These tips on how to soothe a sunburn are perfect for summer. The other day I shared my tips for taking a toddler to the beach and my tips for staying cool at Disney World but with summer vacations usually comes a sunburn by at least one person in your group. You’ll learn how to relieve a sunburn with items already in your pantry.
Summer is upon us and it’s time to take extra caution with more skin exposed there’s a higher chance of getting a sunburn. Be prepared with this list of ways to relieve a sunburn quickly.
How to Soothe a Sunburn
13 Ways to Relieve a Sunburn this Summer
Disclaimer: I am not a health professional, these are merely my own personal tips for relieving a mild sunburn. Do not use these tips if you are suffering from a severe burn including blistering or rash– contact a medical professional in those cases.
So, we’ve all done it. Had a little too much fun playing outside, lost track of time, forgot to reapply the sunscreen, etc. and then your stuck with tight, burning skin that you’re cursing yourself for! Hey, it’s summer it happens! Today I’m sharing with you 13 ways that I have found throughout the years to help soothe a sunburn with items from your kitchen….and I’ve had plenty of them.
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In my younger days, I could care less about SPF and protecting myself from the sun…..I mean a fierce tan was THE way to show you had an AWESOME summer when school started back! So I did everything in my power to avoid sunscreen! Now, I’m much more cautious about my sun exposure and try my best to stay covered and reapply the sunscreen….but time flies when you’re having fun!
Alrighty, here are my tips to relieve a sunburn this summer:
1. Warm Shower
Yes, most people say to take a cold shower– the colder the better. But, I’ve always heard that by doing so you actually trap the heat inside and your burn gets worse. So, as soon as I come in from the sun I take a warm shower. The theory behind taking a warm shower is that it helps open up your pores and releases the heat. I have been doing this consistently for at least the last 10 years and it works every time.
2. Aloe Vera with Lidocaine
You can use the plant….I’ve heard that it’s actually the BEST way to get aloe vera….but, it’s not so convenient to take on vacation. So, I always buy the Aloe Vera with Lidocaine…specifically Solarcaine…it works wonders and feels so cool and tingly going on! Keep it in the fridge for even more soothing coolness!
3. Milk Sponge Bath
Milk is an all-time wonderful healer! Breast is best…right?! Okay, maybe not so much for sunburn….but definitely give it a try if you or your partner are breastfeeding….you would be shocked at what all breast milk will heal! Anyway, you can use good ol’ whole milk from your grocer’s fridge. 😉 Pour a little in a bowl, soak a sponge in it, and apply it to the burn area. Just let the wet sponge sit on the burn until it reaches room temp…then reapply as needed.
I like using natural sea sponges because they don’t allow bacteria to grow. You simply rinse it completely and let it air dry. Plus, their all natural and biodegradeable.
Oatmeal is another great healer! You can make an oatmeal bath to soak in…but it’s severely messy and a pain to clean up! Or you can just make a paste using oatmeal and cold water. Apply the paste to the burn and let it sit for at least 15-20 minutes.
5. Potato Paste
So I know this sounds gross….but don’t knock it til you try it! Take a potato (I’ve always used Russet…but whatever is on hand works) and puree it in the blender. You’ll want to make a milky paste with it so you may need to add a little water. Slather the potato paste on the burn and let it dry.
6. Baking Soda Soak
A good/cleaner alternative to an oatmeal bath is a baking soda bath! This also works wonders on diaper rash….which is more prevalent during hot summer months. Just sprinkle some baking soda into a luke warm bath and relax for awhile. Let the baking soda do its magic and relieve the burn while balancing the pH in your skin.
I like to apply cornstarch to the burn areas when it’s time to put clothing back on. It helps create a little barrier between the clothing and the skin to prevent chaffing. In fact, I usually keep a container of Argo cornstarch in my beach bag because it helps with removing sand too and it comes in a fully sealable waterproof container.
8. Black Tea
We drink black tea pretty much ALL of the time….I mean, we are Southerners! But this remedy is not for drinking…although you can use your old previously used tea bags….reduce, reuse, recycle….right?! Anyway, you can either throw the tea bags in your bath and soak in them or you can dampen the tea bags and apply them directly to the burn. Tea is a natural antioxidant and will help speed the healing process.
9. Witch Hazel
VERY IMPORTANT….make sure you get the alcohol free witch hazel! Otherwise, it’s gonna sting when you apply it and that’s no fun when you’re trying to soothe a sunburn! This is great to carry in your beach bag as it helps with jellyfish stings too! Just apply to a bit of gauze and place on the burn….you’ll feel the healing right away!
Mint is already a nice cooling herb so adding it to your bath will help relieve the sunburn quickly. You can use fresh mint or essential oils with mint. Just add a few sprigs or drops to your bath and relax….plus it smells really nice!
Side note— if you love essential oils, like I do, then I recommend checking out Rocky Mountain Oils…their oils are high quality without the added cost of being a MLM. I now buy all of my oils through them and have loved every single one!
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11. Apple Cider Vinegar
Another cure-all….Apple Cider Vinegar seems to do a ton! I like to mix 1 part apple cider vinegar with 1 part cold water in a spray bottle. Then just spritz on the burn as needed for relief. Don’t worry….the vinegar smell doesn’t stick around. 🙂
12. Yogurt Facial
Are you guilty of the raccoon burn? You know, the one where your sunglasses protect your eyes but your nose, cheeks, and forehead are bright red making you look like a backward raccoon? Well, a yogurt facial is by far the BEST remedy I have ever tried for the raccoon burn! Simply take plain yogurt (the cheap stuff is fine…just make sure it has active cultures) and apply it to your face as a mask. Not only is it nice and cool from the fridge but it helps pull out the burn and moisturize all at once! Plus, if you get a little in your mouth it tastes really good. Let it sit for at least 20 minutes….take a nice little spa break!
13. Aspirin/Pain Reliever
Finally, the night that I get the burn I always take a pain reliever before heading to bed. Not only does it help me sleep but it helps with any swelling and pain caused from the sunburn.
By all means, the best way to soothe a sunburn is by not getting one in the first place….but life happens and it’s not the end of the world if you do get a sunburn.
Just make sure that while you’re out in the sun you’re taking precautions like wearing an SPF of 50 or higher….I love this all natural sunscreen by Del Mar Beach Supply Co. it’s safe for kids and is made of edible grade organic ingredients. Please don’t lower your SPF just because you want a tan….being healthy is much more important.
Also, make sure you reapply the sunscreen regularly and stay hydrated!
I also love this sun shade tent for taking to the park and the beach!
What do you do to soothe a sunburn? Share how you relieve a sunburn in the comments below!
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