Even the most diligent sunscreen devotees slip up sometimes. Expired sunblock, forgetting to reapply after swimming—regardless of how it happens, we all just want relief and fast. Next time you find yourself a little toastier than usual, be sure to consult this list of natural, effective, and easy to prepare sunburn soothing remedies.
Apple Cider Vinegar
While it may not boast the best smell, apple cider vinegar (ACV) is an excellent way to soothe a painful sunburn and reduce inflammation. To apply, soak a cotton pad in the ACV and gently rub on the burned area.
This miracle product is currently enjoying its time in the spotlight and it probably comes as no surprise that in addition to being a miracle kitchen and beauty product, it also serves as a top notch sunburn soother. Gently apply by rubbing the oil directly onto your skin. You’ll find that the pain will subside and because it serves as a heavy duty moisturizer, you’re bettering your chances at avoiding brutal peeling.
Aloe Vera Gel
Sometimes the simplest remedies are the most overlooked. Instead of spending money on a bottle of aloe gel at the drug store, snip a leaf off a hearty plant and squeeze the gel directly onto your skin. As an added bonus, aloe vera plants are in expensive, easy to maintain, and add some welcome greenery to your home.
Some of us have itchy memories of soaking in oatmeal baths during childhood bouts with the chicken pox. Turns out, our moms were onto something. Take several cups of oatmeal (adjust depending on how much water you plan on using in your bath) and run through a food processor to break down the flakes. Pour directly into cool bathwater and soak for awhile. Alternately, you can prepare oatmeal as you would if you were going to eat it (with water, though, not milk), let cool, and apply directly to the skin. This option is best for facial sunburns.
Milk contains protein that clings to you skin and provides relief from the pain of a sunburn. To apply, soak a clean washcloth in cool milk and gently apply to affected area. Leave the cloth in place for 15 minutes and then rinse. Continue to repeat the process every few hours and before you know it, you’ll be feeling almost as good as new.
Not that you plan on being a repeat sunburn offender but sometimes, it’s nice to have a remedy on hand that you know will work and contains only the best ingredients. Combine 1/2 cup water, 2 tablespoons aloe vera gel, 15 drops of lavender essential oil, 5 drops of eucalyptus essential oil, and 5 tbsp of witch hazel in a glass bottle with a spray lid, shake, and you’re good to go. An effective soothing solution that also smells wonderful, this concoction makes an excellent gift for beach-bound friends.
As a final note, the long-standing staple of good ol’ sunscreen shouldn’t be ignored or overlooked. There’s a reason why it’s the number one go-to for sunburn prevention—it works.