As you are out and about this summer, keep these 5 natural tips for healing sunburns in mind before you reach for the bottle of lidocaine spray after getting burned.
Please note that I’m not a doctor, and the FDA hasn’t approved any of these remedies. Not that I’d care if they did one way or the other. This is only my personal experience – take it or leave it.
Summer is upon us, and it’s been in the upper 90’s/low 100’s for a couple weeks down here in the wonderful south. While I try to keep my kiddos out of the scorching afternoon sun, I need to be prepared to combat the inevitable sunburn. These tried and true tips to soothe and heal sunburns naturally are taken straight from a freckled, fair-skinned redhead who grew up in the Sunshine State – a.k.a. me – and who has had
some too much experience with sunburns…
5 Natural Tips for Healing Sunburns
#1 – A Cold Shower
This is my first defense against a sunburn. As soon as possible after being burned take a cold shower. The water should be as cold as can be handled, but the pressure should not be too hard, in case you have blisters (you don’t want them to burst!). The cold water is soothing and helps to draw out the burn.
Gently pat dry dry after showering, or if possible, air dry.
If I can’t get to a shower and the burn is bad, simply soaking a washcloth in cold water and applying to the burn helps, as well.
#2 – Aloe
Aloe vera has long been known as a healer. Even though it’s usually just applied topically, it’s also known to heal when ingested.
Growing up, my mom’s natural go to for sunburn relief was always aloe. Even now, she has at least 15 plants under her carport and she generously snips off a leaf, fillets it, and applies the gel to my nieces’ and nephew’s burns. If you don’t have an aloe plant handy, you can find 100% aloe gel here and use that.
#3 – Apple Cider Vinegar
Those of you who are real foodies probably already know that there are tons of uses for apple cider vinegar. But were you aware that treating a sunburn was one of them?
Yes, apple cider vinegar was one of my more recent sunburn healing discoveries. Soak a cloth or cotton balls in acv and gently dab on the affected area. Just like the cold shower, the vinegar will draw out the heat and help heal the burn. You could also fill a bathtub with cool water, add some apple cider vinegar to it, and give yourself a good soak.
#4 – Herbal Tea Bags/Compress
This remedy is especially helpful if your eyelids have a sunburn (no fun). Simply steep an herbal tea bag (chamomile or green teas are good) in boiling water for a few minutes, then remove the bags and let them cool. Apply the cooled tea bags to your eyes. For larger burned areas, soak a washcloth in the cooled herbal tea and then apply.
#5 – Coconut Oil & Lavender EO
Just like apple cider vinegar, there are a million uses for coconut oil and lavender oil. When it comes to sunburns, coconut oil can be used alone, or with the addition of lavender essential oil. This combo has been my go-to for sunburn healing since moving down to the south. It’s easy to apply, and my kiddos don’t complain about it.
I use Plant Therapy essential oils for my kids, you can get it here.
Melt down about a quarter cup of coconut oil over low heat, then add in a few drops of lavender. Chill in the fridge, and gently rub a chunk of cooled coconut oil on the burn. The coconut oil will cool and heal and the lavender will heal and sooth. Win-win. Store leftovers in the fridge for the next unfortunate soul who gets burned.
Note: this combo is great for any burn, not just sunburn!
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