Nobody enjoys sunburn. Not only is there some initial discomfort, pain and itching, but you want to minimise the risk of irreversible skin damage or even skin cancer by avoiding getting sunburned in the first place.
Although sometimes even the most diligent sunscreen wearers suffer from sunburn, there are many different ways to soothe a burn at home using ingredients you might already have in your kitchen or bathroom shelves. Here are the top ten natural remedies intended to relieve sunburned skin.
Let’s face it – after a sunburn, you probably feel like you need something to cool you down. Follow your urge to get ice, but make sure you do everything right. Wrap the pack filled with ice or frozen veggies in a soft towel and hold it close to the burn. This will help absorb some of your skin’s heat, provide an immediate cooling effect for painful burns, constrict your blood vessels and decrease swelling.
Taking a cool bath or a shower is also an option for sunburn relief. To do so, fill up the bath with cool water (but not too cold) and get in slowly. Also, you can add cups of baking soda to the bathtub to enhance the soothing effect. Baking soda can help your damaged skin return to its natural pH by balancing alkaline and acid levels. However, limit the soak time to 15 minutes as baking soda can dry out.
It’s an oldie but a goodie. And for a good reason. Aloe vera can do more than provide the skin with soothing and cooling effects. Its anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce inflammation, which in turn relieve pain and redness. The gel also activates the production of collagen, which aids in the healing process by improving skin elasticity, firmness and dryness.
In case you are lucky enough to have an aloe plant at home, break off a leaf, remove that sticky gel inside and apply it on the affected area. Or simply purchase a 100 per cent pure aloe vera gel at your local drugstore.
For quick and sweet relief, honey can be another beneficial home remedy for sunburn. Its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects can help to rejuvenate damaged skin while moisturising properties and soothing properties can aid the dry skin of a sunburn.
Honey is also loaded with proteins and enzymes that promote healing and seal in the good tissue fluid. You can apply a few dabs of honey directly to targeted areas or a bandage. However, don’t worry about the honey turning into that sweetened, sticky mess. The moisture will be absorbed by your skin’s pores, leaving a dry film.
While CBD oil can be used for various ailments both internally and externally, it’s also great for skin burns due to its potential anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antibacterial effects, which can help to reduce pain and discomfort and prevent potential infections.
Whether you choose to soak in a bath with CBD oil or apply CBD beauty products on the affected area, cannabidiol (CBD) can help to provide much-needed relief while also offering moisturising qualities for your skin.
Milk is packed with antioxidants, which can help to diminish inflammation and lactic acid, which works as a gentle exfoliant and removes the top layers of the dead skin of the burn.
For a quick home remedy for sunburn relief, soak a washcloth or a gauze pad in a bowl of chilled milk and lay it on the burned areas of your body. The cool compress will soothe the sunburn while milk proteins will help to fight inflammation, ease discomfort and heat.
Chamomile tea isn’t just for reducing anxiety and addressing insomnia. With its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, this tea can soothe the affected area, bring down the redness and help the skin heal and feel better faster.
Chamomile is thought to help the body continue to regulate enzymes that protect against all types of short and long term skin inflammations, such as psoriasis, allergic reactions and sunburn. It can also help decrease the impact on DNA from over-exposure to UVA and UVB rays.
To receive its potential benefits, steep a strong chamomile tea, chill it thoroughly and soak a washcloth in it or simply place tea bags on the sunburned areas.
One of the worst symptoms of sunburn is the insatiable urge to scratch flaky skin. Taking an oatmeal bath can alleviate itching and soothe the burn thanks to its anti-inflammatory effects.
Choose finely ground oatmeal or make your own by pulverising a cup of oatmeal in a blender until it has a fine, smooth consistency. Then draw yourself a cool bath, mix the oatmeal treatment with water and soak for 15 to 20 minutes.
The natural probiotics in yoghurt are known to help heal and restore the skin and decrease its sensitivity and redness while proteins can speed up the healing process. Not only does cool yoghurt feel good, but high levels of lactic acid might also possess antimicrobial properties, which can lower levels of harmful bacteria on the skin.
Make sure to choose plain, unflavored yoghurt as a soothing and moisturising topical sunburn remedy for the face. In fact, Greek yoghurt is strained more times than traditional yoghurt and, as a result, it has a thicker consistency and delivers a higher concentration of probiotics. Apply the yoghurt on your face and body like it’s a mask, and rinse after 15 minutes.
There is actually a reason why many people put cucumber slices on their eyes. This vegetable is naturally cooling and hydrating and can help to relieve inflammation while soothing your skin. Cucumber also possesses antioxidant and analgesic properties that help in providing relief from sunburn.
If you have burnt your face or shoulders, slice a cold cucumber and place it on the affected areas. In case you have burnt yourself more widely, you can mash up a full cucumber into a paste and apply it to the burned skin.
Due to its rich content of anti-inflammatory tannins and astringent properties, witch hazel can reduce inflammation and soothe itches and irritations. It also can offer a great cooling effect that provides instant relief.
To minimise pain, add a few drops to your cold compress or a soft cotton pad to apply it directly to the affected skin. The acid in the composition will gently exfoliate, while the botanicals will nourish and balance the skin.