature. Then, apply it gently to the burned region. Avoid rubbing it deep into the skin, as the rough texture can irritate the burned skin.
9. Essential Oils
Essential oils have been used for centuries to reduce discomfort and hyper-reaction of the immune response. The antimicrobial and cooling properties of lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, and tea tree oils make for an ideal natural sunburn remedy. Be wary when using essential oils, as some have been linked to potential side effects such as mild skin irritation and rash.
While these natural remedies can help you recover from a mild sunburn, a more severe sunburn may require medical attention. If you’re planning to spend time out in the sun, be sure to apply sunscreen, wear proper clothing, take breaks under the shade, and stay hydrated. Doing so will minimize your risk of sunburn and maximize your fun in the sun.