A sunburn can be very painful but left untreated it can also be dangerous to your health. Studies show that sunburns are on the rise. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that nearly half of all adults in the United States under the age of 30 have suffered from a sunburn in the past year at least once.
Because of the skin cancer risks associated with repetitive sunburns, and due to the relative discomfort of a sun scorched complexion, knowing how to treat a sunburn is becoming increasingly important.
The Top 8 Natural At-Home Sunburn Remedies
Using the following natural remedies to relieve your burnt skin can quickly decrease the pain while also reducing redness, inflammation, and peeling.
Take a Cool Bath In Oats
Did you know that oatmeal is good for more than a hearty breakfast? As a delicious breakfast essential, this stout staple can also soothe your skin after serious sun exposure. Here’s how you use it:
- STEP ONE: Fill a nylon stocking or other porous material with 3-4 cups of plain, organic oats. You can find them at the grocery store or even buy some on Amazon if you don’t want to go outside.
- STEP TWO: Run yourself a bath of cool water (as cold as you can stand it).
- STEP THREE: Allow the oats to steep in the bathwater for 5-10 minutes.
- STEP FOUR: Get in the bath and soak your body for at least 15-20 minutes, making sure your sunburnt skin is getting plenty attention.
- STEP FIVE: Allow yourself to air-dry, as this prevents you from accidentally wiping off the healing oats from your skin with a towel.
You can improve the healing properties of your bath by using this next tip:
Add Some Baking Soda To Your Bath
Before hopping in, sprinkle 1-2 cups of baking soda to your bath. Let it dissolve a little and then carefully lower yourself into the water. The bicarbonate in baking soda is great for cooking, but it also reduces the inflammation and itching associated with sunburnt skin. Furthermore, baking soda baths act as a natural detoxifier and can tidy up your complexion better than over-the-counter cleansers.
TIP: For even more sunburn fighting power, add about 1 cups of evaporated milk to your bathwater and create the perfect trifecta.
Apply White Vinegar to Your Skin
Although vinegar may not smell the best, its skin healing properties are pleasant. The white vinegar that you can find almost anywhere has acetic acid in it, one of the primary components found in aspirin – a common pain reliever. White vinegar eases the discomfort while also reducing redness, inflammation, and itching. Here’s how you use it:
- STEP ONE: Soak a clean cloth or paper towel in white vinegar, fully saturating it.
- STEP TWO: Apply the soaked cloth like a compress on your sunburnt skin, especially on the areas that are most painful or prone to peeling.
- STEP THREE: Leave the clothes/paper towels on the area until they’re dry (or mostly evaporated).
Alternatively, you can add yet another ingredient to your bathwater by pouring in 1-2 cups of white vinegar. Even if you don’t use oats, baking soda, or evaporated milk in your water, vinegar is a stand-alone remedy if you soak for at least 20-30 minutes.
Use An Aloe Vera Product
There are numerous skin nourishing products on the market that contain aloe vera, but none are as potent as pure aloe. In fact, recent studies have shown that aloe vera heals serious skin burns quicker than traditional treatments that use silver sulfadiazine. Because aloe vera contains dense amounts of glycoproteins it can rapidly sooth pain, stop inflammation, reduce peeling, and even remoisturize the skin. Furthermore, aloe vera stimulates new skin growth and repair while also making that annoying itchiness go away for good.
Dab Your Burn With Witch Hazel
As an excellent natural remedy for sunburns and other skin issues, witch hazel is both inexpensive and effective. It quickly heals damaged skin cells and instantly relieves pain due to its organic and potent components. Here’s how you use it:
- STEP ONE: Soak a clean, unused cotton ball with witch hazel.
- STEP TWO: Gently dab your skin with the soaked cotton ball.
- STEP THREE: Repeat until the discomfort is gone.
The good thing about witch hazel is that you can never use too much, plus it doesn’t have an unpleasant smell like vinegar. Moreover, it’s mostly hypoallergenic and kills bacteria too, which means it can be used by those with sensitive skin or minor infections. While it won’t do much for the peeling, following up your treatment with a good moisturizer can do a lot to make your skin healthy and attractive again.
Use Essential Oils
Coconut and rosehip oils are not only cheap and easy to use but they also reduce the pain and peeling caused by sunburns. Both essential oils replenish the skin’s natural moisture with a single application. However, it’s important to apply it to your skin several times until the itchiness, redness, or peeling is done.
Although neither reduce the pain to any significant degree, organic coconut and rosehip oils relieve the tightness of your chapped skin instantly. Furthermore, can be found online or at most health and wellness stores.
Start Chugging Water
Many people don’t realize this, but sunburnt skin is caused in part by a lack of proper moisture levels in the body (namely in the skin cells). By upping your water intake, your sunburn will go away faster. Moreover, increased water consumption will help the other natural remedies mentioned here work better.
Slap on Some Vitamin E and/or C
Although Vitamins C and E won’t take your pain away, both will make the burn heal faster. You can either ingest them or apply them directly to your skin. If ingested, take about 2000 mg of vitamin C and/or 1000 IU of vitamin E for several days. This regimen will not only speed up your recovery, but it might also help reduce your chances of developing skin cancer because both are potent antioxidants.