There are few things better in life than long beach days and fun in the sun. The sand beneath your feet, a frozen drink, and the waves splashing up on the shore are what make summer the best season of the year. All those beach days, lake visits, walks in the park, and kid play dates, mean our skin is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays more often.
We’ve all been there. You’re rushing out the door and forget the SPF, or it simply wears off and you don’t think to reapply. After a fun day in the sun, you’re left with red, burned skin. Resist the urge to run to the pharmacy and grab a bottle of relief creams or lotions off the shelf that are filled with toxic chemicals. You likely have a natural sunburn treatment agent in your home.
Natural Ways To Treat Sunburn
- Pure Aloe Vera: If you don’t have the actual plant in your kitchen, use a food grade aloe vera to ensure no chemicals or preservatives have been added. Lather your skin in the gel as often as needed. Your body will naturally tell you when it’s time for reapplication. When your skin begins to feel warm, apply another layer.
- Olive Oil: Organic extra virgin olive oil is a great sunburn treatment. For best results, mix a few drops of the oil with aloe vera. The healing gel from the plant offers a cooling sensation, and the oil will help lock in the moisture to help your skin avoid peeling. In the early stages of the sunburn, dilute the olive oil with just a few drops of water if you don’t have any aloe vera.
- Ice: For immediate relief, wrap an ice pack or a bag of frozen veggies in a towel and place it on the burned area. You’ll still want to use a moisturizer to help heal the skin, but a frozen compress will offer relief from the heat.
- Oatmeal: You can buy finely ground oatmeal (sold as colloidal oatmeal) or make your own. If you’re attempting the DIY version: throw a cup of instant or slow-cooking oatmeal into a food processor and grind until you have a smooth consistency. Add the oatmeal to lukewarm bath water and soak your skin.
- Witch Hazel: Dampen a cotton ball or washcloth with witch hazel. The astringent has anti-inflammatory properties and will help relieve pain and itching when applied to the skin three to four times daily.
- Milk: Use cold milk to dampen a washcloth or cotton gauze and apply it directly to the sunburned skin. The milk creates a protein film that helps reduce heat and relieve pain.
If your skin begins to blister because of a sunburn, avoid peeling the skin to prevent infection and further pain. Apply your natural sunburn treatment and use ice to ease the discomfort. As always, pay attention to your body. If the sunburned area worsens or the pain doesn’t subside with treatment, visit your doctor.