How to Soothe Sunburns Naturally

How to Soothe Sunburns Naturally

Last update: 27 July, 2015

Here in blustery Blighty, you’ve got to take advantage of the sun. If you overdo it and get a bit too much solar, you’ll want to soothe sunburns naturally. After all, why would you want to put chemicals on skin that’s already damaged? Ultraviolet rays penetrate the dermis, causing tissue to die. You’re left with that not-so-chic lobster look that can also be excruciatingly painful.

Skin that has been overexposed to the sun needs quick treatment. Left to its own devices, burnt skin can mean premature wrinkles and spots – but it can also lead to more serious health issues. As with most things in life, prevention is better than cure. Arm yourself with sun protection to mitigate the risk of being burned in the first place. If, in spite of your best efforts, you do still suffer from overexposure to that fiery orb, use natural remedies to restore your skin. That’s the topic of today’s article.

You’re made in the shade

Got a sunburn? Your best bet is to stay in the shade. You can only exacerbate a burn with further exposure to the sun. If you must go out in it, wear protective clothing, a hat and sun cream to protect your face.

Take a cold shower

Shower head

As soon as you discover sun damage, a cold shower should be your first order of business. The water will immediately cool and calm the affected area. If you can, continue to apply cold compresses to your burned skin. Let them rest for a few minutes at a time. It’s also important that you stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water, because your body will have lost a lot of moisture and essential salts.

Milk it for all it’s worth

Soya milk is ridiculously good for relieving sunburn. How does it do it? Good question. Let us explain. It’s the fatty acids that do it – those and the naturally cooling properties of soya!

How do I use it?

Saturate a clean, soft cloth with full fat soya milk. Use it to pat and lightly massage the sunburned skin, then leave the cloth in place for about 20 minutes. Once the time has elapsed, follow with a cold water rinse.

Chamomile goes the extra mile

Chamomile infusion

Chamomile is renowned for its mild medicinal properties, so it’s perfect for easing the pain of sunburn.

What do I do?

Prepare your chamomile tea as if you were going to drink it. Instead, let it cool completely. You can either put it in the fridge or add a few cubes of ice to speed the process. Once it’s cold, use a soft flannel or a towel to apply it to the affected area. Leave it in place for 20-30 minutes, then rinse with cold water.

Aloe vera’s very effective

Aloe vera

Aloe vera remains a perennial favourite for healing sunburn. In addition to encouraging tissue regeneration, it helps you to recover more quickly and alleviates a lot of the pain associated with a bad burn.

How do I use it?

Use an additive-free, pure aloe gel preparation or squeeze the gel from an aloe vera leaf. Rub it gently onto the sunburn. To supplement the topical remedy, you can also drink a smoothie or a glass of water with added aloe.

Oh, heavenly oats

Porridge oats

Oats are so mild and, yet, so effective to rehydrate skin that’s been hammered by the sun. They soothe and revitalise the dermal layers.

How do I use it?

Add porridge oats to lukewarm water until you have a paste. Use it to carefully massage the damaged skin. Let it remain for a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly with cold water.

Apple’s on your side

Apple cider vinegar

If you’ve never tried apple cider vinegar to treat sunburns, now’s the time to change that. This nutritious elixir eases pain and prevents blisters forming and the subsequent peeling that they can cause.

How do I use it?

Dilute, dilute, dilute. Don’t apply apple cider vinegar directly to your skin. Its acetic acid may produce a negative reaction. So, first things first: mix water with an equal amount of cider vinegar.

Soak a soft cloth in the vinegar solution, then apply it as a compress. Leave it for 15 minutes, then soak the cloth in a fresh batch. Repeat this process until you feel relief. It shouldn’t take too long.

If you prefer, you can take an apple cider vinegar bath. Simply add two cups of vinegar to your (cool) bath water.

Just one more thing…

Avoidance isn’t always advisable, but it is when you’re dealing with the sun. Now, we’re not suggesting that you go all ‘True Blood’…but you should stay out of the sun during those hours when it’s at its zenith. When you do venture out to enjoy it, be mindful. Use a good sun cream that provides ample protection from UVA and UVB rays. Drink plenty of water and keep your skin topically hydrated. Include loads of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet to amplify antioxidants in your system. Keep your skin clean and try to make a habit of weekly exfoliation. Grab your floppy hat, get out there and enjoy!