It’s great when you find a chunk of free time during the day to spend outdoors, enjoying the sunshine and reaping the benefits of a little sun exposure. Except, of course, when you overdo that sun exposure, which unfortunately isn’t that difficult to do in the summer months.
If you are now paying the price of your time outside with a red, painful sunburn, take heart. We’ve put together a list of eight tried-and-true home remedies that can ease your discomfort and help your sunburn resolve a little more quickly.
1. To Relieve A Sunburn, Soak in a Cool Bath
Getting the temperature right is essential here, as water that’s too hot will leave your burns feeling worse and water that’s too cold will have you shivering. Fill the tub with lukewarm water since that will quickly cool further. Add two cups of baking soda to your bathwater to help soothe the irritation. And only use the mildest of moisturizing soaps that contain no scents or other irritants.
2. Take Tea Time
Brew some black tea and let it sit and cool a while. Then, dip a soft clean cloth into the tea, and gently place the cloth on one burned area of skin at a time. The tannic acids and theobromine in the tea can remove excess heat from the skin, while the catechins in the tea work to repair the damage done to the outer layers of the skin.
3. Add Vitamin E to Your Sunburn Routine
A potent antioxidant, vitamin E can be used to help decrease the swelling of your skin brought on by sunburn. Buy capsules of vitamin E oil if you don’t have any on hand and pierce it to squeeze the oil out. Apply it topically to all affected body parts to receive its benefits and take the capsules orally as well to speed healing.
- Your best choice is real, all-natural, full-spectrum E, with all four tocopherols and all four tocotrienols.
- Second best is natural d-alpha-tocopherol vitamin E isolate
- As for synthetic dl-alpha-tocopherol, it should only be used when you have no other choice
4. Chill a Cucumber, Place On Your Sunburn
Cucumbers offer anti-inflammatory benefits, and they provide soothing relief from itching to the skin. Get your cucumber nice and cold in the refrigerator, then cut a few slices to place over your eyes if your lids are red and swollen, or place slices on any sunburned skin. Another option is to blend yourself a cucumber paste, then gently apply a coating to affected skin anywhere on your body. Whether you opt for slices or paste, leave the cucumber on your skin for around 15 minutes to maximize transdermal absorption.
5. Drink Water to Rehydrate Sunburned Skin
Drinking an adequate amount of water might not bring you much immediate relief from your sunburn, but it can speed the healing process along. Sunburns dry the skin out, so rehydrating by consuming water will help restore the lost moisture and resolve the burn.
6. Layer on Some Lavender
Essential oils can be very soothing, both mentally and physically. Gently apply a light coating of lavender oil to your sunburnt skin. The scent is known to be calming to your stressed-out nerves (after getting upset over the state of your skin), and at the same time, the lavender oil offers antiseptic and anti-inflammatory benefits for healing.
7. Try 100% Aloe Vera For Sunburn
Aloe vera has long been touted for its ability to reduce inflammation and help heal sunburnt skin. But many commercial preparations are really just lotions with a small of aloe vera added in, and not very effective. Instead, take fresh leaves from an aloe vera pant and cut them to access the gel inside. If you don’t have a plant handy, choose a 100 percent aloe vera gel because that will offer a more concentrated amount of aloe to sooth the skin.
8. Apply a Little Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is very useful for reducing inflammation and healing sunburnt skin. Put a small amount on a cotton ball and lightly dab it on affected areas. Its antiseptic properties will also help prevent infection if your skin begins to peel.