Sunshine is essential when it comes to maintaining optimal vitamin D levels, but too much exposure can cause fiery red burns leading to premature aging, wrinkles, sunspots, and increasing your risk of developing skin cancer, according to the CDC.
While prevention is always the best medicine, sunburns can occur regardless of how safe we try to stay – especially during the dog days of summer!
Below we’ve rounded up some of the best tried and true methods for fast, natural sunburn relief.
1. Apply cool water.
Soothe the burn by applying cool, not cold, water to the burn area. Then, pat dry. The American Academy of Dermatology also suggests you leave enough water on your skin to provide extra moisture prior to applying lotions.
2. Apply a natural moisturizer (and avoid soaps which can further irritate the skin).
Moisturizing often is key when your skin is under sunburn stress. A good moisturizer that is free of potentially irritating ingredients is crucial. This organic option is made without fragrance and contains aloe, making it the perfect choice for sensitive skin. Badger also makes this After Sun Balm that provides your skin with antioxidants and moisture.
3. Soothe your skin with aloe vera.
Aloe vera helps to soothe the skin, moisturize, and heal. Simply cut open a plant leaf and apply directly to the burn 2-3 times per day or as needed. If you don’t have a plant available in your home, you can also purchase aloe vera leaves at your local health food store such as Whole Foods.
Aloe vera gels are available for purchase, but I personally feel the pure aloe works best. If you do opt for a gel, be sure to purchase one that is free of ingredients that can further irritate the skin such as fragrance and contains a high amount of aloe. Badger Aloe Vera Gel is a good option.
P.S. This is one of my personal favorite remedies!
4. Combat inflammation with honey.
Manuka honey is an excellent remedy when it comes to soothing the skin. Not only does it boast antibacterial properties, but also helps combat inflammation. If you are looking for a pure, raw manuka honey, Wedderspoon is my brand of choice. *Note: Avoid in babies under 1 year as a precaution.
5. Soak your skin in an oatmeal and baking soda bath.
An oatmeal bath is an excellent way to sooth stressed out skin. Throw a cup or two of organic oats in your blender and pour the contents into your bath water. Soak for 20 minutes. For an extra boost, add a bit of baking soda to alleviate the itch and reduce inflammation. You can also directly apply a paste made from baking soda and water to your burn.
6. Apply a cold milk compress.
The lactic acid in milk is said to help sunburns heal faster and soothe the skin. As someone who has tried this remedy in the past, I will say, the cool milk feels amazing on your skin.
7. Wear lightweight, breathable clothing.
You will want to protect your skin from further damage so covering up with tightly woven, loose, lightweight cotton clothing is a great option.
8. Hydrate with H2O!
Sunburns soak up all of the moisture in your skin, so drinking extra water can help accelerate the healing process. Adding electrolytes into your water may be a good idea as well! Seeking health, o
WHAT TO AVOID
You’ll want to be sure you especially avoid any products that may further irritate your skin. The following are best to avoid when trying to soothe a burn:
- Fragrance is a big “no, no” in general, but especially when trying to heal damaged skin. Be sure to choose lotions that are fragrance-free.
- Petroleum containing products like Vaseline create a barrier, lock in heat, and can block your pores, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. For this same reason, it is best to avoid oils when you have a burn as well.
- Alcohol containing products should not be used on your sunburn.
- Benzocaine or lidocaine should be avoided since they can make the burn worse, according to Medline.
And remember… prevention is always the best medicine!
Cover up and protect your skin with a natural sunscreen formulated with zinc or titanium dioxide (SPF of 30+). And while you’re having fun in the sun, don’t forget to reapply every 2 hours or more often if needed!
For more vetted sunscreen options, visit my Amazon Storefront to check out my personal family favorites!
Enjoy the sun safely this summer.
Disclosure: I am not a medical professional. Always seek the advice of your personal care provider. This post may contain “affiliate links” and as an Amazon Associate I may earn a small percentage from qualifying purchases. This does not cost you anything. Regardless, we only recommend products or services that have extensively researched; and products that we use personally, have used and would use in the future. We pride ourselves on honesty and integrity to our readers.
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