We all know that we're supposed to protect our skin from the sun's harmful rays, and we know that vigilantly applying sunscreen and wearing protective clothing is important. But hey, sometimes things happen, and we either don't prepare or we just burn anyway. For those times, there are several sunburn home remedies out there to help ease the pain and speed up the healing process. Here are five of the best (and easiest) ones to add to your arsenal.
Let milk help ease the burn. All you need is cold milk and a washcloth. Saturate a washcloth in milk, but make sure it's not dripping wet. Put the washcloth on your sunburn and gently press it on your skin. You don't want to rub your skin with it as that could cause further irritation. Make sure the milk stays cold.
Vinegar has so many uses in the home, one of them being helping to heal and relieve inflammation and itching from a sunburn. According to Best Health, "Vinegar contains acetic acid, one of the components of medications such as Aspirin."
All you need to do here is put pure apple cider vinegar into a spray bottle and lightly coat your skin with it. You can also lightly dab vinegar on the sunburned area with cotton balls or paper towels. But remember, be gentle and do not rub. You can also soak in a cool bath with two or three cups of vinegar added to the water.
You might remember your mother or grandmother slapping witch hazel on every ailment you ever had as a kid (or maybe that was just me). Well, it turns out that it also comes in handy for sunburns. Witch hazel has a component called tannins in it which helps with swelling and healing. Simply apply the witch hazel (you can find it at any drug store) to your sunburn with cotton balls. You should feel instant relief from this.
Here's one we likely all know about. Yes, you can always by 100% aloe from the store, but you can also whip something up at your house. If you have an aloe plant at home, you'll want to extract the gel and chill it for about 30 minutes. You can then apply it to your skin with a cotton ball or cloth and let it sit. Just let the aloe soak in and enjoy the cooling sensation. You can do this several times a day or as needed.
Black tea is packed with antioxidants, and tea has tannins just like witch hazel. According to Everyday Roots, black tea "aids in restoring the skin's pH balance." Their black tea remedy involves brewing a few teabags and then cooling it to room temperature. Soak a cloth in the tea and dab the sunburnt skin. Let it dry and then apply at needed.
Green tea also has loads of healing qualities and can help relieve inflammation. You can use the same black tea treatment but with green tea.
So, there you have it -- five home remedies for a sunburn. In addition to all of this, it's always a good idea to drink a lot of water, keep your skin moisturized and stay in the shade while healing.