Summer is, in my opinion, the best. Warm weather, sunshine, popsicles, beach trips, baseball games, and of course, no school. Who doesn’t love a slice of watermelon by the pool or running through a sprinkler in the backyard? Of course, the season still has its drawbacks. There are mosquitos to make you itch, heat to make you sweat, and sun to make you burn. Despite all of the warnings about skin cancer and UV rays, a sunburn seems inevitable during the summer. The least of your worries are looking like a lobster when you have to deal with uncomfortable pain and misery! Luckily, there are ways to make the burn feel better, and they don’t always involve aloe vera – there are some unexpected ways to soothe a sunburn that might surprise you.
The thing about sunburn is that it is preventable – you can put on sunscreen and wear protective clothing when you’re exposed to UV rays. However, if you’re spending the day outside frolicking with friends, it’s easy to forget to reapply. And even though sun hats are in style now, you can’t put a Snapchat filter of your face if it’s hidden in shadow! Like I said, everyone knows the basic treatments for sunburn: aloe and lotion. But you can, and sometimes should, look beyond those for another remedy. Some are even all-natural ingredients you have at home right now. Check out these surprising ways to get rid of a sunburn and enjoy your summer pain-free (hopefully).
CucumbersThose spas that give you cucumbers to put on your eyes actually know what they're doing. Cucumbers have natural antioxidant and analgesic properties (aka pain relief). Create a paste by mashing chilled cucumbers in a blender, and then spread on sunburned areas. Image source: iStock
LettuceVegetables have all kinds of health benefits! Boil lettuce leaves and save the resulting lettuce water. After chilling it for a few hours—make sure it's completely cooled—use a soft cloth or cotton balls to apply the liquid to your irritated skin. Image source: iStock
MilkWhen cool milk is applied to skin, it creates a protein film that soothes sunburn. Yogurt can work, as well. Image source: iStock
Iced TeaMake black tea and let it cool completely, then use a soft cloth to put it on your sunburn. The tannic acid in black tea draws the heat out of your skin. Image source: iStock
OatmealOatmeal is more than just a nutritious breakfast food. An oatmeal bath can help soothe an itchy sunburn—remember when you your parents made you take an oatmeal bath when you got the chicken pox? You can also wrap dry, uncooked oatmeal in gauze, soak it in water, remove the oatmeal, and use the soaked gauze as a compress on sunburn. Image source: iStock
Apple Cider VinegarAn apple cider vinegar bath is also soothing. It helps to balance the pH of sunburned skin to encourage healing. Image source: iStock
Baking SodaAdd baking soda to your bathwater, and after you soak, let the powder dry on your sunburn rather than drying off to soothe your skin even more. Image source: iStock
Witch HazelWitch hazel is an astringent with strong anti-inflammatory properties, so your inflamed skin will thank you if you moisten a cloth with it and apply to the affected areas. Image source: iStock
Anti-inflammatory PillsWhy wait until you're as red as a lobster? As soon as you feel your skin starting to react negatively to the sun, take an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen or aspirin to stop it from getting worse. And put on sunscreen! Image source: iStock
Which one of these sunburn treatments are you going to try? What did I forget to include? Share in the comments!