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11 natural Home Remedies for Sunburn

Updated on May 16, 2013
Limit your sun tanning!
Limit your sun tanning!

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.

Eating super-foods might be more important for sunburn prevention than expected
Eating super-foods might be more important for sunburn prevention than expected

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.

Cooling

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.

Aloe Vera Gel is easy to make at home
Aloe Vera Gel is easy to make at home

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.

5. Cornstarch

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.

6. Teabags

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.

Moisturizing

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.

Turmeric is a powerful antiseptic
Turmeric is a powerful antiseptic | Source

Avoid infection

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!

Do you regularly use Sunscreen?

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    • Wasteless Project profile image
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      Wasteless Project 3 years ago from Worldwide

      Thank you Billybuc and Mecheshier - so happy you liked the hub! I wisehd I would find more time for writing more...

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 3 years ago

      You are most welcome Wasteless Project. Loved the Hub!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Home remedies....use less....recycle....I love your attitude on life. I'll be following from now on.

    • Wasteless Project profile image
      Author

      Wasteless Project 4 years ago from Worldwide

      Thank you mecheshier! I am happy you took the time to comment on my hub:) Wishing you a great summer ahead.

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 4 years ago

      Great Hub here... Wonderful suggestions to beat the heat naturally. Thank you for sharing. Voted up for useful and interesting.

    • Wasteless Project profile image
      Author

      Wasteless Project 4 years ago from Worldwide

      Thank you Pinto, I am happy if such home remedies get more into use again:)

    • pinto2011 profile image

      Subhas 4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Hi Wasteless! Your article is full of useful tips and this summer I am going to share those with my near and dear ones. Thumbs Up.