It would seem that getting sunburn at least once in the season is inevitable. Although that may be, pain and peeling skin afterwards is very much avoidable.
First thing you should do to heal sunburn is to get away from the sun or at least cover the burned skin. Second is to drink water to prevent dehydration, because your body is sending extra water to damaged skin in an attempt to repair it. To speed up this process there are several things you can do.
Nature has provided us with plenty of remedies to choose from. In this post I composed a list of my favorite go-to
HOME REMEDIES FOR SUNBURN
As soon as possible take a cool shower, but not too cold. You want it to feel refreshing and soothing, not painful. Make it last no longer than 5 minutes. Water dries the skin and your skin is, now more than ever, in need of moisture. Cool shower should just ease the burn enough to prepare it for the next step, applying a remedy of your choice.
Vitamin E is an essential vitamin for healthy skin and as such has an important role in healing the affected skin. But vitamin E has another more important role and that is to decrease the damage caused by the sun.
Open a few capsules containing pure vitamin E oil and apply it gently on the burn.
Aloe vera ice cubes
Aloe vera is the most common and well known remedy for skin irritations including sunburn. It cools, soothes and moisturizes the skin. Exactly what your skin is craving after sunburn.
By cooling aloe vera gel or even better freezing it in the form of cubes you amplify the cooling effect.
The preparation and use is pretty straightforward. Fill the ice cube tray with aloe vera gel and freeze it. When needed take the cube and apply it on the sunburn. Experience instant relief.
Cucumbers are another great option to heal sunburn naturally. Cucumbers have hydrating, soothing and cooling effects that can help reduce redness and inflammation.
Place cucumber slices or apply mashed cucumber paste directly on the burn and let it do its work for at least half an hour. After removing the cucumber don’t rinse, but leave the film that has been created on the skin, it will keep much needed moisture trapped in the skin.
St. John’s wort macerated oil
From my experience this is the best natural remedy for mild sunburn, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you have a severe burn. I always have a bottle of it in my medicine cabinet, and it has never failed me.
Apply it on the sunburned skin as soon as possible. Repeat 2-3 times throughout the day until redness is gone.
This oil will heal your burn without that ugly peeling of the skin.
Just have in mind that St. John’s wort oil is foto-sensitive, which means you should avoid sun exposure while using it and also don’t use it on open wounds.
You can buy the oil here or easily prepare it yourself at home. All you’ll need is some St. John’s wort flower heads and olive oil. Fill the jar with flowers and pour in olive oil to completely cover the flowers. Cover the jar with cheesecloth secured with the rubber band. Leave it in a dark, dry and cool place for 40 days. After 40 days strain the oil through the cheesecloth and squeeze the oil from the flowers. Pour the oil in dark glass bottles and store it in a dark and cool place.
Cold chamomile and mint tea is a great homemade remedy for sunburn for several reasons. Firstly both of the ingredients are easy to find no matter where you are and secondly it’s quick to prepare. Chamomile is known for its calming properties and mint is a synonym for freshness.
To prepare it you will need 1 tablespoon of chamomile flower heads (fresh or dry) and 1 tablespoon of mint leaves (fresh or dry). Put both herbs in a jar and cover with 2 cups of boiling water, cover the jar with washcloth and leave to steep for 30 minutes or until cooled to room temperature. Strain it and use immediately or place in the fridge to cool before use. To apply it is best to use tea soaked washcloth to cover the burned area.
Witch hazel is often recommended by dermatologists for treating sunburn because of its anti-inflammatory properties. For this purpose best is to use witch hazel water, always avoid alcohol based products because alcohol dries the skin. I personally like to spray witch hazel water (that I keep in the fridge) on the sunburn, and repeat several times a day. Some people soak washcloth and place it on the burned area. Both methods are equally effective.
Making witch hazel water is as simple as brewing a tea. You will need 2 tablespoons of witch hazel bark and ½ liter distilled water (approx. 2 cups). Place witch hazel bark and water in a pot and leave it for 30 minutes. Then bring to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer, covered for 10 minutes. Take off the heat and leave to cool. Once cooled, strain and pour into a clean spray bottle. Store it in the fridge for up to 3 months.
In case you don’t want to make your own or can’t find witch hazel bark here is a great product you can buy, it’s unscented and alcohol-free.
Keeping the skin hydrated after a sunburn is number one priority.
Vaseline will create a protective film over the damaged skin and trap the moisture. That way it will help to speed up recovery and restore skins’ natural moisture barrier.
Put a tub of vaseline in a fridge to make it cool and soothing for the burn.
Honey has antibacterial and moisture-trapping properties. It also speeds up the creation of new skin cells. All this together will help to heal the sunburn.
Apply the honey on the affected area and cover it with a gauze. Leave for half an hour and rinse with cool water. Repeat 2-3 times a day.
Milk proteins reduce pain and burning sensations of a sunburn. On the other hand milk fat traps the moisture to keep your skin hydrated, this is why it’s good to choose full fat milk. You can also use yogurt or a similar dairy product instead of milk.
Soak a towel or a washcloth in cool milk and place it on the burned area. Leave it for 5-10 minutes then remove the cloth. Repeat as many times a day as you want or need, there is really no limit here.
Until the sunburn is completely gone, drink plenty of water and avoid exposing damaged skin to direct sunlight, even if it’s evening sun it is still too strong. When showering use moisturizing shower gels or baby shower lotions, regular soaps and gels are very drying. Avoid all skin products that contain alcohol.
These are home remedies for sunburn I always turn to and find them very helpful. I would love to know what are some natural or everyday products you use to heal sunburn? Share your experiences with us in comments and have a wonderful summer!