It’s summertime. And that means the beach, the pool, margaritas, new sunglasses, flowy dresses, sun hats, flip flops, and lots of time spent outdoors in the beautiful sunshine. Unfortunately, the hot summer sun sometimes has other plans for our skin than just giving it a nice summer glow. If you’re outdoors at the right time of day or for too long without lots of sun protection, you’re probably going to get sunburned once or twice. If you are dealing with a sunburn, here are some of our top tips and home remedies to treat a sunburn.
1. Taking Cool Showers or Baths to Relieve Sunburned Skin
You should begin treating a sunburn the moment you first notice it. Typically if you are outside at the beach or by the pool, the sun is so bright that you may not notice it until you go inside and see yourself in a mirror. Taking a cool shower or bath is a good first step because it can relieve the pain of the burn while cooling down the burned skin. Cool showers and baths can also help to ease the dryness that comes from sunburn by applying a first level of moisture to the outer layer of damaged skin.
While you should avoid soaps and perfumes in your bath water because they can be drying, there are other remedies you can use that may help your skin. Adding a cup of apple cider vinegar can help balance the pH (alkalinity) of sunburned skin and promote healing. An oatmeal bath can be especially helpful if you have an itchy sunburn. Lavender or chamomile essential oil can be a remedy for pain. Finally, adding 2 cups of baking soda to your bath can help ease irritation and redness from the sunburn.
2. Moisturizing Sunburned Skin
Moisturizing is a key ingredient to making sure your sunburn heals as quickly as possible. When you jump out of the cool bath or shower, try not to off completely as you can retain and infuse the water droplets on your body into your skin as well.
Use a moisturizer containing aloe vera or soy which can help to soothe skin that has been exposed to too much sun. Some aloe products contain lidocaine, which is an anesthetic that can help relieve the pain of a sunburn. Aloe vera can also help with peeling skin. Essential oil like lavender can also be helpful, however, use it in small doses.
Another natural remedy gaining popularity is putting cooled, freshly brewed tea on sunburned skin using a clean cloth. Adding mint to the tea gives it a cooling effect, and it is reported that the tannic acid in black tea can draw heat from the sunburned skin and helps to restore its pH balance. Similarly, if your eyelids are feeling the effects of a sunburn, try putting tea bags soaked in cold water on the burn to reduce inflammation.
As for lips, petroleum jelly or aquaphor ointment can help keep lips moisturized to heal them from sunburn.
3. Oral Remedies to Treat a Sunburn
When in pain, aspirin and ibuprofen can be our best friends. This applies to sunburns as well, so take as directed to relieve yourself from the pain associated with the burn. As well, drinking water is great for everything including sunburns! So stay hydrated and drink more water than usual because sunburn draws your body’s fluids out towards the skin and away from your body.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant and can be taken regularly through a supplement or can be topically applied to sunburn to decrease inflammation and help to peel skin.
Moving forward as your sunburn heals, cover up and wear appropriate full cover clothing if you need to be outdoors in the sun. If your face was affected by the burn as well, make sure you take further precautions to protect your face from the sun as it can cause ageing effects. It also may be a good idea to book an anti-ageing treatment after the burn has had time to heal in order to allow a professional to assess any damage caused. A professional can also give you more tips and tricks so you can be better prepared next time and not get burned!