When I think back to summer vacations spent by the pool, visiting the beach, and walking along the sand dunes, there’s one specific detail that stands out as a constant.
The epic sunburns I endured.
Now listen, my mom made me apply and reapply sunscreen all day, day, from late March through early June to combat harmful rays, but inevitably, my fair skin was meant to burn, and I was meant to suffer.
Sunburn doesn’t just look serious, it feels serious and while symptoms like blistering, chills, headaches, and fevers definitely suck, the actual pain of the burn itself is the most straining.
Fortunately, if you’re fresh out of aloe at any point this summer, there are plenty of home remedies lying around in your pantry to ease the pain, stop the swelling, and make the healing process bearable (for the most part).
1.Take A Cool Shower
Starting with one of the more obvious solutions to soothe a sunburn, my first instinct has almost always been too cool off under a slightly chilled shower.
The water will feel like a sigh of relief. Just be sure to be gentle with the towel when drying off your tender skin.
2. Bathe In Earl Grey Tea
I’m convinced there’s nothing in this world a nice cup of tea can’t fix, but instead of an oversize mug, this recipe calls for a tub.
Fill your bath with hot water and throw in a few earl grey tea bags to steep.
Once the water warms, treat your body to delicious soak, enhanced with tea tannins to soothe the skin.
3. A Bit O’ Honey
Honey is an excellent healer to apply to small areas of sunburn because it calms inflammation and is loaded with proteins and healthy enzymes to lock in tissue fluid.
Apply directly to the area or, or as Common Sense Home blogger Laura Nerverman suggests, apply a few drops to a bandage before covering the area.
4. Oatmeal Bath
Finely ground oatmeal works best here, but if all you have in your pantry is a carton of quick oats, grind those babies in a blender before sprinkling into a lukewarm bath.
Soaking in the anti-inflammatory blend will do more for your skin than a hearty bowl at breakfast.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Is there anything ACV can’t do?
Apple cider vinegar is a great option for aiding sensitive sunburn just make sure it’s diluted, or the acid will sting.
Personally, I think the best way to go about it is to combine apple cider vinegar and water, and turn it into a DIY spritzer.
Pour in a travel-sized squirt bottle to easily soothe irritation throughout the day.
6. Apply A Milky Compress
Similarly to how it’s in your best interest to sip on a glass of milk rather than water after you eat spicy food, dairy also does the burned body good.
Due to its high fat and protein content, dabbing a compress dipped in cow’s milk will ease irritation and swelling fast, in addition to turning down your body temperature.
7. Cucumber Paste
OK this honestly sounds gross, but skin experts back up this vegetable-based remedy, so who am I to judge?
In a blender, combine chilled cucumber slices with cornstarch, and mix with an aloe vera lotion.
Rub over the infected area for a soothing effect that’s ultra healing, and oh-so-satisfying against fiery sunburn.
8. Sliced Or Mashed Potatoes
This pair of eyes were certainly smiling coming across this starchy fix for sunburn.
Unfortunately it doesn’t entail inhaling a pound of French fries (I know, I’m pretty bummed, too).
You can either slice a few raw spuds and place them around the infected area, or mash them up and apply as a soothing paste.
Starch is apparently known to draw out heat, which means your body temperature will cool, and you’ll smell like a potato.
I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of feelin’ that?!
9. Lettuce Broth
Another unexpected solution for ugly sunburn involves water infused with the juice of lettuce leaves, which apparently helps to reduce swelling.
It’s also such a ridiculously simple process, you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it first.
Boil lettuce in a pot of water and strain. Once the water cools, use a wash cloth or cotton ball to apply to the damaged skin.
10. Elevate Your Feet
Fun fact about me: I only tan on my feet, so while I don’t understand the woes of sole sunburn, it’s apparently a thing.
If your burn runs from the shins down, Rodney Blaser, MD suggests elevating the legs above heart level to stop the swelling.
Still debating if this is genius, or just lazy.
Opt for eggs for breakfast, and save the greek yogurt for your sunburn, as it’s loaded with stimulating probiotics that will ultimately rebuild skin’s natural barrier.
Apply a thin layer over burned areas for 10 minutes before blotting off with a wet towel.