Sunburn is the bane of the summer season, forcing people to cover up in the heat and thwarting tans. However, this problem can happen any time of the year as it is the exposure to the sun’s UV rays that causes it. Sunburns can be extremely painful in some cases, making it difficult for you to even just wear your clothes. While the best thing you can do is prevent it by taking appropriate precautions before stepping outdoors, you may still end up burned. Fortunately, when this happens, you can get quick and soothing relief from a number of simple home remedies.
Top Sunburn Remedies
Here is a list of some of the best home remedies to help you treat sunburns:
One of the simplest ways to relieve sunburn is to soak your skin in oats. With its skin-soothing properties, this breakfast staple can ease the burning sensation on your skin and reduce inflammation. Your skin will also feel soft, smooth and supple after an oats soak. Preparing this remedy does not take long and will provide quick relief from your pain and discomfort.
- Rummage for an old nylon stocking and stuff it up with oats and tie up the open end.
- Place it under the tap while running cool bathwater in your bathtub.
- Soak in the bathwater for at least a good 20 minutes.
- Allow your skin to air dry – wiping with a towel will remove the healing properties of the oats.
- Repeat daily until your condition improves.
Did you know that the ordinary white vinegar you have in your kitchen makes a great natural treatment for sunburn? This is because it contains acetic acid, an aspirin component that can help in relieving the pain, inflammation and itching that comes with sunburn. To quickly ease the symptoms of a sunburn, simply go to your kitchen and pick up the white vinegar.
- Soak paper towels with white vinegar and apply it to the affected areas like a compress.
- Leave them on until they dry.
- You can also pour 1 cup of white vinegar to tepid bathwater and soak in it for about 20 minutes.
- Repeat these remedies until your sunburn heals.
For decades, potatoes have been known to relieve pain, working well to treat minor skin irritations and soothe burns, bites and scratches. They may also help in reducing inflammation. Some people like to use potato juice to get relief from the pain and discomfort of sunburn while others like to use slices. To find out which one works best for you, try both methods and continue to use the one that is more effective until your condition improves.
- After washing and scrubbing 2 potatoes thoroughly, cut them up and put them in a blender or grate them over a bowl. You do not have to remove the peels.
- If you are using a blender, blend until they have become quite liquid. If you find them a little too dry, add a small amount of water.
- Pour out the blended potatoes into a bowl and soak some cotton balls in the liquid.
- Apply the potato juice to the affected areas.
- You can also soak gauze with the liquid potato and lay it over the burn.
- If you are using a grater, apply the grated potatoes on the sunburned area.
- You can also use potato slices and lay them on the affected area.
- Repeat the remedy until you notice an improvement.
There are some studies suggesting that green tea’s antioxidant compounds help in preventing sunburn and skin cancer – you can either apply it on your skin or sip the tea on a regular basis. Although it does not act as a sunblock, it can keep your skin protected from inflammation caused by the harmful UV rays of the sun. To use green tea for sunburn, you need 3 mg of the compound of EGCG for every square inch of skin – 1 cup of brewed green tea is said to contain a good 20 to 35 mg.(1)
- After sipping 1 cup of green tea, brew a second cup.
- Allow it to cool, and when it does, soak a cotton ball with the tea.
- Dab the green tea-soaked cotton ball on your skin after you come in out of the sun.
- For extra cooling and soothing comfort, you can mix the green tea with some mint tea.
- Continue to use this remedy until your sunburn heals.
When it comes to problems that affect the skin, aloe vera is probably one of the best ingredients for home remedies to treat them. It has antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties that help in healing minor cuts, wounds, and burns, including sunburn. Experts say that aloe vera gel is one of the best natural remedies for sunburns. It has a soothing, cooling effect that relieves not only the pain and inflammation of sunburn but also reduces redness.(2)
- Extract the gel of a few fresh aloe vera leaves into a bowl.
- Apply the required amount on the affected areas.
- Leave it on for as long as possible and then rinse off with cold water.
- Reapply as and when you need to.
- Continue to apply aloe vera gel until your sunburn is healed.
- You can also split large leaves of the plant in the middle, spread them flat and lay them on your burns.
- If you do not have an aloe vera plant growing at home, you can buy high-quality aloe vera gel from health food stores.
Cool Milk Compress
Milk has many properties that benefit the skin. A cool milk compress is one of the simplest, quickest and cheapest home remedies for treating sunburn. All you have to do is head to your refrigerator and take out a carton of milk to treat the problem. The milk’s initial coolness will help in easing the heat and also create a protein layer to keep your skin protected and heal the sunburn.
- Soak a clean, soft dishcloth or gauze in chilled milk.
- Once saturated, drain off the excess liquid.
- Drape the cloth or gauze across your burn and secure it in place by gently pressing it.
- Leave it on for as long as you need to.
- Chill your milk again before you drunk your compress if it becomes room temperature.
- Repeat as often as needed throughout the day until the sunburn is healed.
Homemade Burn Cream
You can easily whip up a homemade burn cream with a few simple ingredients. These ingredients are known to help in soothing and healing sunburns – aloe vera gel, witch hazel, baking soda or cornstarch, mint leaves and water. You can experiment with the recipe by adding or removing any ingredient so that you create a DIY burn cream that works best for you.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of water, 1 teaspoon of aloe vera gel and 1 tablespoon of witch hazel in a small bowl.
- Stir well, cover the bowl and leave it for 2 hours to allow the ingredients to blend and infuse.
- After 2 hours, add 2 to 4 teaspoons of cornstarch or baking soda and 1 to 2 cups of fresh mint leaves that are roughly chopped.
- If you find the mixture too runny, slowly add more cornstarch or baking soda and if you find it too thick, slowly add a little water until you get the consistency you want.
- Transfer the mixture into a clean, airtight container and store it in a cool, dark place for 24 hours so that the cream can fully infuse.
- Apply as needed once it is ready and repeat until your sunburn heals.
- Store the cream in your refrigerator and use any time you have a sunburn.
Sunburns can be painful and cause a lot of discomfort. They can keep you from enjoying the summer season, a time when you should be outdoors and having fun. To effectively treat your sunburn and keep your skin soft and smooth, your best bet is to use home remedies with easy-to-get ingredients. With these simple remedies, you can get relief from the pain, inflammation and redness that comes with sunburns.