Wanting to spend time outdoors during the warm summer months is only natural, but it’s imperative that you remember to use a high-quality sunscreen product to protect your skin. Let’s face it; there is nothing fun about sunburn.
It looks uncomfortable, feels even worse, and over the long term, it contributes to the early signs of aging as well as the increased risk of getting skin cancer. When you fail to put on sunscreen, you will end up with burns on all the exposed areas of skin. The burn will turn red, blister, and can peel. The sunburn can linger for a period of three to seven days, all the while you’ll endure various degrees of suffering, which is highly dependent on just how long you remain out in the sun without protection from Ultraviolet light.
An Ounce of Prevention
The best remedy for sunburn is, of course, is prevention, and when it comes to sunburn prevention, literally an ounce of sunscreen is exactly what you need. Experts recommend applying one ounce of sunscreen over your exposed skin areas every 30 minutes you are outdoors. Make sure you protect the face, neck, arms, hands, and legs (if you’re wearing shorts, a skirt or swimwear) with ample sunscreen. Additionally, when buying a sunscreen product, make sure you use one containing a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15 or higher.
Now, if you’re suffering the consequences of inadvertently exposing your skin to excess sun, there are some natural methods for dealing with the issue. Here are a few all natural treatments that have proven successful in easing the pain and discomfort that follows the development of sunburned skin.
All Natural Topical Treatments
If you’re a gardener, you may actually have a few all-natural sunburn treatments right in your garden already, one of which happens to be cucumbers. Even if you aren’t a gardener, a trip to the produce section of the store will provide you with an inexpensive treatment for your sore-sunburned skin. Experts have found cucumbers just as good as store bought lotions in taking the sting out of sunburned skin. You can put a cucumber in the blender to make a paste that you can apply to the face: It will help cool down your skin and make your face feel refreshed at the same time.
Do you have a few strawberries in the fridge? Crush a few strawberries up and mix them with a bit of cornstarch to create a paste to apply to sore skin. Strawberries contain tannins that help in alleviating skin irritation. Of course, both cucumbers and strawberries come with the added benefit that such treatments are both preservative and chemical-free.
Aloe Vera to the Rescue
People have long held Aloe as a natural remedy, not just for sunburn, but burns of all kinds. You can either buy an over the counter product containing Aloe or you can get your pain relief straight from the plant itself. Cut one or two leaves of Aloe from the plant and refrigerate it for about an hour. Slit each leave down the middle lengthwise. Apply the gel inside the leaves directly to sunburned areas with a cotton ball. Refrigerating the leaf will ensure an added element of coolness when you apply the remedy.
A Relaxing Oatmeal Bath
There’s nothing worse than a full body sunburn: You’re left with very few areas of the skin that are free of pain and irritation. Thankfully, an oatmeal bath can provide you with some skin-soothing relief. Add two cups of plain oatmeal to a blender and whip it until it is powdery. Then put into a lukewarm tub and soak in the water.
Potatoes naturally contain starches that can offer up some relief for sunburn. Take a large potato and grate it up into small shreds. Add the shredded potato to a cool washcloth or a tea towel and create a poultice. You can apply the poultice directly to the sunburned areas of your skin.
More Veggies for Skin Relief
As mentioned earlier, you can blend some cucumbers up and apply it to the face for some sore skin relief, but you can also blend up dice cucumbers and use the juice on just about any part of the body that is irritated by sunburn. Alternatively, you can take advantage of the pain-killing properties naturally found in a vegetable like lettuce. Take a handful of shredded lettuce and put it into a cup of water. Bring the water to a boil. Allow the mixture to cool. Strain the mixture. Use a cotton ball to apply the liquid directly to the skin.
Are you looking for some additional relief? Consider taking advantage of the anti-bacterial properties on coconut oil: You can apply it to the skin to calm the irritation of red areas. Alternatively, a compress made of apple cider vinegar can also offer up some fast relief.
Marigold, also known as calendula, was used by ancient cultures for treating topical wounds and burns successfully. Use a few marigold blossoms mixed in a bit of water to create a healing poultice. Alternatively, a calendula tea bag soaked in water can also create a liquid you can apply to your skin for sunburn relief.