- Alternative & Natural Medicine
11 natural Home Remedies for Sunburn
Home remedies to soothe your sunburn
Even though precaution is the best remedy against sunburns, many of us are still too careless when it comes to choosing a healthy skin over a good bronze tan after a beach holiday. While sun exposure in moderation can be a healthy way to avoid Vitamin D deficiency, sunburns are dangerous and closely linked to skin cancer.
Precaution is the best caution
1. Try to avoid sun bathing between 10am and 3pm as the sun is at its highest stands and radiation will be the strongest, even if it is a cloudy day.
2. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to exposing yourself to the sun. Make sure you are using a good quality natural sunscreen - otherwise the sunscreen can do you more harm than good!
3. Wear long-sleeved clothing when not tanning to protect your skin from over-exposure.
4. If you are still insisting on getting a tan, make sure that you do this gradually by limiting your sun bath’ to 15-20minutes at a time, only slowly increasing the exposure time.
5. Especially when being exposed to alpine sun while skiing or trekking, be sure to apply a good natural sunscreen.
6. Newer research has found that you can boost up your resistance against UV radiation by following a high nutrional density diet combined with a fair amount of anti-oxidant content.
How to soothe your sunburn
If everything has failed and you’ve got yourself a sunburn you can try some of the following natural remedies for sunburn at home.
Once the skin got burned it is inflamed. Cooling it will help keeping the inflammation at bay and reducing the pain.
1. Apply a soothing compress
Dip a piece of clean cloth into cold water or skimmed milk (milk: water = 1:4) and carefully position it on the burn. Oatmeal water is also supposed to have a very beneficial effect on sunburned skin and can be attained by thinning a batch of oatmeal with cold water and then pressing it through a thin cloth or gauze. Alternatively you can use Witch Hazel, which you can get at your local Health Store. After about 15 minutes when your compress has warmed up to your body temperature refresh your compress. Do this several times.
2. Apply Aloe Vera Gel
The wound healing and cooling properties of Aloe Vera have been found to be very beneficial against skin irritations and sunburns. You can either apply the gel from the cut leaf directly, or better apply your fresh home-made Aloe Vera Gel.
3. Apply Yogurt
You can also directly apply plain Yogurt on your sunburned skin – it is both, soothing and cooling.
4. Vegetable slices
Vegetable slices from for example raw cucumbers or apples have been found to bring relief for your sunburned skin. Avoid using the peel though, because of eventual pesticide residues.
If you find cornstarch in your kitchen cabinet you might as well turn it into a soothing anti-sunburn paste! Just put your cornstarch into a bowl and add a few sips of water until you have a not too-thick paste. Apply your cornstarch paste directly to the sun-burned areas.
Teabags soaked in cold water can bring relief to sunburned eyelids. Just rest the cold teabags (Green tea would be the best) carefully on your closed eyes; it will help you to soothe the pain and decrease swelling.
7. Apply an ice pack
You can also use an ice pack or, if you don’t have one, a bag of deep-frozen green peas to sooth the pain from sunburn. Simply wrap the pack(et) into a damp clean cloth or wash glove and let it sit on the sunburned area. Be careful not to directly put the ice pack onto your bare skin.
8. Take a full body bath
Instead of cooling your skin partially you can also take a full body bath in cold water. Just don’t add any soap/bubble bath to your tub as this might dry and irritate your skin further. Instead you might add 1 cup of white vinegar to your tub of cool water for the right pH-value and a deeper relief.
9. Apply oil and moisturizer
After sun burning it is crucial to keep your skin moisturized. After finishing the cooling of your sunburn immediately pat yourself carefully dry and apply some bath, olive or coconut oil. After a minute you can apply moisturizer, body lotion or again Aloe Vera Gel. Try to use a brand with less perfume and no unnecessary contents. For an added relief keep your body lotion in the fridge and apply it chilled to your sunburned skin areas.
10. Hydrate yourself
Nothing can hydrate your skin as effectively as your body itself – so make sure to drink extra much water (3-4l per day) during the healing process.
11. Use Turmeric
After sunburn the skin is at higher risk to catch an infection. As a natural antiseptic you might want to try Turmeric out. Simply mix some organic Turmeric powder with enough water to make a paste and apply it to your sunburn.
After getting a sunburn it can take your skin 3-6 months to recover fully from it. Be sure to be extra careful in that time not to get burned again, as your skin will be more sensitive to sun radiation during that period.
If you want to use any of the above mentioned recipes make sure the water you use is clean. The best is to use filtered or even distilled water. Especially if you live in the USA you don’t want to put fluorided tap water on your wounds, as this will accelerate the penetration of harmful fluoride through your skin and into your body.
If your sunburn is very serious you might experience extensive blistering, nausea, fever, itching and purple discoloration. Consult your doctor in such serious cases!