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Exposure to sunlight offers several powerful health benefits. But too much exposure can result in painful sunburn that can put a dampener on your summer fun. At times like this, home remedies for sunburn relief can help cool the skin down quickly, replacing the itching and pain with a soothing sensation.
All of these home remedies for sunburn are proven to relieve pain, itching, and redness and soothe skin fast. Moreover, they all work to naturally treat sunburn without any risks or side effects.
Preventive skin care or sun exposure aftercare – what is more important?
The truth is, both are equally important. While preventive skincare is key to keeping your skin protected from getting burnt, sometimes it isn’t enough. No matter what precautions you take to avoid those harmful UV rays and how many times you re-apply that sunscreen, sometimes a sunburn just comes looking for you.
For times like these, you need to know which home remedies for sunburn are not just the most effective but will also work the fastest. As anyone who has ever experienced anything more than a mild sunburn will tell you, it can be extremely painful.
You don’t want to wait hours before you can get relief. A better idea is to keep two or more of these natural remedies for sunburn handy for instant relief.
Starting the right sunburn treatment right at the get-go will soothe the burning sensation, calm that angry red skin, and encourage your skin to heal.
Here are some common home remedies for sunburn that actually work.
12 Home Remedies To Soothe Sunburnt Skin
1. Apply a cold compress over the inflamed skin
A cold compress will absorb some of the heat from your skin and cool the skin down instantly. As the skin cools, it stops the trapped heat from continuing to cook the layers of skin. It also constricts the blood vessels and reduces the swelling.
A couple of things to remember when using a cold compress.
The water must be cool, not icy cold. And definitely don’t use ice. Applying ice directly over the skin can damage the skin cells. If you do use ice, wrap it in a soft cloth before applying to the burnt skin.
Dab the cold compress gently on the burnt area. Do not rub. Rubbing will only irritate the skin.
As the towel absorbs the heat from your skin, it will warm up. You’ll need to dip it in the bowl of cold water every few minutes and reapply.
Use the cold compress throughout the day for about ten to fifteen minutes a day.
2. Stay Hydrated
This is one of the simplest and most effective home remedies for sunburn relief. Here’s why staying hydrated helps.
Sunburn draws fluids away from the body to the skin’s surface, from where it evaporated into the atmosphere. This leaves you and your skin even more dehydrated, exacerbating the damage already done to the skin.
When your body is sufficiently hydrated, it has enough fluids to distribute to those areas that need hydration urgently, including your skin. Hydrated skin is healthier. It is less susceptible to damage from the elements and heals much quicker. That’s why it’s so important to load up on water before, during, and after sun exposure.
Of course, staying hydrated is important for more reasons than just keeping the skin healthy. 12 Tips to Stay Hydrated And Healthy In Summer has some easy tips that can help.
And if you feel that drinking water tends to dilute your summer fun, this is for you – How To Stay Hydrated Without Drinking Water.
3. Slather On Cooling Aloe Vera Gel
There’s a reason why aloe vera gel is considered as one of the best natural remedies for sunburn. Applying the cooling gel over the affected area soothes the skin and eases discomfort, reduces inflammation, and accelerates the healing process. It also moisturizes the skin, which is integral to faster healing.
Planning to spend a lot of time in the sun? It’s worth buying aloe vera gel in advance. Keep a small bottle handy at all times as a first-aid measure and keep the larger bottle in the refrigerator. Take out a little at a time and slather the extra cool cooling gel over the sunburnt skin.
If you have an aloe vera plant at home, simply cut a leaf and apply the sap directly to the skin.
4. Apply Baking Soda Paste To the Affected Area
Mix a heaped tablespoon of baking soda and half a cup of water in a bowl. Keep adding baking soda till the mixture has a gooey consistency. It needs to be a dense but soft paste. You may need to make a smaller or larger quantity of baking soda paste depending on the extent of the sunburn.
While you want to be generous with the amount of baking soda you add to the paste be careful not to overdo it. You want the paste to be soft, gooey, thick and easy to spread, not hard and lumpy.
Gently apply the freshly prepared baking soda paste in a thick layer over the burnt area till it is completely covered. Leave it for a few minutes and repeat at least three or four times a day to heal the skin quickly.
5. Apply Witch Hazel Over The Skin
Witch hazel is a household skincare name that is particularly effective for treating sunburn naturally. The leaves and bark of the Witch Hazel plant produce an astringent that is extensively used in several herbal, medicinal and skincare formulations.
This magical astringent extracted from the Witch Hazel plant is an all-natural solution for healthier skin. It contains tannins that have some powerful anti-inflammatory properties. When applied over sunburnt skin, the tannins calm the redness and inflammation and soothe the burning sensation. They also help to accelerate the healing process.
For quick, effective sunburn relief, pour a generous quantity of alcohol-free witch hazel on a soft clean cloth or cotton ball and gently apply to the affected area. Leave the cloth or cotton in place for about 20 minutes. Reapply three to four times a day to soothe the pain and itching.
