While we all know the importance of wearing sunscreen and taking other precautions to limit our exposure to the sun and its harmful rays, sunburns still happen, leaving our skin feeling hot, uncomfortable, and painful. Mild sunburns usually clear up within a week, but more severe sunburns may lead to a condition called ‘sun poisoning’, which causes blisters on your skin, fever and/or chills, dehydration, headaches, dizziness, and nausea. If you suspect you have sun poisoning, it’s important to seek medical care to avoid complications.
If you’re looking for natural sunburn remedies to help calm and soothe mild sunburns, we’ve got 8 ideas to help!
8 Natural Sunburn Remedies That Work Fast
1. STAY HYDRATED
One of the most important, yet often overlooked natural sunburn remedies is to ensure you remain hydrated. This is especially important if you’ve suffered a bad sunburn to prevent dehydration, but even a mild sunburn can benefit from additional H2O to help with the drying effects of too much sun exposure. Keep a water bottle with you at all times, and try to consume foods with a higher water content, like watermelon, cucumber, and grapefruit.
2. COLD COMPRESS
If your sunburn is limited to a small area of your body, like your shoulders or face, applying cold compresses can help with the pain and reduce the burning/hot sensation you’re feeling. Place a wash cloth in cool water, wring out most of the water, and apply it to the affected area. You can also wrap ice in a towel and apply it to your skin, and a bag of frozen peas works wonders too!
3. COOL WATER
If you’re looking for natural sunburn remedies to help with a burn that affects a large portion of your body, a cool bath or a dip in the ocean or lake is a great option. Chlorinated pools can help, but if you have sensitive skin and/or a more severe burn, the chlorine may irritate your skin.
4. OATMEAL BATH
If you suffer from eczema, you probably already know that colloidal oatmeal can be extremely soothing to inflamed skin. You can add oatmeal from your pantry directly to your bath water, and Aveeno sells a bath treatment with 100% natural colloidal oatmeal (you can buy it here) which is extremely soothing too.
5. ALOE VERA
If you have an Aloe Vera plant handy, cut open one of the leaves, scoop out the gel, and apply it directly to your sunburn for natural relief. Aloe Vera will help keep your skin clean, and its anti-inflammatory properties will help soothe your sunburn. Don’t have an Aloe Vera plant handy? 100% Aloe Vera gel is a great alternative.
6. WITCH HAZEL
Witch hazel is another one of my favorite natural sunburn remedies as its anti-inflammatory properties help soothe the skin while also keeping it clean to prevent infection. Apply it directly to your burn with a cotton ball for instant relief!
The tannic acid in green and black tea is said to pull the heat out of a sunburn, making it another idea to consider if you’re looking for natural sunburn remedies. Brew a pot of tea, allow it to steep for a few minutes with a wash cloth in the water, then remove the wash cloth from the water and pop it into the fridge or freezer until it’s cool, ensuring most of the water has been squeezed out. Once it’s cool enough, apply it your sunburn.
My final tip for those who are looking for natural sunburn remedies is to keep your skin moisturized. Be careful to pat your skin dry (instead of rubbing it) with a towel after bathing, and apply a moisturizer to soothe your skin and prevent it from drying and peeling. Re-apply moisturizer several times throughout the day, and once any blisters have healed, you can use coconut oil as a natural moisturizer.