Now that warm weather is here to stay, there are many more opportunities for coming home with a sunburn. Even with diligent sunscreen application, it is possible to miss a spot or forget an application, which leads to the dreaded sunburn we have all experienced.
Thankfully, there are lots of things you can do to soothe skin that has been damaged by the sun! Today I’m going to give you a list of home remedies as well as point out a few of my favorite products to help with sunburn relief.
Home Remedies For Sunburn Relief
There are dozens of old wives’ tales about how to treat a sunburn, but I’m only going to mention the ones that are proven to work best.
I know you’ve seen spa treatments that involve ladies putting cucumber slices on their eyes. There’s actually a good reason for this. Cucumbers are full of natural antioxidants and analgesics (pain relievers!), which means you can use them to help cool a sunburn. The easiest thing to do is mash up slices of refrigerated cucumber into a mushy paste and gently pat the paste onto the burned areas. This is safe to put on your face as well, as long as you aren’t allergic. The cool paste will help relieve some of the pain and itching while promoting healing.
2. Black or Green Tea
Black tea and green tea both contain tannins, which are powerful antioxidants. In addition, the tea can help draw out some heat from the burns and help restore your skin’s proper pH, which speeds healing. To get the most benefit, it is best to use cooled, freshly brewed tea. You can apply the tea bags directly to affected areas or soak a clean, soft cloth in the tea and apply it like a compress to the burn.
3. Skim Milk
Okay, this one might sound a little weird at first, but stick with me. Milk contains proteins, and these proteins can help to reduce inflammation. These proteins can also act as a protective film over your damaged skin, which will allow it to get back to its normal pH and heal faster. Any milk will work, but skim milk works best because it has the least amount of fat in it. Extra fat tends to make this messy.
To make a milk compress, mix a bit of skim milk with an equal amount of water. Be sure to use a soft cloth (not a washcloth, ouch!) and moisten it just enough to be wet but not dripping. You can repeat this as often as necessary. While you don’t need to wash this off, it might be a good idea to gently wipe the area down periodically so there isn’t any milky buildup.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has many uses, including sunburn relief. Adding a cup of apple cider vinegar to a lukewarm bath is another way to help balance out your skin’s pH and promote faster healing. It will help alleviate some of the pain as well.
Products to Reach For When You Have a Sunburn
If you don’t have any of those home remedies already stocked in your kitchen, here are a few of my go-to products when my skin needs relief from too much sun.
This cream from 23YearsOld is packed with tons of soothing ingredients. Its most prominent ingredient, though, is sea buckthorn oil. Sea buckthorn oil is rich in vitamins A, B, C, E and K, all of which promote skin health and rejuvenation.
It also contains ingredients like jojoba oil, mango seed butter, allantoin, licorice, natto gum and other herbal extracts that are soothing, moisturizing and anti-inflammatory. Just a thin layer of Sibiton cream instantly calms my sun damaged skin.
I know I talk about this Klairs cream a lot, but it’s just so versatile! If you have a jar handy, it is perfect for calming and protecting sunburned skin. Its beautiful, cornflower blue color comes from guiazulene, a compound found in chamomile extract. Guiazulene is responsible for chamomile’s amazing soothing properties, so Klairs has concentrated it into this luxurious cream. It also has Centella Asiatica extract, which helps prevent scarring and speeds up skin regeneration. Because the cream creates a protective layer between your damaged skin and the environment, your skin is able to heal faster.
While this one is a BB cream and not specifically targeted for sunburned skin, it is the best product in my arsenal for covering up redness without irritating my skin further. First of all, it has a light, creamy texture that glides smoothly over my skin without tugging or pulling, which is important when skin is stressed from too much sun.
Another thing I love about this BB cream is how natural it is. It is important to let damaged skin breathe, so I try to skip heavy products or anything fragranced whenever my face gets too much sun. This BB cream is formulated to be hypoallergenic and suited to any skin type, so I don’t have to worry about irritating my skin when I cover up the unattractive redness of a sunburn.
I prefer to combine my Klairs Midnight Blue cream with this BB cream. I apply a very thin layer of the Midnight Blue cream over the damaged areas that need nourishing and protecting, then I apply a layer of the Illuminating Supple BB cream on top of it so the makeup cannot interfere with the healing process.
Everybody has to deal with sunburn now and then, but don’t fret! The home remedies I mentioned combined with a few great beauty products will have your skin looking and feeling great again in no time.