It’s important to choose the alcohol-free formulation for this particular purpose. This is because alcohol tends to dry out the skin, which hampers the healing process.
6. Cover The area with sliced or mashed Cucumber
Besides being naturally cooling, cucumber also has natural antioxidant and analgesic properties. When applied over sunburnt skin, it helps cool the area and tamp down the itching and pain, providing instant relief. Cucumber can be especially soothing for peeling skin after sunburn.
Best to use chilled cucumbers for this purpose. Slice thinly, grate or mash slightly in a blender to create a paste. Apply gently over the affected areas and leave for a while. Reapply several times a day.
While you can use this solution for any part of the body, cucumber is among the more effective natural remedies for sunburn on the face, especially around the sensitive eye area.
7. Draw A Sunburn-Soothing Oatmeal Bath
Surprised at this addition to the list of home remedies for sunburn? I wasn’t. When we were kids, our grandmother often insisted that we soak in a soothing oatmeal bath after we’d spent a day out in the sun.
I know first-hand that an oatmeal bath works but at that time I didn’t know why. I just put it down as ‘wisdom of the ages’. But I was curious as to the reasoning behind its effectiveness and looked into it.
Here’s how an oatmeal bath helps to naturally treat sunburn. According to this study, extracts of colloidal oatmeal exhibit anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant activities while also reducing skin dryness, roughness, scaling, and itching. Both these activities work together to heal, nourish, and protect the skin.
To draw an oatmeal bath, add a cup of colloidal oatmeal to tepid bath water. The water shouldn’t be too hot or too cold. Let the oatmeal soak in it for a few minutes before getting into the bath.
This may be a bit too elaborate if you’re looking for home remedies for sunburn on the face. But it’s particularly useful when you need home remedies for sunburn on back.
You can add a few drops of lavender, sandalwood or chamomile essential oil to the bath. But do NOT add bubble bath or any other bath products. The chemicals in these products will only irritate the skin even more.
8. Soothe the area with cool, freshly brewed tea
I admit using tea as one of the home remedies for sunburn relief came as a surprise to me. This study on the potential of herbs in skin protection from ultraviolet radiation suggests that green and black tea (polyphenols) help reduce adverse skin reactions following UV exposure.
When you apply a cold compress with black or green tea over the area, the tannic acid from the tea draws heat away from the sunburn. At the same time, an antioxidant compound in teas known as catechin work to repair skin damage.
A tea-based cold compress can be particularly useful when you’re looking for home remedies for sunburn in face and around the eye areas. Mint or chamomile tea works best because of the cooling properties of the herbs.
Keep a freshly brewed cup of tea in the refrigerator for a few minutes so it cools down below room temperature. Dip a clean soft cloth or cotton ball into the cool tea and place it on the affected area for a few minutes. Repeat.
To naturally treat sunburn around the eyes, soak two tea bags in cool water and place them on top of closed eyes as you lie down. It will help relieve the pain and calm the swelling.
9. Use milk or yogurt to ease discomfort
Cool milk or yogurt creates a protein film over your skin that can be very soothing and will help ease sunburn discomfort.
Dip a clean soft cloth or cotton ball in cool milk and apply gently over itchy skin and leave for a while. Or apply cool yoghurt directly over the skin and leave for a while. Reapply several times a day.
10. If you must use soap, make it a mild one
If you must use soap, choose a mild and natural liquid soap. Make sure to rinse it off completely with cold water. Soap residue on the skin can be extremely driving and will only make the itching worse.
Aveeno Skin Relief Fragrance-Free Body Wash is the best liquid soap for sunburnt skin, with more than 31,940 reviews on Amazon. This daily body wash is made from a unique formula using all natural ingredients and enriched with soothing oat. It helps nourish the skin without disrupting its natural moisture barrier.
2 Home Remedies for sunburn peeling
As your skin starts to heal the top layer will start peeling off. This is just the dry skin sloughing away and giving way to fresh, younger skin. By this time, you can stop using all of the natural remedies for sunburn as your skin is well on its well to healing. Instead, now is the time to focus on keeping your skin moisturized.
These two products act as wonderful home remedies for sunburn peeling.
1. Cold-pressed coconut oil
There are a few things to remember when using coconut oil as a home remedy for sunburn peeling.
Use only cold-pressed organic coconut oil.
Use the oil only after blisters have subsided. When you apply any oil or lotion over blistered skin, it forms an impermeable layer over the blisters, trapping the heat inside. This prevents the heat from escaping and impedes the healing process.
If you’re prone to acne, avoid applying coconut oil over the face as it may clog pores, resulting in an acne breakout.
2. CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion
CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion has a lightweight texture that gets absorbed into the skin quickly, leaving skin feeling smooth and hydrated, never greasy. It contains Hyaluronic Acid and Ceramides, which help restore and maintain the skin’s natural moisture, and MVE technology that provides 24-hour hydration.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to serve as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before using any natural medication or if you experience any unusual symptoms. See Full Disclaimer here.