12 Simple Home Remedies To Treat Sunburns September 14, 2016

Picture basking in the summer sun by the beach while sipping your favorite cocktail – seems blissful, doesn’t it? It surely is euphoric until you get back home and realize that you’ve got what is the worst of summer – a sunburn!

Though it may seem like a sunburn doesn’t do much harm besides making you look like a roasted tomato, the fact is far from what you believe. Excessive exposure to the UV rays of the sun can not only hasten your age clock but also make you susceptible to skin cancer. Even though you do your bit by slathering tons of sunscreen on your skin, you may still end up experiencing itchy and painful rashes, commonly known as sunburn. But hey, you don’t need to endure the brunt of the ruthless sun; you can face it head-on, and we’ll show you just how.

This post talks about some home remedies that can help you to get relief from the itchiness and redness of sunburn quickly. Would you like to know what those remedies are? Keep reading this post.

Effective Home Remedies For Sunburn

To get relief from sunburn, you don’t need to run to the drugstore. All you need to do is rummage through your kitchen cabinets and reach out for these miraculous home remedies for sunburn relief.

  1. Baking Soda
  2. Apple Cider Vinegar
  3. Cucumber
  4. Aloe Vera
  5. Oatmeal
  6. Cold Compress
  7. Yogurt
  8. Potato Peels
  9. Honey
  10. Tea Bags
  11. Lemon Juice, Rose Water, And Cucumber Pack
  12. Papaya And Honey Pack

Get Rid Of Sunburn With These Remedies

1. Baking Soda

This magical kitchen ingredient is the perfect home remedy for sunburns, owing to its anti-inflammatory properties (1).

What You Need

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • ¼ cup water (optional)

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix a cup of baking soda in your cold water bath and let it soak for 20 minutes. After your bath, pat your skin dry with a towel.
  1. You could even make a paste by mixing three teaspoons of baking soda with one-fourth cup of water. Apply it to the affected areas of your skin. Leave it on for 10 minutes and wash off with cold water.

How Often You Should Do This

You could try this remedy once every morning until your sunburn heals.

Why This Works

It helps soothe skin inflammation, irritation, and itchiness caused by sunburn (2). It has a cooling effect on the skin due to its alkaline nature.

[ Read: Home Remedies For Treating Sunburn Blisters ]

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2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Vinegar, especially apple cider vinegar, can restore the pH level of the skin to normal and expedite the process of healing (3).

What You Need

  • Spray bottle
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Water (optional)

What You Have To Do

  1. Fill a spray bottle with some ACV and spray it on the affected areas of your skin, allowing it to dry.
  1. If you have an overly sensitive skin, mix ACV with water in the ratio 3:1 before applying it to your skin.

This is the extended part of this method. Once the apple cider vinegar has dried completely, pour a few drops of pure coconut oil on the affected areas and rub gently. Wait at least for half an hour to let the oil get absorbed completely.

How Often You Should Do This

Reapply it on your skin every five hours for best results.

Why This Works

It contains acetic acid that soothes irritation and inflammation caused by sunburn (4). ACV reduces the incidence of blisters caused by sunburn too. Usually, for a light to medium sunburn, you will get overnight results. Depending upon the sensitivity of your skin, the effect may vary.

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3. Cucumber

You must have seen and even tried the popular practice of placing cucumber on your eyes to help fight dark circles. Did you know this cooling vegetable can also fight sunburn?

What You Need

  • Chilled cucumbers
  • Spray bottle (optional)

What You Have To Do

  1. Mash one cucumber and apply it to the affected areas of your skin as a mask. Leave it on for 20 minutes before washing it off. Make sure that the cucumber you use is chilled.
  1. You could also juice some cucumbers and store it in a spray bottle. Spray it on your sunburnt skin for relief.

How Often You Should Do This

You can repeat this process as often as you like.

Why This Works

Packed with natural compounds that have antioxidant and analgesic properties, cucumber not only heals the inflammation but also soothes the pain associated with sunburn. It keeps the skin moisturized as well.

[ Read: Remedies To Remove Tan From Hands ]

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4. Aloe Vera

This miracle plant, also known as “the elixir of life”, gets touted as one of the best skincare (and sunburn remedies) that’s out there.

