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Ovation: Seven Natural Sunburn Remedies


Sunburn RemediesSome of us will never learn.  No matter how many times get a sun burn, we still find ourselves outside on a sunny day without protecting our skin.  I’ve, personally, burned and peeled three times already this year and my lips are in a constant state of discomfort.  I’ve got big hats and long sleeves, bottles of sunscreen with SPFs ranging from 8-50 and I still manage to come home from a day at the pool with a tender neck and a red nose.  Our parents used to oil up “lay out” to intentionally “get a tan” and now we spend countless dollars protecting ourselves and our families from the “sun’s harmful rays”.  What happened?

This holiday weekend, as we celebrate outdoors, we should all be careful when we enjoy the summer sun.  But, just in case you run out of sunscreen, here are a few natural sunburn remedies for those spots that we miss.  (I haven’t tried all of them, personally, but they come highly recommended.)

Plain Yogurt

Yogurt contains enzymes and acids that, apparently, can bring relief to sunburn pain.  Once applied directly to the skin, relief is said to come within minutes.  Because sunburned skin is quite warm, the yogurt will dry quickly.  Rinse it off with cool water and repeat a few times.

White Vinegar & Water

Plain white vinegar is a popular sunburn remedy.  Many who try it say it helps to relieve pain when applied to the skin as a compress.  Soak clean towels in a half water/half vinegar solution, wring them out and apply on the affected areas, avoiding contact with the eyes.  You can also fill a clean spray bottle with the mixture and spray it onto the skin.

Potato Paste

Take one or two small potatoes and blend them until they are in liquid form.  You might have to add some water but, once they’re completely blended, pat your sun burn with the mixture and allow it to dry.  Take a cool shower to rinse the potatoes off your skin and feel the relief.

Herbal Bath Soak

Add a few cups of the following (or a combination) to a lukewarm bath.

  • Cucumber juice
  • Milk
  • Baking Soda
  • Yogurt
  • Steeped Tea
  • Oatmeal
  • Buttermilk

Avoid hot water so as not to dry out your skin even more, limit your soak to no more than fifteen minutes and then apply your favorite (alcohol-free) lotion afterward.

Black Tea Bags

The tannic acid in wet black tea bags is said to draw the burn out of the skin and start the healing process.  After just one application, most sun burns are said to no longer be painful and are less red.  While this treatment is believed to bring relief to burns, it may not prevent peeling.  Some people will soak a towel in a pot of cooled black tea and use it as a compress.

Baking Soda & Apple Cider Vinegar Paste

The acid in apple cider vinegar provides some relief from pain while baking soda soothes itchy skin and keeps you from touching sensitive burn areas.  Mix ¼ cup apple cider vinegar with ¼ cup baking soda to form a paste.  Add a few drops of a soothing essential oil, like lavender, and apply the paste directly to sun burned areas.  The paste also brings relief from some bug bites.

Apply Aloe Vera

The old faithful aloe vera plant, found at most any home and garden store, remains a favorite home remedy for burns.  Squeeze some of the gel from the leaves onto a sun burn and gently rub it into the skin.  It causes the blood vessels to constrict and soothes the most painful burn.

No matter what remedy you choose to find relief from a sun burn this weekend, remember to heal your burn from the inside out by drinking lots of water.  Staying hydrated will replace moisture that the sun has stolen from your skin.  Of course, the best way to avoid sunburn is to stay inside.  But where’s the fun in that?

Do you burn easily in the sun?


From → Ovations

  1. Lene permalink

    Very helpful. Thanks. Yes. I burn very easily.


  2. Many thanks. With my thinned hair, proactively wearing a cap is essential. In fact, the first time you find your hair is thinning is when building sandcastles on the beach and realizing your head is sunburned.


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