So we’re well into June now and we’re delighted to report that the great British summer seems to be shaping up pretty nicely so far, thank you very much! But let’s not allow the sunshine to go to our heads. We need to stay protected over summer, people! Experts agree that sunscreen should be worn from the months of April right through to October, even on overcast days- but if we’re being honest here, do we all always bother? Probably not. And we’ve all been there with the good intentions on a blazing hot day and the sunscreen is nowhere to be found… not great. The truth is that sunburn isn’t always that easy to avoid, and when it happens it HURTS! But never fear. Here are three natural remedies for sunburn that should help to soothe and cool your skin right when it matters.
Never underestimate the power of Aloe Vera! This one won’t come as a huge surprise to you, but we couldn’t leave it out of our list now could we! Aloe Vera has been used to treat sunburn for centuries and has such amazing skin-soothing benefits that make it an absolute must have for any natural first aid kit.
Fresh aloe is always best to use, but not always easy to get hold of. If you do use it from the plant, you’ll need to cut the leaf close to the base before washing. Then cut off the stones and slice the lead lengthwise so that you reveal the inner gel. That’s the stuff that’s going to work magic on your skin! Just rub it gently onto the affected area. Alternatively you can scrape the aloe from the leaf,blend it up, then freeze into small ice cubes to rub onto sunburn as and when you need it.
You can buy after sun lotions and gels which contain Aloe Vera but always check the label to make sure the other ingredients are safe to use and contain no nasties that could irritate your skin. If in doubt, opt for pure Aloe Vera gels which you can buy from health food stores.
Who would have thought it? But yes, it’s true. Black tea can be used to treat sunburn and what’s more, it’s pretty good at it too. Tea is a natural source of powerful antioxidants which help the skin to heal faster, and it also contains vital anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties too. The polyphenols present in tea will reduce the redness, while the tannins extracts the heat from sunburn. Lastly, tea contains catechins, powerful antioxidants that work hard to promote healing, prevent further damage and repair the skin when you’ve been out in the sun too long.
So how do we use black tea? There are several ways, but the easiest method is to simply steep one on two teabags in boiling water for around 20 minutes, wring them out and apply to the affected area.If your sunburn is more widely spread, increase the mixture to around five or six tea bags and more water, then soak a washcloth in the mixture, applying that to the affected skin. Repeat as necessary, as often as you like. Make sure you allow the tea to dry, and leave overnight to work it’s magic.
Apple cider vinegar
We’ve written about the amazing properties of apple cider vinegar many times before, and really we cannot repeat it enough! This is amazing stuff, with so many uses around the home and in your natural beauty regime. And yes, it can be used to treat sunburn too! Apple cider vinegar has fantastic antiseptic properties that are able to kill germs and relieve pain, and its also a great way to reduce blisters after burning too. Not only that, but apple cider vinegar will gently soften the skin so that dead cells slough away, leaving the skin soft and fresh. Bonus!
One of the best ways to apply apple cider vinegar to sunburn is by mixing it with coconut oil, stirring well so that the two are well combined. Then massage gently into the skin and continue to use as and when necessary until the burns are healed. Alternatively you can pop a couple of cups into a bath tub, fill with warm (not hot!) water and have a soak. If showers are more your thing and the thought of a warm bath after being out in the sun really doesn’t appeal, then this final method might be for you. Take a shower as normal (lukewarm water is best), then pat the body dry. Take a wash cloth soaked in two parts cold water and one part apple cider vinegar, and allow to rest on the affected parts of your skin for around 15 minutes. Repeat as necessary until soothed.
Of course, the best treatment for sunburn is prevention, so please please do take care in the sun. Read this post for more information and ideas on natural sunscreen solutions., or this post on natural ways to protect your skin. But at the end of the day, we’re all human and we all make mistakes. Don’t sweat it. Enjoy the sunshine guys!