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How to Relieve Sunburn Naturally


Don't you hate it when you peel your swimmers off after a long day at the beach and see the telltale redness of sunburn? You just know you're in for an uncomfortable few days. We all know we have to be careful in the sun, but it can be easy to miss a spot when you apply sunscreen. Recently, I had a day on the Great Barrier Reef with the family when we were passing through Cairns. Everybody had hats on, rashies, wetsuits and sunscreen from head to toe. Except for the bit that I missed between my youngest's wetsuit and the top of his leg. Ouch! Fortunately, there are lots of things that you can do to relieve the pain of sunburn, naturally.

Have a cool shower to relieve sunburn

Start with a cool shower or a bath. If you've got some oats handy, add some to the bath water. If not, just a cool shower will be fine. Don't use soap, as it will dry out and irritate your skin even further. Pat your skin dry gently with a soft towel. If the sun burn is particularly sore, just allow it to air dry.

Apply something cooling to your skin

There are lots of natural remedies for sunburned skin. My personal favourite is the Weleda Burns & Bites Cooling Gel. I know I've said it before, but this stuff is wonderful. When my son got burned in Cairns recently, I applied this stuff before he went to bed for instant relief. It was much better the next morning, but I applied some more before we went out. Then I popped some more on before bed again. His sunburn was pretty severe and I thought it was going to blister (yes, I know - Mother of the Year award for me!) but by the following night there was no pain. Aloe vera gel is another great cooling remedy to relieve sunburn. Choose a nice fat leaf and use it fresh from your garden. If you don't have aloe vera in your garden, use a pure aloe vera gel like this one from Every Bit Organic Raw. Make sure it's high in aloe vera (first or second ingredient) and make sure the other ingredients are good, too. Other natural sunburn remedies include:

  • cool milk on a damp cloth against the skin
  • plain yoghurt applied to the skin for 5 minutes, then rinsed off gently
  • cornstarch made into a paste and applied to the skin
  • cooled mint and green tea on a damp cloth
  • pure apple cider vinegar sprayed on to the skin
  • witch hazel misted on to the skin (again, make sure it's pure)
  • cucumber (either strips or blitzed to a paste) applied to the skin for a few minutes

You may need to seek medical advice if you're very badly sunburned, if there are blisters, or if you're feeling dizzy or the pain persists.

Make Sure To Moisturise

Tight, dry skin just makes sunburn even more irritating. After the pain has subsided, use loads of moisturiser to help your skin stay hydrated. Pop your moisturiser in the fridge for some extra cooling relief.

Drink lots of water

You've been out in the sun all day, so you may be dehydrated. Drink lots of water to help stop dehydration and hydrate your sunburnt skin.

Get Sun Smart!

Don't get sunburnt again! Everyone needs some sunshine for Vitamin D.  But too much sun, and ouch. Sunburn! Make sure that next time you're outside, you're covered up. Stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day. Wear a hat, sunglasses and a tshirt or rash vest. Use an SPF lip balm like this one from Hurraw and choose a good sunscreen. Check out our Safer Natural Sunscreens Cheat Sheet to find the best sunscreens for you and your family.

What are your best sunburn remedies? 

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