I am really sunburned. Between riding lessons, gardening and pruning the vineyard, my poor skin is really suffering. I have the weirdest farmer’s tan too. But ignoring that, I wanted to learn what ways I could treat a sunburn naturally. Turns out there’s lots of ways.
We all know good ole aloe vera. This spiky plant has tons of moisturizing goo inside that cools off your burn. which is also wonderful for minor scrapes and cuts and an all around wonderful substance for the skin. Just break off a branch, cut it open and rub it on your skin-or buy it from the store in a bottle.
You can also smear yogurt all over your skin as soon as it turns pink. Evidently this not only cools the skin, but helps to reestablish the proper pH and promotes healing. Rinse it off once it warms up and continue to reapply it. Better still, use a paste made of barley, turmeric and yogurt in equal proportions. Apply it over the affected areas for sunburn relief and healing.
Surprisingly you can also use tea. Just brew up a pot, dip a towel in it and put it on the sunburn. Obviously you should do this after it has cooled off. If you have a big sunburn, put a bunch of tea bags in the bathtub and jump in. The tannins in tea help draw out the burn and heal the skin. You can also apply cold, used tea bags to sun-burned eyelids to relieve pain and swelling.
While not natural, you can also smear shaving cream all over your burn. It comes out cool and it is usually mentholated for even more cooling.
Apple cider vinegar should be in everyone’s cabinet. Vinegar is an antiseptic and helps to cool the skin as it evaporates. Vinegar could help to balance the body’s pH levels to take away the stinging feeling of the burn, though it likely works by just providing a cooling sensation to the skin
Some people have said try a hot shower. DON’T. That will just increase the heat in the skin. A cool shower is fine though.
Baking soda mixed with water is also a great way of balancing the PH of the skin. If the vinegar doesn’t work, try the baking soda.
Potato peels is the biggest surprise I came across and there is actually research to back this up. If you have a minor burn, potato peels bandages work even better than traditional bandages. The peels not only provide moisture, but also are anti-bacterial and will keep you safe and healthy during healing.
Putting oatmeal on sunburn is one of the oldest home remedies in the book, and science seems to back that up.
Oat extract has been shown in studies to have anti-inflammatory properties that could help relieve sunburn pain. It’s likely that making up a batch of oatmeal and chilling it down will soothe sunburn when applied to the skin.
For a wonderfully smelling remedy and one that will prevent peeling and help you keep your tan, try lavender essential oil.
Tomatoes have also been hailed as a treatment for sunburns. I don’t know about this, but science has shown they can actually prevent them. So smear a tomato on you next time you go outside!
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