9 Fail-Safe Sunburn Remedies

As a group, we humans love our sun. However, too much of a good thing can have its consequences. Here are a few time-tested sunburn remedies to help your lobster-y skin after you’ve spent too much time basking in this star’s powerful rays.

#1: Prevention. This may go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: one of the best sunburn remedies is to prevent it from happening in the first place – wear protection and try your best not to let it happen. Apply a hefty amount of sunscreen, but don’t forget a hat, a shirt, a cover up, a dive suit – whatever floats your boat that conceals your precious, tender skin from the often angry sun. But if you have already thrown yourself heedlessly into the sun and toasted yourself to a crisp, then Rule #2 is where to start to soothe your fried epidermis.

#2: Aloe Vera. This ancient cure that has been around since the days of old – Cleopatra used it as a beauty treatment and Alexander the Great used it to heal wounds in battle. Nevertheless, it is nature’s powerful way of healing, and a great first go-to. If you have the plant, break off a leave and gently spread the slimy gel over your burn. Reapply as often as needed. If you don’t have the plant, there are many lotions to choose from. Some also contain lidocaine, an anesthetic that can help relieve the sometimes agonizing pain. No, make that all-the-time agonizing pain. Who are we kidding, right? When it comes to sunburn remedies, this one’s a natural.

#3: Cucumbers. Who knew, right? Yes, this hearty veggie has natural analgesic and anesthetic properties and is one of the best sunburn remedies around. Just put them in the fridge to chill, then cut them up, and put into a blender to create a mush. Spread this helpful goo on your face and the affected areas, then kick back, relax and let it do its stuff. Just another one of Mother Nature’s sunburn remedies that will soothe your throbbing skin.

#4. Oatmeal. As you can see, there’s a theme here when it comes to sunburn remedies: Nature. (It simply rocks.) Okay, here’s what you do: grab some oatmeal (finely milled is best), lavender buds, and if you like, lavender oil (or other essential, aromatic oils) and with a spoon, mix it all together. Mash it down so that the ingredients are fully blended together. Then put it in a coffee filter, and tie it off with a rubber band. Run hot water in your bath, but don’t get in until it’s tepid. You can also add one cup of cider vinegar (helps balance your skin’s pH, acid or alkalinity), Epsom salt or buttermilk (or plain milk) to the water – these help settle the inflammation. Then light some scented candles and take a deep breath. If you are excruciating pain, remember: this, too, shall pass.

(View from room, Paradisus Cancun, photo by: instagram.com/betsyar.)

#5. Freshly Brewed Black Tea. Yes, another one of our sunburn remedies from nature, or rather, one that began as a plant. And this one’s easy peasy.  Just make some hot tea in a Mr. Tea (or a suitable facsimile), then put the entire vat along with the bags into the fridge – or freezer if you’re really aching, which will speed the cool down process. You can either pour the tea onto a rag and press into your skin, or use the bags themselves. Either way, black tea’s tanic acid helps draw the heat from the burn and contributes to restoring your pH balance. If you have some leftover tea, pour a glass, plop in some ice cubes, and chill. Just being still when you have a burn helps because there’s less chance you’ll bump into someone or something that will injure you during your recovery.

#6 Vitamin E. This is one of those sunburn remedies that is duo-purpose: you can use it internally and externally. You can take them as a regular supplement, and treat sunburn with Vitamin E’s hard-working antioxidants from the inside. Or, you can get a pin, puncture the gelatinous capsules, squeeze and spread the gel on your skin – or you can do both. Luckily, Vitamin E also comes in a liquid form, so if you don’t want to take them orally, or poke them with a sharp, scary instrument, you can get a cotton pad and slather it all over your painful burn. When it’s just too torturous, use a Q-tip and slowly dab it on. You don’t have to rush, even though your skin may be begging you to do so.

#7.  Ice. Put some ice cubes into a Ziploc, then cover with a thin cloth, perhaps a scarf – depending on how much cold you can stand. This becomes a compress that will offer instant appeasement for your screaming skin. (Or an instrument of torture, should you touch it on the back of an unsuspecting nearby person. We don’t recommend harassment, but sometimes, you just can’t resist.)

#8. Hydrocortisone Cream. Your grocery or drugstore will have lotions and creams that contain this, usually about 1%. This will help with pain, itching and swelling.

#9. Pain Relievers. Over-the-counter ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve) can be taken to help alleviate your suffering. Drink lots of water, too. It’s one of the most obvious sunburn remedies that is often overlooked.

If you have yet to become a piece of burnt toast, but are going to a beach soon, which we hope is one of ours, see our blog, 8 Ways to Prevent a Sunburn.

Now don’t get us wrong: we love the sun. We’re all about enjoying this amazing, warm orb in the sky, but our first preference is that you don’t harm yourself while in its midst. And since we’re talking about getting some sun-loving in, let us unabashedly mention again our heavenly, beautiful Caribbean destinations. At any one of them, should you get a bit heated up, you can cool down in crystal clear, turquoise water whenever you want. And then relax on a comfy chaise lounge under a palm tree in the shade. (You want to go now, we know you do!)

Just call one of our BhDs today at 800-915-3162 today, or go here to see the lay of the sand yourself. Your tropical, sunny island adventure is waiting!

Lisa Mitchell

I am a blogger for CheapCaribbean.com who is a travel junkie and addicted to the beach.

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