Sunburns happen, even if you do everything you can to prevent them. This past weekend I was just out walking with my friend around the city after we had gotten lunch, and it didn't even occur to me that I would need sunscreen!
As summer approaches and we all start spending more time outside, it's important to keep yourself protected. However, when you inevitably got that terrible sunburn, you're also going to want to know how to relieve it. Sure, you can buy treatments at the drug store, but why not use natural remedies?
1. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is an anti-inflammatory and can help ease the pain and inflammation of your sunburn. Use a wash cloth or cotton gauze and apply some witch hazel to the affected.
Let it sit for 20 minutes about four times a day to minimize your pain and itching.
2. Aloe Vera
You'll often see aloe vera added to lotion, and that's because it's a natural moisturizer. The interior of the cactus plant has a gel-like substance that helps to ease discomfort and speed up healing.
You can split a leaf open and apply it directly, or you can buy pure aloe vera gel at a local store.
NEVER apply ice directly to your skin when you are dealing with a sunburn. It can get stuck to your skin, cause frostbite, or cause more burn damage.
Instead, wrap an ice pack or bag of frozen food in a towel and apply it to the burn. The temperature will give you relief from pain and inflammation.
4. Cool Water
If your burn is on a place that you can't ice, like your back, or is all over your body, then a shower in cool (not cold) water will take away the heat and the pain.
You can also use a rag soaked in cool water for the same effect if you don't have ice around.
Anyone who had the chicken pox as a child knows that oatmeal baths are a great way to relieve itching and pain, but no one really things to use this method for sunburns!
Add a cup of finely-ground oatmeal to your tepid bath and soak in it. You'll feel way better.
Sounds strange, right? But potatoes are a great way to help relieve your sunburns! Boil and mash up some peeled potatoes and let them cool. Apply them as a dressing to your affected areas, and the starch will help draw out the heat from your burn.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which is a natural anti-inflammatory, pain reliever, and itch reliever!
Add one cup of apple cider vinegar into a bath of tepid water, then soak for about 20 minutes.
You know how people tell you to drink milk after you eat something spicy because it cools the sensation? The same thing goes for sunburns.
Milk forms a protein film on the affected area, which eases discomfort and reduces heat. Soak a wash cloth or gauze in cold milk and apply it to your burn.
Brew some tea, then let it cool completely, and apply it to the affected area. Black tea contains tannic acid, which helps draw heat away from sunburned skin. For a cool effect, you can add mint to the tea or just use a mint tea in general.
Mash up cold cucumbers or throw them in a blender to make a paste. Apply the paste to your affected areas, even your face if you have to! Cucumbers are a natural analgesic, which helps relieve pain.
If your burn is starting to peel, cucumbers are still a great choice, as they will help moisturize and soothe the skin.
11. Corn Starch
Almost everyone has a box of cornstarch sitting around their cupboards, but who actually uses it? Now you can!
Mix cornstarch and water together to form a paste, then apply it to the burned area. It will relieve itching and inflammation. The same can be done with baking soda.
Just like milk, yogurt can help soothe your sunburn because of the protein film. The benefit to using yogurt is that you can apply it similar to a lotion as opposed to holding a soaked cloth, which means you can still move around and do things around the house!