One of the most important things to remember when going out in the sun is to apply and reapply sunscreen, regardless of the season. However, sometimes we completely forget to slather on the lotion and end up with a nasty sunburn that leaves us aching and flaky. Luckily, there are many natural ways to soothe a sunburn at home that are easy, affordable, and fast.
Here are a few of the best herbal and essential oil remedies that can help speed healing, repair mild damage, and calm the painful symptoms of sunburn:
Aloe is one of the most common ingredients in commercial products for sunburn relief. Skip the added ingredients and go straight to the source – straight aloe gel from the inner aloe vera leaf. Aloe has been shown to speed healing, reduce redness and peeling, and offer cool relief to the sting of the burn.
Tea, such as green or black tea, contains several beneficial compounds to soothe sunburned skin. Tannic acid and theobromine help cool the burn, while cafechins help prevent and repair skin damage caused by the UV rays. Both green and black tea are high in antioxidants, which can also help fight free radicals.
Lavender essential oil is well-known for its calming effects on the mind; this also goes for the physical side of things as well. Lavender can help cool and soothe an uncomfortable burn, and calm any redness.
Calendula flowers have been shown to close wounds, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the growth of new skin cells. When you get burned, new cells are needed fast to heal the skin as quickly as possible.
Placing slices of cucumber directly on a sunburn will soothe the stinging sensation and reduce swelling.
Carrot Seed Oil
Carrot seed essential oil is extremely beneficial to sun-damage skin. Beta-carotene, an antioxidant, helps protect against skin cancer and eliminate precancerous skin spots due to sun exposure.
Witch hazel is an easily-accessible and affordable household tonic that soothes irritation, cools burns, and reduces redness.
Echinacea contains several compounds that reduce the loss of collagen in the skin. Collagen is necessary to keep skin tight and supple, and can be destroyed by a sunburn.
Other home remedies include plaintain, milk, cold compresses, potato paste, cornstarch, baking soda, oatmeal, and an increased water intake. Remember: The best thing to do is prevent sunburn by protecting your skin from UV radiation with a good sunscreen, reapplying throughout the day as directed.