If living in Florida has taught me one thing, it’s how to care for sunburns. Florida’s reputation as the “sunshine state” is well earned. Even in the middle of a rainstorm, the sun can be out in full force. With my pale skin, it doesn’t talk long for me to burn to a crisp. Of course, the best thing to do is to protect yourself and prevent sunburn by applying sunblock, staying in the shade, and wearing protective clothing. If you get caught out in the sun too long, however, here are some natural ways to help heal and relieve the pain of sunburn.
One of the best things for sunburns is aloe. Aloe naturally relieves pain, reduces inflammation, repairs damaged skin cells, strengthens the immune system, accelerates the healing process, and fights off bacteria that can cause infection. It also forms a protective layer over the skin which helps hold in moisture while adding extra hydration. This basically means that aloe is a powerhouse for healing any burn. The easiest way to use aloe is to cut a leaf and squeeze the gel onto the burn, or cut the leaf and scoop out the gel. Apply the gel to the burn and leave it until it dries. If it starts to get sticky wash it off. However, this method can be difficult for sunburns that cover a large area, so I recommend harvesting the gel ahead of time and keeping it in your fridge. You can also freeze it in icecube trays to have an extra bit of relief from the cold. You can also add other things to your aloe gel, such as cucumbers which also help soothe the inflamed skin. Just cut the aloe leaf, scoop out the gel, peel and dice the cucumber, put them into a blender and blend until smooth. Leave this mixture on the burn for 30 min.
Oddly enough, one of the best things you can use for sunburn is one of the staples in almost every southern home. Iced tea. Black tea has quite a few amazing qualities that help heal and soothe skin after a sunburn. Adding in a mixture of other healing herbs can make for an amazing sunburn relief tea that you can then apply (either by blotting with a cloth or by spraying on) as often as you need. My favorite mixture is black tea, lavender, rose petals, peppermint, yarrow, and apple cider vinegar.
Black Tea- Earl grey tea seems to work best on sunburns, I suspect this is due to the bergamot that gives earl grey its distinctive taste. Black tea is packed full of antioxidants which help to block the harmful effects of the sun, even after sun exposure. It also is full of tannins which help to reduce post-sun inflammation. Earl gray is black tea and bergamot oil. Bergamot is full of more antioxidants. But it is also from a citrus fruit and all citrus helps boost immune function, but bergamot is also a pain reliever.
Lavender- Lavender is calming, and soothing to the nerves. It also helps to tone the skin. Essential oil of lavender is also a great topical pain reliever.
Rose Petals- Rose petals are high in vitamin C which helps boost immune function. They also have a great cooling effect on the skin.
Peppermint- Peppermint has an amazing cooling effect and it helps to reduce inflammation.
Yarrow- Yarrow speeds up the healing process for wounds and reduces inflammation. It also prevents blistering and peeling.
Apple Cider Vinegar- Raw Apple Cider Vinegar is great for taking the sting out of burns. It also is full of amazing nutrients that help to fight infection and heal the skin.
1 ½ cup water
2 bags of good quality Earl Grey
1 teaspoon dried lavender flowers
1 teaspoon dried rose petals
1 teaspoon dried peppermint leaves
1`teaspoon dried yarrow leaves and/or flowers
½ cup raw apple cider vinegar
Bring the water to a boil. Remove from the heat and add in the tea and the herbs. Let it steep for 30+ minutes. Strain into a glass container. Add in the apple cider vinegar. If you want, you can add 5 drops of lavender essential oil for added relief. Storing this is the refrigerator not only adds to the shelf life, but it also adds a bit more cooling relief upon application.
Creams are good to have premade. This one is good to keep around for any kind of burn, it also works well for sores and razor burn.
Witch Hazel- Witch hazel is great to heal all kinds of skin issues. It will help prevent blisters and peeling as well as reduce inflammation.
Coconut Oil- Coconut oil is a great moisturizer and it helps to reduce the pain of sunburns.
Cornstarch- Cornstarch helps relieve the pain of the sunburn and has a cooling effect.
½ cup witch hazel
1 cup water
3 tablespoons aloe gel (fresh is best, but don’t use the green or blue stuff from the store)
About ½ cup cornstarch
3 teaspoons coconut oil
10 drops peppermint essential oil
10 drops lavender essential oil
Put the water, witch hazel and aloe gel in a glass container. Mix these together, cover, and let sit for 2 hours. After the two hours, add the remaining ingredients and mix together (you can use a blender or food processor if you want) until creamy. You can add more cornstarch if it’s too watery or more water if it’s too thick. The texture you are looking for is similar to a lotion. Let it sit for 24 hours before use. Store in a tightly lidded jar, in the fridge. Will keep for several weeks.
Yes, this next recipe is essentially mashed, raw potatoes, but it really works. Just like cornstarch, potato starch works wonders on sunburns. It draws out the heat and toxins from the burn and alleviates the pain and has a cooling effect. Some people slice raw potatoes and just apply them to the burns, but this paste is a little more effective and has better skin coverage for those pesky sunburns.
Wash some potatoes, leave the skins on, and put them in the food processor. Add a little water to moisten the paste. Apply to your sunburn, but don’t rub it in, dab it on. Keep it there for 30 minutes. Discard the potato paste afterwards.
I hope these tips and recipes help you with your sunburns, but don’t forget to protect your skin before you go out into the summer sun!
DIY & Crafts: http://www.diyncrafts.com/6768/health/5-natural-sunburn-remedies-instantly-stop-pain-prevent-peeling
Home Remedies for Life: http://homeremediesforlife.com/aloe-vera-for-sunburn/
Love to Know: http://skincare.lovetoknow.com/Severe_Sunburn_Old-Fashioned_Remedy
Organic Facts: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-bergamot-essential-oil.html
Today in Dietzville: http://todayindietzville.com/2016/05/sunburn-tea-natural-sunburn-remedies/Top 10 Grocery Secrets: http://www.top10grocerysecrets.com/2015-09-28-top-10-medicinal-plants-natural-sunburn-relief