After a long weekend in the sun, you may be in need of a natural sunburn relief! Despite sunscreen, wearing hats, and avoiding the hottest part of the day, it’s inevitable that I overdo it once or twice each summer. I’m good about putting on the sunscreen—it’s the reapplying that I always forget! The hot and painful feeling that comes with a sunburn is so unpleasant.
These home remedies can help soothe irritated skin and prevent peeling (ugh). And don’t forget to drink plenty of water and moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!
5 Natural Sunburn Soothers
1. Take a healing bath
Add one to two cups of any of the following ingredients (or a combination of them) to a lukewarm bath. Avoid hot water and keep your soak around 15 to 20 minutes, or you risk drying out the skin even more. As soon as you get out of the tub, slather all tender areas with an alcohol- and perfume-free lotion, coconut oil, or aloe vera.
- Witch hazel
- Cucumber juice
- Dairy (milk, yogurt, or buttermilk) – a milk bath can calm the heat from the sunburn while its proteins work to reduce inflammation and soothe the skin.
- Baking soda bath
- Apple cider vinegar bath: Dilute 1/4 cup ACV in 2 cups of water then add to the bath.
- Oatmeal baths have great anti-inflammatory properties to calm irritated, inflamed skin (source).
- Tea bath of chamomile, mint, or green tea: Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Remove from heat and add 1 tea bag per cup of water (you can use 2 of one kind or combine them). Steep for 15–20 minutes. Remove tea bags, let it cool slightly, and pour the freshly-brewed tea into the bath.
For other summer bummers, check out these 4 healing baths for summer!
2. Apply an itch-relieving baking soda + ACV compress
The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar provides pain relief while baking soda soothes itchy skin. Make a paste with 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda. Add several drops of a soothing essential oil, like geranium (source) or lavender (source), and apply directly to the sunburned areas or use a soft cloth to make a compress. This also works for bug bites!
3. Make an aloe vera lotion
If you (or the kids) won’t sit still for a compress, a cooling lotion is a great solution. This whipped coconut oil adds much-needed moisture to dry, parched skin and is well-known for its skin-healing properties (source). Adding aloe vera provides cooling, anti-inflammatory relief that takes the sting out of a sunburn (source).
4. Spritz-on green tea healing spray
I love this green tea spray – it feels so good on tender skin! Green tea has tannic acid and antioxidants that soothe irritated skin and help heal sun damage (source). Green tea can help prevent sun damage, too, so try spritzing this on your face before your daily moisturizer.
5. Mix-up cucumber lotion
Cucumbers are one of nature’s best anti-inflammatory agents! Combine cucumber juice, aloe vera, and coconut milk for a moisturizing spray lotion that soothes lobster-red skin and adds much-needed moisture. Keep it in the fridge for extra cooling relief!