It is now getting really hot outside where we live. We are all enjoying the sun, and I’m sure many of you are as well. After this past week I’m sure some of us are left with red, hot, itchy skin that comes along with being out in the sun too long with not enough protection. SUN BURNS!!! I burn fairly easily even after using sunscreen and staying in the shade. Over the years, I have tried many different remedies for relief and feel it is time to share them with you!
This is probably the most well known remedy. Most stores sell aloe after sun lotion, or you can get aloe vera gel straight from an aloe plant. If you ever have ever touched pure aloe vera gel, it feels soothing and cool, so it only makes sense that applying aloe vera gel to your sunburn can make it feel much better.
The Aloe vera plant consists of 99% water with the 1% being comprised of about 150 minerals and trace elements such as selenium and tannins (tannins are astringents). Both are known remedies for sunburns. They are used in sunburn lotions and creams as well.
Have you ever heard the saying cool as a cucumber? Well, that’s for a good reason! This cool veggie belongs to the melon family. It is packed with natural antioxidants and pain relieving properties. These properties plus all the nutrients and minerals it contains make it a fantastic remedy for sunburns. Cucumber soothes and cools while also helping to repair your inflamed skin.
There are a couple ways to use cucumbers for your sunburn. You can simply slice it and place the slices on your burn. You can put it in a blender or grinder to make a paste out of it to spread on your burn. Or, my favorite, you can make a cucumber juice then dip a cloth in it and lay that on the affected skin.
Baking soda, believe it or not, is also a great soothing remedy for sunburn. It works by balancing the pH level of your skin to promote faster healing. You can make a cool compress with it by adding a couple teaspoons to a bowl of water. You could also add a few tablespoons to your bath and soak in it for 15 minutes. Make sure you don’t soak in it for too long (over 20 minutes), because it could cause your skin to become too dry.
I have also heard that you can use cornstarch in place of the baking soda, but I have never tried this option.
Oats are great when used as an antioxidant and also help bring down inflammation. These qualities make oatmeal a wonderful remedy for itchy, stingy sunburned skin. Some people may have heard it’s great for a kid with the chicken pox to help reduce the itch. It works similarly with sun burns.
You can add it to your bath easily for relief. Just grind up about a cup of it into a powder and mix it into the water. Also, you can make a paste out of it by grinding up about 1/2 cup to a powder, adding in 2 tablespoons of honey and a little less than 1/4 cup milk (enough to make a paste; adding too much milk can make it too liquidy). Just apply the paste to your burn for fast relief.
The Potato has many great qualities, one of them being its pain relieving, soothing quality. The starchiness of the potato can give you relief from stingy, burning sensations that a sunburn can come along with.
You can use the potatoes in similar ways as the cucumber. Cut it into slices and rub them onto your stingy skin. Or you can make a paste by grinding or grating the potato finely. If the paste is too dry, add a bit of water to make it more moist. Apply this paste directly to your skin and use gauze to hold it in place if necessary. Instead of applying directly to your skin, you may also put the paste in a cloth and use it like a cool compress.
TEA (BLACK OR GREEN)
Tea has A LOT of tannic acid in it, which helps pull the heat out of your burned skin. But that’s not all! It also balance the pH levels of your skin (similar to the baking soda), which will give you that much needed comfort you’re seeking after burning. Tannic acid is the commercial form of tannin, which protect your skin from toxins in the environment. They also repair damaged skin and relieve pain.
You can wet the tea bag with warm water and dab on the skin. You can also brew up a batch of tea, let it cool, dip a clean wash cloth in and use as a cool compress. Lastly, you can simply add some tea to your bath water and soak.
Tip: To boost the cooling of using tea when brewing, you can add a cup of crushed up mint leaves to the tea as well.
*Always make sure you are drinking lots of water. Dehydration can come along with any kind of burn. Your skin and body need a lot of hydration to heal. I hope you find relief from whichever remedy you choose to try.