Spending a nice summer weekend at the beach with your friends is always well-intentioned summer activity – but exposing your skin to too much sun has dangerous repercussions (wrinkles, sun spots, skin cancer, you get the idea!). No matter how careful we tend to be, though, we’ve all suffered from a tan gone awry and we all know it’s not pleasant. Of course, prevention is always the best medicine, but if you ran out the door without applying your SPF (or without adequately reapplying) and ended up with a painful (and dangerous) sunburn, try one of these 8 DIY tips to help soothe your skin, prevent peeling and heal sun damage.
Aloe. It’s the age-old remedy for treating sunburns – and for good reason – but you don’t need to head to the store for a pricey bottle of aloe gel. Rather, keep fresh aloe in your kitchen all summer long and apply fresh, refrigerated aloe to the skin to soothe sunburns and prevent peeling. Plus, aloe can actually be used to help prevent sunburns and damage too! Before heading to the beach, apply a sunblock containing aloe vera to block harmful rays while allowing healthy rays to give you the glow you desire.
Vinegar. It may not be our favorite summer scents, but if you put white or apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle and mist onto a sunburn, it can help to prevent unsightly blisters and peeling. Smell too offensive? Mix a solution of 1 part water and 1 part vinegar and spray on sunburned skin before bed.
Oats or Baking Soda. Utilize your bath time to help soothe your sunburn by mixing 2-3 cups of oats into a bath to soothe your sunburned skin and promote healing. If an oatmeal bath isn’t up your alley, try dissolving ¾ cup of baking soda into a warm bath to cool the skin and to keep it from drying out.
Tea. The tannic acids that occur naturally in tea are a great remedy for sun-damaged skin. Steep a pot of black tea and cool it in the refrigerator before applying it to the burn using a compress or spray bottle (or just press the tea bag directly onto the skin!). It will help reduce inflammation, decrease redness and promote healing.
Cucumbers. Fresh cut cucumber cools, hydrates and soothes the skin making this an ideal remedy for sensitive skin or sunburned lips. Just cut refrigerated cucumber slices and apply directly to the skin!
Potatoes. The starch from a grated potato can help soothe a burn when applied directly to skin so either grate a raw, cold potato and place in a cheese cloth to apply or just apply fresh cut slices directly to your skin.
Whole Milk. The dairy aisle is another sunburn remedy hot spot! Apply whole milk compresses to the burn for 20 minutes or bathe in a mixture of water and whole milk to soothe the burn. The fat soothes the pain of the sunburn and prevents peeling (so skim milk won’t work) while the lactic acid encourages cell turnover and promotes healing. Similarly, full-fat, plain Greek yogurt can also be applied directly to the burn for 5 minutes to help cool, moisturize and heal the sunburned skin.
Coconut oil. You shouldn’t be using any type of oil in place of sunblock – and we certainly recommend lathering on SPF daily! – but for those times when the sun unexpectedly scalds you, coconut oil is an effective, natural treatment for reliving sunburn discomfort. It hydrates the skin and gently exfoliates to promote healing.