What You Need

Fresh aloe vera gel (refrigerated)

What You Have To Do

  1. Pluck some aloe leaf petals and extract the fresh gel.
  1. Refrigerate the gel for about 30 minutes and apply it generously to the affected areas of your skin.
  1. Leave it on for an hour before washing it off with cold water.

How Often You Should Do This

Try this remedy at least once every day until you see results.

Why This Works

The gel of the aloe vera plant has remarkable cooling and soothing properties that help provide instant relief from the pain and irritation caused by sunburn. Studies also prove that aloe vera accelerates skin healing (6). Aloe vera gel is also known to have a moisturizing effect on the skin.

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5. Oatmeal

Oatmeal for treat sunburns

Image: Getty

Oatmeal is another highly recommended remedy for sunburns.

What You Need

  • ½ cup oatmeal
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey

What You Have To Do

  1. Blend half a cup of oatmeal with half a cup of milk and a tablespoon of honey in a blender.
  1. Apply the paste to the affected areas of your skin and let it dry for 20 minutes. Use a cloth dipped in cold water to wipe the paste off your skin.

How Often You Should Do This

Try this remedy at least once every day until you experience relief from sunburn.

Why This Works

The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties contained in oatmeal compounds, called avenanthramides, can provide relief from itching and irritated skin caused due to sunburn. Oatmeal is a remedy that also helps treat eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and other common skin conditions (7).

[ Read: Remedies To Remove Tan From Hands ]

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6. Cold Compress

Cold-Compress for sunburns

Image: Shutterstock

What You Need

A towel dipped in ice cold water.

What You Have To Do

Dip a towel in ice cold water and apply it to the affected areas of your skin for 10-15 minutes.

How Often You Should Do This

Try this remedy at least two to three times every day until you experience relief from sunburn.

Why This Works

A cold compress helps subside the swelling as well as soothes the pain caused by sunburn. What’s best about this remedy is that you don’t need to run to the supermarket for any ingredients that you may be short of.

Caution

Avoid rubbing ice on your skin directly. It may cause frostbites (8).

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7. Yogurt

Yogurt for sunburns

Image: Getty

Yogurt not only keeps your digestive health in great shape but also works brilliantly towards treating sunburns.

What You Need

Unsweetened and unflavored yogurt.

What You Have To Do

  1. Take a container of cold, unflavored, and unsweetened yogurt and apply it to the affected areas of your skin.
  1. Leave it on for 20 minutes or until the time it dries and wash it off with cold water.

How Often You Should Do This

Try this remedy at least once every day until you experience relief from sunburn.

Why This Works

Yogurt helps restore the pH level of the skin, thereby ensuring faster healing (9). It has natural cooling properties that provide relief from the heat and irritation caused by sunburn. As a rich source of lactic acid – an alpha-hydroxy acid, yogurt can reduce premature aging caused by excessive sun exposure (10). When applied to the skin regularly, it can even minimize discoloration caused due to sun exposure, given its mild bleaching properties.

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8. Potato Peels

Potato-Peels

Image: Getty

Strange as it may seem, potatoes are a highly effective remedy to minimize the dangers of sunburn.

What You Need

Peeled/mashed potato

What You Have To Do

  1. Peel a potato and gently rub it on the affected areas of your skin for 10 minutes.
  1. You could also mash up a cold potato and apply the paste on your irritated and sunburnt skin.

How Often You Should Do This

Try this remedy at least once every day until you see results.

Why This Works

The starchy properties of potato have the ability to absorb the excess heat from your skin while also alleviating the stinging pain caused by sunburn (11).

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9. Honey

Honey for sunburns

Image: Getty

The wonders of honey have been emphasized by both – the proponents of modern medicine, as well as those of alternative medicine. It’s especially famous for its dermatological benefits.

What You Need

¼ cup manuka honey

What You Have To Do

  1. Apply manuka honey to the sunburnt areas of your skin and leave it on for 15-20 minutes.
  1. Wash it off with cool water.

How Often You Should Do This

Try this remedy at least once every day until you experience relief from sunburn.

