It’s happened to everyone and it’ll happen to you again, probably this year – no matter how much sun cream you think you’ve put on or how careful you think you’ve been. You’re just winding down after a day of sunny activities, and guess what? Someway. Somehow. You’ve got sunburn.
We all know that applying lots of sun cream, wearing layers and staying in the shade is the best way to avoid this painful sensation. But once affected by sunburn, where can you find that soothing sunburn relief?
Instead of rushing straight off to the chemist, why not try your very own cupboard for a more natural, and usually cheaper, alternative? When you’re looking for ways to treat sunburn, there are a number of reliable home remedies you can try to ease sunburn quickly and easily.
It’s best to try natural remedies before reaching for the stronger stuff, however if you’ve been burnt over a large area, have any blistering or swelling, are experiencing a high temperature or chills, or are feeling sick and dizzy, you should contact your GP.
Go the natural way to treat and soothe sunburn this summer – looking no further than the comfort of your own home!
There’s a reason the saying goes ‘cool as a cucumber’. Cucumbers have natural antioxidant and analgesic properties that help aid relief from sunburn. For best results try mashing the cucumber up into a paste and applying directly to your skin.
Loved by many of us as a refreshing beverage, a cool wash of milk on sunburn can actually aid pain relief too. For best results, place a washcloth soaked in cool milk on the reddened area to create a protein film that eases discomfort and reduces heat.
3. Green tea
The super tea that works miracles! Popular for all kinds of health benefits, green tea contains tannic acid and theobromine which help to relieve pain and heal damaged skin when applied. Simply soak a couple of tea bags in cool water to either use as a cold compress on the burnt areas, or wash your face gently with the cold tea liquid.
Odd as it may seem, putting oatmeal on sunburn is one of the oldest home remedies in the book, and science does not disagree. Oat extract possesses anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve pain caused by sunburn. Simply apply finely ground oatmeal to bathwater and sit back and relax. Oat so simple!
5. Cider vinegar
Did you know that adding one cup of cider vinegar to a cool bath helps balance the pH of sunburned skin, and promotes healing? This is because the acid found in vinegar is said to reduce pain, itching, and inflammation caused by sunburn. It can also work like a natural aspirin. Simply dab a bit of vinegar on to your sunburn for 20 minutes of instant pain relief. Sounds good to us!
The humble potato has been renowned for its qualities as a pain reliever throughout the ages. With its starch-based compounds, the simple spud helps to ease pain caused by sunburn. Chop a potato into slices, and place or rub gently on the affected area.
7. Baking soda and cornstarch
These two items are no doubt tucked away at the back of your store cupboard somewhere! Cornstarch and baking soda, with their silky textures, are a great way to ease your sunburn. You can soak in cool bath water for under 20 minutes with a few heaped tablespoons of baking soda added. This creates an alkalized environment that is soothing to the skin. Additionally make your bed sunburn-friendly and sprinkle some cornstarch to prevent painful chafing.
8. Aloe Vera
This magical plant is a very popular antidote for irritated skin. The gel within the aloe vera plant naturally eases discomfort and moisturises skin thanks to its powerful glyconutrients, which speed healing. For best results, access the gel from a fresh plant and keep applying until pain eases off.
For short and sweet relief, honey is another great home remedy for sunburn. In fact, some suggest it may work better than some antibiotic creams at speeding up healing, reducing infection, and minimising pain. Apply directly to sunburn, and avoid sticking to anything!
10. Witch hazel
The old wives tales are spot on when it comes to swearing by witch hazel. The chemicals contained within the plant include tannins, which help towards skin repair and fight against bacteria. Often found in the form of a distilled liquid, apply directly to sore skin using cotton gauze for fast and effective relief from sunburn.
Plain, cold yogurt can help relieve sunburn thanks to the probiotics it contains, which help to restore the skin’s barrier. Apply the yogurt (Greek if possible) on the affected area for 5 to 10 mins for three days.
It’s not just a great natural stress reliever – chamomile works wonders on sunburn too! Either add a few drops of natural extract to a bowl of cool water and apply to the affected areas, or make yourself a chamomile bath the same way. Make sure that water is as cold as you can stand it – brrr!