Ah, summer. It’s such a wonderful season with its warm weather and golden tans. Of course, there is always the possibility that your summer tan could begin as a major sunburn. If and when you find that you've spent too much time out in the sun, you want something that will instantly alleviate that painful burn and perhaps keep your skin from peeling in the near future.
There are many DIY remedies that you can try to alleviate the pain and discomfort of sunburn but how do you know which ones work and which ones don’t? We’ve put together 5 of our favorite treatments for wicked sunburn that seem to really do the trick. Not only will they quickly eliminate pain and itching but they’ll also help you to avoid peeling and actually tan out from your burn.
Heading into summer, this is definitely a collection of DIY recipes that you will want to keep on hand. They are natural remedies so they’re safe to use on anyone, even babies and they are inexpensive as opposed to some of those over the counter remedies that you may have tried in the past.
1. Aloe Vera Gel Treatment
Aloe Vera gel is one of the absolute best natural remedies for all types of burns and it certainly will help you to alleviate the pain of sunburn. If you don’t have an aloe vera plant, now is the time to get one. Not only is the gel great for burns, it’s also helpful for alleviating the itch from insect bites and stings.
You can create a very effective sunburn remedy with:
An aloe plant with thick leaves
In order to prepare your own effective sunburn gel, you will need to squeeze out your own aloe vera gel. Note that you can actually just squeeze the aloe leaves onto your skin but if you are literally covered from head to toe in sunburn, this will take quite a while. It’s much better to prepare your own aloe gel and have it on hand for when you do end up a little toasty from the sun.
You simply have to slit the leaves down the middle so that you can remove the gel. Just squeeze out the leaves and either lay them open side down on your sunburn or rub the gel into the burned areas. If you have a plant on hand and you haven’t yet gotten sunburn, why not go ahead and squeeze out a bit of the gel for future use? You just slit the leaves and squeeze out the inside and then store in a small lotion or gel bottle. This way, you have it ready when you need it. Store it in the fridge and it will also provide a nice cooling feeling when you apply it to sunburned areas.
2. Earl Grey Tea Treatment
Earl grey tea is an excellent treatment for sunburn. While you can drink a cup to help you relax, you can also make a remedy that you apply directly to the sunburn which will instantly stop the pain and help your burn to turn to a tan instead of peeling.
You will need:
- A bowl
- 5 or 6 earl grey tea bags
You need to run the tea bags through your coffee pot just like you’d do to make a pot of coffee. You could also just boil them in water if you prefer. Once the bags have brewed, pour the tea and the bags into a bowl and allow the liquid to cool to room temperature.
Soak a clean towel or small rag into the bowl, wring it out and then apply it directly to your sunburned area. Leave in place for about half an hour. It is recommended that you apply the tea to your sunburn within just a couple of hours after getting burned for the best results. The tea will immediately stop the pain and by morning, you should notice that the redness has gone down a bit and it looks more like a tan than a burn.
Note that you could try this with other tea bags but earl grey seems to be the best at eliminating pain and reducing the sunburn to a tan.
3. Potato Paste Remedy
Potatoes actually contain enzymes that can be very helpful as home remedies for a number of ailments. Raw potatoes are great for eliminating heartburn. Just eat one and you’ll feel better instantly. Potatoes can also be used to make a wonderful sunburn remedy that will eliminate pain instantly and reduce inflammation and redness. While you can just place potato slices directly on the burn, this paste remedy is a bit more convenient to use and provides wonderful results.
To make it, you’ll need:
- 2 medium sized potatoes
- A grater or food processor
- Cotton balls or gauze for applying
First, wash the potatoes and then grate them or add them to your food processor and process on puree. You can leave the peels in place. Actually, the peels have a lot of nutrients that are excellent for helping to alleviate pain and swelling so don’t bother peeling them first. Add water if needed to make them a bit moist. Once you have a liquid from the potatoes and any added water, soak cotton balls or gauze bandages in the paste and apply directly to your sunburn. The juices are what provides relief from pain and will help your burn to tan out nicely.
4. Vinegar Treatment
Vinegar has been used medicinally for centuries and when applied directly to sunburn, vinegar will instantly relieve pain and help your burn to tan out. Actually, it will completely eliminate peeling and actually help your tan to last longer.
Most people prefer pure unfiltered apple cider vinegar which you should be able to find at your local grocery store. You should shower first with tepid water in order for the vinegar to work its magic. Pat dry after showering so you don’t cause any more pain than is necessary. To make the vinegar treatment, you just need:
- About a cup or so of apple cider vinegar
- A spray bottle or cotton balls for application
After showering, either soak cotton balls in the vinegar or spray it directly onto your sunburn with a spray bottle. Note, years ago it was considered very helpful to soak a brown paper bag in the vinegar and just lay it on the sunburn. This is actually a really effective treatment and you can buy brown paper bags at the Dollar Store for around a buck for 50 or so. However you apply it, just allow the vinegar to dry and don’t wash off. You can use the rest of your vinegar either for cooking or in a homemade hair treatment to restore moisture and softness.
5. DIY Sunburn Cream
You can actually create a very effective all natural sunburn cream that will help you to alleviate the pain of those nasty burns and keep your skin hydrated so that you have a better chance of tanning out instead of peeling.
Before you get sunburned, simply whip up this cream so that you have it on hand. It contains a load of ingredients that are healthy for your skin and all of them can help to hydrate skin and instantly relieve the pain of sunburn.
To make your own DIY sunburn cream, you’ll need to get:
- 1 tablespoon of witch hazel
- 2 tablespoons of water
- 1 teaspoon of aloe vera gel – fresh from the plant
- 3 teaspoons or so of cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon of peppermint oil – you could also use a couple of cups of fresh mint leaves if you have them on hand
You will need to put the water, witch hazel and aloe vera gel into a small bowl. Stir these all together and then cover and allow them to set for two hours.
After the two hours are up, add the cornstarch and peppermint oil or crushed mint leaves, whichever you are using. You can add more cornstarch if the liquid is too runny or add a bit more water if it’s too thick. You want it to be a creamy consistency like lotion.
You can store this in a tightly lidded jar for several weeks after it’s made. You will want to store it in a dark place for about 24 hours so that everything can mesh together. Store in the refrigerator to keep it cool so that it adds a little extra relief when you apply it to sunburn. Have this on hand all summer so that you never have to suffer from sunburn pain.
If you have any other skin problems like razor burn or keratosis pilaris, try some of these wonderful natural remedies.