Why This Works

A study conducted by the Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences documented the benefits of honey towards treating wounds, ulcers, sunburn, and many external and internal infections owing to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (12). This natural antiseptic and antibiotic agent has a soothing effect on the inflamed skin and can help enhance the process of healing. It’s also an excellent humectant that helps restore the lost moisture to your parched skin.

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10. Tea Bags

Tea-Bags for sunburns

Image: Getty

After savoring a rejuvenating tea cuppa, don’t throw away the tea bags. Use them to treat your sunburn.

What You Need

  • 3 black tea bags
  • A pitcher
  • Water
  • Washcloth

What You Have To Do

  1. Take the pitcher and fill it with warm water.
  1. Soak the tea bags in the water until the water becomes almost black.
  1. Once the tea water comes to lukewarm or normal temperature, dip the washcloth into it and dab it slowly on the areas with sunburn.
  1. Let it sit and dry.

How Often You Should Do This

Try this remedy at least once every day until you experience relief from sunburn.

Why This Works

The tannic acid contained in black tea absorbs the heat from the skin and restores its pH balance (13). Black tea is also rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients that reduce swelling and enhance healing respectively (14). You can also use mint tea bags to fight sunburn as it has remarkable cooling properties.

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11. Lemon Juice, Rose Water, And Cucumber Pack

It is very easy to prepare this pack, as all the ingredients are easily available in your kitchen closet. Cucumber and lemon are two natural bleaching agents and are effective in lightening the redness caused due to sunburn. Lemon juice is also rich in citric acid and vitamin C (15), which are helpful in lightening the tone of the skin.

What You Need

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon rose water
  • 1 tablespoon cucumber juice
  • Cotton

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and apply using cotton on the affected areas.
  1. Let it dry or leave it for 10 minutes and wash off using cold water.

How Often You Should Do This

Daily application of this pack ensures quick relief from sunburns.

Why This Works

Vitamin C neutralizes the damage caused due by the free radicals to the skin, and its powerful antioxidants help to lighten the age spots, tan, and dark spots. The rosewater and cucumber juice work as cooling agents and soothe the blemished skin.

Caution

When you are using the lemon juice and cucumber remedy, make sure that you do not go directly under the sun for some time as it can increase your sensitivity to the sun rays. If at all you have to go out, use a sunscreen with high SPF.

12.Papaya And Honey Pack

What You Need

  • ½ cup papaya pulp
  • 1 tablespoon honey

What You Have To Do

  1. Mash the papaya pulp finely, add honey to it and mix it well.
  1. Apply this paste on the skin and leave it for half an hour.
  1. Clean the face with plain water.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this daily till you get relief from the sunburn rashes.

Causes Of Sunburn

Sunburns are a result of excessive exposure of the skin to ultraviolet (UV) rays, especially the UVA and UVB rays.

Usually, when your skin gets exposed to UV rays, your body increases the production of melanin, a pigment that gives your skin, eyes, and hair their color. This is what is referred to as a suntan – your body’s means of protecting your skin from sunburn. However, in some people, especially those who have a lighter skin tone, the body doesn’t produce enough melanin to block the UV damage, thereby causing sunburn and its associated symptoms of swelling, itchiness, and stinging pain.

You may think that sunburns can only harm you on sunny days. However, you should know that even on cloudy or cold days, 80% of the UV rays can reach the surface of the earth. Since water and ice can reflect UV rays, you should always protect your skin with a sunscreen offering SPF protection between 15 and 30.

Factors such as extreme working conditions (working outdoors), frequent exposure to artificial tanning sources, having a light skin tone, and intake of photosynthesizing drugs can put you at a greater risk of experiencing sunburn.

Caution

Though the remedies mentioned above are completely safe to use, do a patch test before trying them out to prevent any adverse reactions. Make sure that you check for allergies or sensitivities for any of the ingredients, or else instead of getting relief from sunburn, the application might increase the symptoms of redness and itchiness. It is advisable to use pure organic products for best and quick results.

The next time the sun leaves you red in the face, you needn’t hit the panic button. These remedies and tips are surely going to ease your stress about what may be the only downside of a sunny day. Stay protected and enjoy the sun!

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