It’s that time of year for taking the family to the pool and laying out by the lake. Soaking up the sunshine is something most people enjoy until a sunburn puts a damper on their summer fun. When that happens, seeking relief should be a top priority.
If you get sunburned, the first thing you want to do is get out of the sun and rehydrate. Water or sports drinks like Gatorade are an excellent choice to replenish your body’s lost fluids. You can use an over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen for the pain. Once you do those things, you can start seeking more immediate relief with topical solutions.
What soothes a sunburn?
You can buy various creams and gels that are marketed for sunburn relief, but there are many natural homeopathic remedies for sunburn relief, too. Many of these are probably items you already have on hand. Here are several options to help soothe a mild sunburn:
1. Cold bath or shower – It may sting a bit, but the cold water will lower your skin temperature and reduce inflammation. This might not be a great option if you have hard water, though. One of the disadvantages of hard water is that it can irritate skin conditions, such as sunburns. But if you have soft water, one of the benefits of soft water on the skin is that it protects your skin’s moisture barrier and sunburns need plenty of hydration to heal.
2. Cold compress – Use a washcloth or a soft rag of any kind, dip it in cold water, and place it on the sunburned skin. When the coolness wears off, wet it again and repeat.
3. Apple cider vinegar – Add about a cup of apple cider vinegar to bathwater or your cold compress. Apple cider vinegar is known by many to promote healing. You can also pour a mixture of one part apple cider vinegar and one part water into a spray bottle to spray over your sore skin.
4. Oatmeal – This is a natural anti-inflammatory. You can make a paste of oatmeal and cold milk to apply to your sunburned skin. Additionally, you can add oatmeal to your bath water for a relaxing soak.
5. Aloe vera – This is a natural way to cool down your sore skin. Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties and provides almost immediate relief. Always make sure you use 100% aloe vera products — anything else may not be as effective.
6. Coconut oil – This is high in natural fats, making it a great natural moisturizer!
7. Witch hazel – When you apply witch hazel to your skin, it provides instant anti-inflammatory relief. You can add some to your cool compress to enhance the benefits.
8. Cucumbers – These cool vegetables are a natural antioxidant and pain reliever. You can refrigerate them or put them in a blender to make a paste and apply them to your sunburned skin for some relief.
9. Black tea – Steep a few bags of regular black tea, and then use a soft cloth to apply it to your sunburned skin. Do not rinse it off. The team’s tannic acid will provide some relief and dial down the heat. It can speed up the recovery process as well.
10. Yogurt – The lactic acid and the probiotics in yogurt make it a great option for soothing skin and reducing redness. Don’t go for the low-fat version. Choose regular, plain yogurt and gently smooth it onto your sunburned skin. After about 10 or 15 minutes, rinse off in a cool shower — preferably one with soft water so you can also enjoy the benefits of soft water on your skin.
Don’t buy into the myth that soothing your sunburn has to be expensive or that it requires special products. It can be as simple as using things you have around your house. These ideas are all great ways to take care of your skin and heal your mild sunburn so you can bounce back and enjoy your summer activities.