Getting a sunburn is a real nightmare, but you can easily relieve the discomfort and the blistering with remedies that you can find in your kitchen – make sure you learn about the most effective ways to heal a sunburn in order to be prepared in case it happens and not let it ruin your vacation.
If you enjoy baking in the sun for hours on end, no matter where you are, you have certainly felt the pain and discomfort of a sunburn at least once in your life. What you should always have in mind is that it doesn’t really matter how much sunscreen you put on and how dark your base tan is, because you will definitely get sunburnt if you are not careful.
As you may already know, you don’t even have to be out on the beach to get a sunburn, because even a brief exposure to the sun’s UV rays, especially during the hottest time of day, can cause damage to your skin.
You may think that you are being careful if you keep your skin moisturized and re-apply sunscreen with a minimum of 30 SPF every couple of hours, whether it’s store-bought or a natural homemade sunscreen. However, the best thing you can do to effectively protect your skin from the sun is simply limit your sun exposure. Not only will you keep painful sunburns at bay, but you will also minimize the risk of skin cancer, of which tanning responsibly is the number one cause. Prolonged exposure to the sun is also a primary cause of skin aging, so you should avoid it as much as possible if you want to keep your skin wrinkle-free and look young for a long time.
Being careful also means not being tricked by the symptoms of a sunburn, because it can take a few hours for them to appear. However, by then, the damage is already done and you are left to deal with red, burned and blistering skin that is extremely painful to the touch, not to mention that you may even feel nauseous and dehydrated.
Although it takes some time for your skin to heal, depending on the severity of the sunburn, you should assist the healing process, if only to soothe the pain. If you ever experience severe symptoms and your skin is blistering and peeling, make sure you get a proper treatment from your doctor, but if the symptoms are not so severe you can easily heal your sunburn with some remedies from your kitchen – let’s take a look at the solutions.
The Best Ways to Heal a Sunburn
Milk and Yogurt
Milk and yogurt are some of the best remedies that you can use for immediate relief from the pain of a sunburn, besides ice and cool water. Although cold water and ice will cool off and hydrate your skin, cool milk is much better because the lactic acids and fats that it contains, as well as the Vitamins A and D, can effectively soothe your burned skin.
Yogurt has the same cooling effect on a sunburned area, and the fatty acids that it contains can help moisturize your skin. In order to apply milk or yogurt on your skin, you should use a cotton gauze or some other soft cloth. Leave it out for at least 15 minutes before washing off, so that it can effectively pull out the heat from your skin.
Tea can also significantly soothe your skin after a sunburn, because the tannins it contains have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. They can also protect you from skin cancer (especially green tea). The key to treating sunburns with tea is to use it topically, just as with milk and yogurt.
Therefore, make yourself some tea (preferably black or green) and allow it to cool completely before applying it to your skin with a washcloth. You can also use it for a sunburned scalp by simply pouring it over your head after washing your hair.
Baking Soda, Cornstarch and Oatmeal
Baking soda can help you relieve the inflammation you experience after a sunburn and enable you to speed up the healing process. It also greatly helps with the itching that starts when the sunburn begins to heal, as it has antiseptic properties. All you need to do is add 1-2 cups of baking soda to your bathwater and soak in it for about 15 minutes.
Cornstarch and oatmeal have the same effect on a sunburned skin as baking soda, and you can use them in the exact same way to soothe your skin. You can also mix either one of them with water to make a solution that you can simply apply to the skin with a washcloth. You can also make an oatmeal paste with milk and honey, as it is very effective for banishing the burn.
Great substitutes for cornstarch are flour and mashed potatoes, so you can try those as well. Remember that it’s important that you use oatmeal in a powder form, so make sure that it is finely ground. Also, you can mix oatmeal with yogurt in order to make a relieving face mask that will accelerate the healing process.
Not a lot of people know this, but strawberries are really great for treating a sunburn. They provide a very soothing relief from painful burns, mainly because they contain tannins. In order to heal your sunburn, mash some fresh strawberries and apply them on the affected areas. Leave out the mashed balm for about 5 minutes and then simply rinse it off.
Cucumbers have antioxidant and analgesic properties, so they can significantly reduce the inflammation on your skin and provide it with a refreshing and soothing effect. They can also greatly help with itching. All you need to do is slice up a cool cucumber, place the slices on the sunburned areas on your skin and just let them sit there for about 20 minutes.
The key is not to go and shower right after you put away the cucumber slices, because their juices that are still on your skin will keep penetrating it in order to help it heal quicker.
Turmeric has excellent anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties and it is very effective for healing sunburns and blisters. You can mix turmeric powder with water in order to make a paste that you can apply on the affected areas on your skin. Leave it on for 10 minutes before rinsing it off with cool water.
Coconut oil is very nourishing and not only can it keep your skin hydrated, but it can also prevent it from peeling. Most importantly, it can accelerate the healing process, since it contains lauric acid. It also contains Vitamin E, which is an antioxidant, and thus can protect your skin from free radicals.
In order to treat a sunburn with coconut oil, all you have to do is apply it gently over the affected area, and you don’t need to wash it off afterwards. However, keep in mind that it doesn’t cool off sunburned skin, so you should treat it with something else first and leave coconut oil for later in order for it to actually be effective.
You may think that applying vinegar to a sunburn will make it sting even more (many people do), but it’s really quite the contrary. Vinegar will help you alleviate the pain and itching that comes with sunburns, as well as help you reduce inflammation. It will provide your skin with a cooling effect and immediately take the heat out of your skin.
Also, if your skin hasn’t already started peeling and you don’t have any blisters yet, vinegar will help you keep it that way. You can use either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, which you need to mix with cold water before applying it on your skin either with a washcloth or, much better, by using a spray bottle.
Aloe vera is one of the best natural remedies for treating a sunburn. It accelerates the healing process and provides you with soothing relief, and it keeps your skin moisturized. Aloe vera is amazing not only for mild sunburns, but also for second-degree and third-degree burns.
You can use an aloe vera gel or you can simply cut open a fresh leaf of the plant and apply its gel directly onto your sunburned skin. Leave it out for your skin to absorb it completely, so that the phytochemicals that it contains can speed up the healing process.
Honey has amazing anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antibacterial properties and it is one of the best ways to treat sunburns, speed up healing, reduce the pain, and minimize the risk of infections. It works wonders when it comes to blisters, as it prevents them from bursting and leading an infection to your skin, while effectively healing the damaged tissue underneath them at the same time.
What you need to do to heal your sunburns with honey is gently apply it on your skin and let it sit for about 30 minutes, after which you can simply wash it off.
You certainly need to provide your body with the necessary Vitamin D, but you need to make sure that you dial your exposure to the sun down to a healthy level, so that you don’t end up dealing with sunburns and all the pain and awful discomfort that comes with it.
However, if you still somehow end up with a sunburn, you can be sure that every single one of the aforementioned natural remedies will help you treat it quickly and effectively. Nevertheless, remember that prevention is the best protection.