8 Fantastic Home Remedies For Sunburn

Sometimes even your best plans go sideways.
Maybe you fell asleep in the sun, or you forgot to reapply your sunscreen, or perhaps you’ve found an inconvenient patch of skin that missed sunscreen altogether, and now you are fried and miserable.
Or worse, your child is.

Ouch!!! That sunburn had to have hurt!!

8 of the best sunburn remedies can be found at home, or hopefully at your vacation rental, at worst case scenario at the grocery store.

1. Cucumber


Cucumbers provide instant relief to skin that is sun scorched, not just because they feel cooling but also because their antioxidant and analgesic properties promote healing great relief from discomfort.

Keep cucumbers in the fridge, and should you get sunburned or windburned, or even if your face just feels parched after a day at the beach, grate them and then smooth onto the affected area, leaving it to soak into the skin.

For a really bad burn liquefy the cucumbers in a blender and then make into a paste with cornstarch and aloe, apply to the area and leave it for as long as you can.

2. Plain, Live Cultured Yogurt


It must be plain, non flavored yogurt, not vanilla yogurt. Plain, live cultured yogurt is full of probiotics and enzymes that help heal the skin.

Apply a liberal coating to the affected area, leave it on for 5 to 10 minutes – it will feel wonderful and cooling. Then gently rinse it off with tepid to cool water.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar


People swear by this remedy, especially when using unfiltered apple cider vinegar.

Use about a cup of apple cider vinegar and a spray bottle. Have a cool shower first (avoid soaps as they will dry the skin out, making it worse), air dry or pat dry, and then spritz liberally with the apple cider vinegar.

4.  Witch Hazel


Witch Hazel contains tannins which when applies directly to the skin reduce swelling, help repair damaged skin and ward off bacteria.

Soak cotton balls or gauze in witch hazel and gently apply to the burned area.

5.  Aloe


The aloe plant is famous for its healing properties and for its ability to take the redness and the sting out of sunburn. Slice fat, juicy leaves along the middle, open them up and press them to the skin.
If you don’t have fresh aloe, use an aloe gel and apply it liberally.

6. Baking Soda


Baking soda can take out redness and diminish the pain of sunburn.

Either add some cool water and make it into a paste to apply to the area, or poor a cup of baking soda into a cool to tepid bath, and soak in it for as long as you can.

7. Oatmeal


Oddly enough oatmeal is another great aid for troubled skin. 

Put 2 cups of any plain rolled oats into a tube sock, tying off the end. Add this to a cool or tepid bath, allowing it to soak for a few minutes, then squeezing it out. Repeat this a few times until the water looks cloudy, then soak in it for as long as you can. The polysaccharides in oatmeal will coat the skin, helping it heal.

Don’t do a cold bath, as cold will close the pores and hold the heat in. Find a temperature that you can tolerate, somewhere between tepid and cool.

Don’t stay in the bath too long as this will dry the skin out.

8. Potato

grated potato
image via Natasha’s Kitchen

Potatoes are known to be pain relievers and work wonderfully on everything from insect bites to scratches to burns.

Wash the potatoes really well and then either grate them into a bowl or slice them and put them in the blender to liquefy them more. You don’t need to peel them first. If necessary add a little cool water.

Apply grated raw potato to the skin, or if you’ve blended and added water, soak cotton balls or gauze in the mixture and lay on the skin.

Final Note

Drink tons of water. Tons.

Avoid soaps and bubbles, stay out of the sun until your skin has healed, and wear a full sunblock and light clothing that covers your burns when you do have to go outside.

How To Treat A Sunburn

Lido Copacabana, Mazzeo Beach, Sicily

If you’ve ever had a sunburn you’ll know what complete misery it can be. Here is a 6 Step Guide to How To Treat A Sunburn

1. Ibuprofen

Take ibuprofen, aspirin or other over the counter anti inflammatory as quickly as possible, both to help reduce inflammation at the site of the sunburn, and also to reduce the pain.

2. Lukewarm bath or shower

Either run a lukewarm bath (that is, not teeth chatteringly cold – keep it bearable) and add in some baking soda, or run a lukewarm shower, keeping the water stream gentle.

Avoid soaps, bath oils or detergents – they will just irritate the skin

3. Make Cold Compresses

Make cold milk compresses by soaking clean wash cloths in a bowl filled with equal parts milk, ice and water.

The fat, protein and pH of the milk have an anti inflammatory effect on the skin, while the cold temperature constricts blood vessels and reduce swelling.

Another great way to relieve the sting of sunburn and to take out the heat is to apply a wash cloth soaked in vinegar.

4. Apply Topical Relief

The best option is to apply fresh aloe (the gooey stuff inside the aloe leaf).

If you don’t have fresh aloe use over the counter aloe.

The steroids in Cortisone cream can be hugely beneficial for reducing inflammation, and the cream itself can feel soothing.

Keep the sunburned area super moisturized with a rich body product, such as cocoa butter.

5. Stay Hydrated

Drink water

Sunburn and sun exposure are both very dehydrating. Drink a minimum of 8 glasses of cold drinking water per day. Sports drinks and juices are also good, but water is essential.

6. Stay Out Of The Sun

Keep sunburned areas out of the sun. Wear loose fitting cotton garments and stay in the shade.