At home sunburn cures. No matter how much I talk about the importance of sunscreen and always have my favourite brands on hand, there’s inevitably a moment when my brain goes on hold and I completely forget to apply it. Usually, this happens on a semi-cloudy day when I wind up spending the whole day outdoors. Of course, that night I’m greeted with a lovely and painful sunburn. While I certainly don’t advocate going out without sun protection (at the very least, throw on a big floppy hat) it sometimes happens and the good news is that you can give yourself a deep, at home, moisturizing treatment.
AT HOME SUNBURN CURES
Tea. Black teas contain tannic acid, which helps cool a sunburn and restores the pH balance of your skin. Using a soft wash cloth, apply cooled tea to your skin. Or simply, put it in a spray bottle and use it throughout the day.
Vinegar. Combine one part vinegar (apple cider or white) with one part water to create a soothing mist for a painful sunburn. Personally, I find the scent of vinegar to be a little harsh, but adding water and a few drops of lavender or coconut oil dilutes the smell.
Milk or yogurt. Since lactic acid helps with cell turnover and promotes healing, whole milk or yogurt compresses are another great sunburn treatment. Just make sure to look for the fattier options as they are more soothing and will help in your fight against peeling.
Oatmeal or Baking soda. An oatmeal or baking soda bath will feel great after a long day in the sun. For oatmeal, add 2-3 cups to the water and soak for 10-15 minutes. For baking soda, use roughly 3/4 of a cup but make sure that you don’t sit in the bath for more than 10 minutes. Instead of toweling off, let your body air dry.
Vitamin E. Vitamin E is often taken as a supplement, but because it is an antioxidant and will decrease swelling, try applying a few drops directly to your skin.
Cucumber. While I probably wouldn’t waste a good cucumber on my entire body, try applying a chilled cucumber mash to your face after a long day in the sun. Or if you are feeling lazy then cucumber slices will do just fine. With its analgesic properties it will help take the sting out of a burn.
Aloe vera. When I was younger, we used to break a piece off of our aloe plant and apply the juice right to our skin. If you don’t have a plant handy, most drugstores should carry aloe oil which will work just as well. Another option is to combine a few drops of cucumber seed oil and aloe oil. Add them to equal parts tea and water for a refreshing, sunburn heeling spray.
Although these are all great at home remedies to heal and soothe a sunburn, I do feel the need to say that the best way to heel a sunburn is to not get one in the first place. So grab that 30 SPF (or higher, because no, SPF 15 won’t do, you can read more about that here) sunblock and make sure that you apply it liberally throughout the day.
Do you have a favourite DIY sunburn remedy?