The best defense against sunburned skin is prevention—try to avoid being outdoors between the hours of 10am and 2pm, when the sun’s rays are the strongest. Make sure you wear at least an SPF 30 sunscreen and a large hat for shading your face. But when it’s too late and you come home looking like a lobster, there are some home remedies beyond aloe vera that you might want to try.
6 Natural Remedies for Sunburn
- Oatmeal: soaking in an oatmeal bath (whole oatmeal, not instant) can take the sting out of sunburned skin. Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties and is also a skin soother. Run a cool bath and add a couple handfuls of oats to the water. Soak for 30 minutes or until your skin feels cool to the touch. Pat yourself to dry off, making sure not to rub your skin too vigorously with your towel.
- Black Tea: soak a few teabags of black tea in a pitcher or bowl of warm water and then apply to your skin with gauze or a wash cloth. The tea will ease the itch of the sunburn and should provide immediate relief. Make sure to use a washcloth that you don’t care about and you might want to do this in the nude (black tea will stain your clothing).
- Witch Hazel: witch hazel provides an instant burst of cool to your skin and has been shown to prevent peeling and flaking while speeding up healing time. Simply saturate a few cotton balls with a 1:1 solution of witch hazel and water and apply to your sunburn.
- Yogurt: For sunburns on your face, the solution might be in your refrigerator. Applying yogurt to your skin like a facial mask for a few minutes can ease the sting and hydrate to prevent peeling. After a few minutes, rinse off with cool water.
- Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is another one that soothes and prevents blistering and peeling. Be sure to mix 1 part vinegar with 2 parts cold water because vinegar is highly acidic. Soak a washcloth or towel in the mixture and swab over your sunburn. There’s no need to rinse it off.
- Coconut oil: You’ve no doubt heard about the myriad uses of coconut oil—well, now you can add sunburn soother to the list! Coconut oil is tremendously moisturizing and when mixed with a few drops of essential peppermint oil, it will cool burned skin. Slather on as much as possible and continue to do so for several days after sun exposure. It will help heal and relieve discomfort.