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We work hard to keep our bodies healthy and fit all year long, but as soon as spring break and summer roll around, it's like we forget about one of the fundamentals of taking care of our bodies. It's like seasonal amnesia, where we're so desperate to leave the greyness of winter behind us that we forget the positives and negatives of the sun.
Sunburns are an unpleasant reminder of how quickly things can go wrong and any time you’re out in the sun for too long you run the risk of a nasty burn. Just one case of sun overexposure ruins a good trip, but even worse, there are some serious consequences long-term as well.
While the best remedy is to avoid a sunburn in the first place, life happens, and sometimes you need relief quickly. Fortunately, there are some natural remedies that you can make from home in case you're feeling the burn.
Please keep in mind that we're simply sharing tips based on our own experiences and they shouldn't serve as a replacement for medical advice. If you’re having any kind of severe pain, like skin blisters, excessive skin peeling, etc., or you have a history of skin cancer, it’s always best to talk to your doctor.
In this post, we’ll show you how to make all-natural sunburn remedies and what ingredients are the most effective at soothing sunburns.
So put on your DIY cap, because you're about to learn how to remedy minor sunburns, helping you get back to having fun under the sun as soon as possible.
You've worked hard to get toned arms, legs, and everywhere in between - they were your motivation to keep going so hard at the gym, but the hot spring and summer sun didn't get the memo and had other plans for your exposed skin. No matter how hard you try sometimes, a sunburn is sometimes inevitable.
If you have a severe sunburn, you should seek medical attention, but for minor sunburns, three all-natural ingredients soothe sunburned skin: coconut oil, aloe vera, and oatmeal. Commit those three ingredients to memory,because whether you decide to take matters into your own hands and DIY a solution or just head to a store and purchase something to relieve your sunburn, you should incorporate these natural ingredients.
Coconut oil doesn't get enough credit. Aside from being a delicious and versatile cooking oil, coconut oil is also a powerful skincare ingredient. Coconut oil is great for helping to heal skin that has been damaged from the sun as it helps to soothe the burning sensation while also moisturizing the skin (which is especially important because when you have a sunburn your skin loses moisture quickly).
This is thanks in large part to the fatty acids (triglycerides) found in coconut oil that are high in both lauric and caprylic acids, which help to penetrate the skin deeply to provide moisture and quick relief. This is all to say that it can reduce itching and peeling which is one of the main reasons we made our DIY sunburn remedy below using coconut oil as the base.
Be sure to use organic coconut oil if you go this route!
There's no way you've made it through life without knowing that aloe vera is a kryptonite for sunburns. But you may not know why.
Aloe vera has been used to treat sunburns for centuries because of its anti-inflammatory and cooling properties. Think about it, aloe vera naturally reduces swelling and lowers the temp on a sunburn, which is by definition a swelling of the skin and increased temp. Not to mention that aloe vera has naturally present lidocaine.
It's also packed with Vitamins A, C, and E which are great for the skin, whether you have a sunburn or not. This helps moisturize your skin and replenish that moisture rapidly, which can help reduce peeling and itchiness.
Pro Tip: The best way to get aloe vera is to source it directly from the aloe vera plant. It requires a little bit of work to get the gel-like goodness from it, but it's a direct pipeline to the pure goodness of the plant.If you purchase aloe vera gel, make sure it doesn't have xanthan, carrageenan, and carbomers - you want the all-natural 100% goodness of aloe vera.
Also, note that some people aren't able to tolerate aloe vera, so be sure to test it on a small spot to avoid any serious allergic reaction.
Another traditional remedy for sunburn is oatmeal. You can either use oatmeal as a bath soak, or you can make an oatmeal paste and apply it directly to the skin. Oatmeal is going to be particularly helpful if your sunburn covers large areas of your skin's surface or is in a hard-to-reach place.
Oats are rich in important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help soothe and protect the skin from further damage. It's also filled to the brim with Vitamin E which helps the skin retain moisture. This combination of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins helps reduce redness and swelling while also calming down the itchiness.
You can even add witch hazel (essential oils) for a great scent with the added power of soothing a sunburn.
Whatever ingredient you choose, the combination of cooling aloe vera, moisturizing coconut oil, and soothing oatmeal will help reduce the pain and itchiness caused by sunburn. And with any luck, you'll be back to your regular self in no time.
With simple ingredients straight from your pantry and fridge, you can create a natural remedy that will cool your skin down immediately and works for mild to medium sunburns. Aloe vera and oatmeal are great ingredients to help with your sunburns, but we're partial to coconut oil.
Repeat up to twice a day for two days, or until your skin cells show signs of recovery or you feel less pain. Then just sit back and try to relax, and let your skin heal as best you can.
The fastest way to get rid of sunburn is to cool down the skin and protect it from further damage. To do this, take a cold shower or bath, and apply aloe vera gel or coconut oil liberally on the burnt areas. Be sure to stay hydrated and drink lots of water, taking an anti-inflammatory as needed.
You should also seek medical attention if you experience blistering or a fever.
Unfortunately, it's not possible to get rid of a sunburn overnight. The best thing to do is to take a cool bath or shower, apply aloe vera gel or coconut oil on the affected areas, and stay hydrated. You should also avoid further exposure to the sun and keep an eye out for signs of infection.
As much as we all love a good tan, sometimes our skin can’t handle the sun as well as we’d like it to. We hope you never have to deal with the dreaded sunburn, but if you do, these steps can help alleviate some of the pain.
And sure, there's no way to magically wave a wand and heal a sunburn overnight, but if you do find yourself with a case of too much sun, you now have a few natural ways to get relief. They'll certainly treat sunburn pains and reduce the immediate pain, hopefully quickening your rate of recovery and potentially reducing the harmful side effects of sunburns.
At the risk of sounding too much like our mothers, use your current sunburn to remind yourself of the power of good sun protection. While we spend a lot of time talking about sunscreen, for good reason,wearing a UPF long-sleeve shirt and a hat that can cover your head properly goes a long way in reducing unwanted sun exposure.
Now get out there and show off all your hard work, just enjoy the sun responsibly!