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9 natural sunburn remedies

Some common household items make excellent sunburn soothers

There’s nothing like a run in the warm, summer sunshine. But sometimes, in our exuberance to get outdoors, we forget to use sun protection. Prevention is ideal, but if you do get a sunburn, here are some soothing ways to heal.


Cool shower

You get in the shower after a day outside in the summer sunshine and next thing you know, your skin is on fire! We’ve all been there, in the painful after-burning shower. The first thing you should do to soothe burnt skin is dial the water to cool.



Oatmeal has a reputation as a skin-soother and is often touted as an all-natural poison ivy treatment. Take a cup of oatmeal and grind it up in a blender or food processor to add to a bath for total body relief. If you don’t have a blender or food processor, fill up a clean sock with oatmeal and let it soak in the water with you.



Aloe vera

Pure aloe vera gel is one of the most soothing options for a bad sunburn. Allow the gel to absorb completely into the skin. Apply twice a day for as long as necessary.


Baking soda

The reason sunburns are painful is because the pH of the skin is lowered. Baking soda has a high pH, which can help to restore balance and soothe pain. Add a 1/4 cup of baking soda to a lukewarm bath, and soak.





A milk compress (yogurt also works) creates a film of protein on the skin, helping speed up the healing process. Milk or yogurt with higher fat content works best to lock in cooling moisture.




There’s a reason that the stereotypical picture of a person at a day spa features cucumbers over the eyes. The vegetable is naturally cooling and hydrating, relieving inflammation while soothing skin. If you’ve burnt your face, you can slice up cucumber and place it on afflicted areas. If you’ve burnt yourself more widely, you can blend a full cucumber in your blender and apply the paste over the affected areas.


pouring honey


Honey contains proteins and enzymes to aid healing and seal in beneficial tissue fluid. You can apply honey directly to targeted areas or to a bandage. Don’t worry about the honey becoming a sticky mess. The moisture will be absorbed into the skin, leaving a dry coating.







Tea contains antioxidants and tannins that aid in reducing inflammation. Brew tea and remove the bags when steeped. Let the tea cool to room temperature and then apply tea-dampened compresses to afflicted areas.


Coconut oil

Coconut oil is a popular all-natural moisturizer. The fatty acids contained in the oil can also relieve the stinging feeling of a bad sunburn.