I’ve Got Sunburn–Now What?
If you spent a day in the sun at the beach or in your pool without sun protection of any kind, chances are you are feeling pretty sore and your skin is red. You may also be peeling like the guy in the photo above. It may seem like the pain is never going to go away, but in time it will. There are, however, a few things you can do to minimize the pain and length of the burn.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular sunburn remedies…but remember, we’re not doctors and this isn’t medical advice:
1. Drink lots of water! Your skin needs hydration all the time, but when you are badly sunburned it really needs water!
2. Slice up some cucumbers! That’s right, cucumbers! Cucumbers will soothe your burning skin and draw out the heat. If you can get your hands on some Cucumber Hydrosol, that is even better. Spritz yourself with the hydrosol as often as you can! We love all the hydrosols at Pompeii Organics, but when we have sunburn in our house we couldn’t live without their Cucumber Hydrosol!
3. Cool down with a cool bath! In the bath you could add some oatmeal and milk, two other natural ingredients that will help soothe your burning skin. Since milk contains lactic acid, it is good for sunburn. This lactic acid will help to gently exfoliate the dead skin cells and it will also draw the heat away from the skin. Make sure you use cold milk!
You could also lather up with a quality natural soap that won’t strip your skin of moisture like this one from Pompeii Street Soap:
Other ingredients that are known to help with sunburn that can be added to the bath are Baking Soda and Lavender Essential Oil. We prefer this brand of Lavender Essential Oil from Pompeii Organics:
If you prefer to use Amazon Prime, we like Plant Therapy. Just make sure you have a carrier oil or some kind of fat like whole milk (not skim) in the bath so that the essential oil is diluted safely:
4. Aloe! Find an aloe plant or get your hands on some Aloe Vera Gel that is 100% natural. If it is neon green in a plastic bottle, it is not real! We like this Aloe Vera Gel from Pompeii Organics, a local company in Mifflinburg, PA.
Plant Therapy also has an aloe vera gel and their gel has Lavender essential oil already in it:
5. Apple Cider Vinegar! Yes, you read that right! Soak some cool washcloths in ACV and gently let the vinegar soak into your burned skin. You can also make a mask with clay and ACV to really draw out the heat and reduce the inflammation. We suggest you use the real kind of ACV, like this one that we found on Amazon along with a great clay:
6. Yogurt! If you don’t feel like soaking in a cool bath of milk, generously coat your burned areas with yogurt. Just like milk, the lactic acid in yogurt will help draw out the heat and exfoliate the dead skin cells. Leave the yogurt on as long as you can and then gently wipe it away with a moist cool cloth or even baby wipes.
7. Motrin, Advil, or Aleve can also take away some of the discomfort of sunburn. A sunburn is skin that is inflamed. These over the counter remedies will help reduce the swelling and maybe curb the pain a little. Check with your physician if you aren’t sure about taking any of these! Remember, we’re not doctors and we’re not offering medical advice!
8. Shea butter! Shea butter has many incredible moisturizing and healing properties for your burned skin. Add a couple drops of Lavender Essential Oil, Carrot Seed Essential Oil or Palmarosa Essential Oil and you will make your skin happy! You should go with raw Shea butter like this one from Plant Therapy:
9. Mango Butter! Just like Shea butter, Mango butter has therapeutic properties that your sore, burned skin needs. Add the same oils we suggested you use with Shea butter. Again, we trust Plant Therapy for this one:
Now that you know what to do with red, inflamed skin, how about blisters? How might you handle skin that is blistered and oozing? Well, remember that a sunburn is a REAL BURN. If you have blisters and they are oozing anything, we suggest you call your doctor or go to Med Express if it is the weekend. Sometimes the kitchen remedies passed down from Grandma just aren’t going to cut it!
After your skin calms down and the redness and inflammation have subsided, consider taking better care of your skin! Always wear sunscreen or sunblock, especially if you are spending sunny afternoons in your pool. If you missed our blog posts about the differences between UVA and UVB, and how to select the right sunscreen, go HERE and HERE.
Find a good moisturizer, one that is as natural as can be. For your face, find a quality face serum, which is used before you apply face lotion, like this one:
If you use a face moisturizer that is different from your body moisturizer in the daytime, make sure it has an SPF of 15 or higher and has broad spectrum protection. Here are a few that we prefer in our house:
And here are a few body lotions and creams that are great before bed that we like on Amazon:
We hope you stay safe in the sun all summer while you enjoy your pool!