Sunburn Soothers

Too much sun? Try these natural remedies to stop feeling the burn.

cucumber

Aloe vera provides anti-inflammatory relief from sunburns.

Photo by iStock; kaanates

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With warm temperatures, the beauty of the outdoors and gardens at peak productivity, it’s tempting to spend every waking minute of summer out in nature. Of course, even the most conscientious of us can still feel the effects of getting too much sun — damaged skin and painful, red sunburns.

If you’re in need of a little sunburn relief, there are plenty of simple treatments to try. Yogurt, buttermilk, tomato juice, witch hazel, aloe vera gel, chamomile tea and vinegar (1 tablespoon diluted in 1 cup water) can all be applied directly to a sunburn with a cloth or spray bottle, or added to a tepid bath.

For a truly soothing experience that combines healing and a little pampering, try one of these recipes for natural sunburn healing.

Recipes

Yogurt Mask

For a sunburned face, apply this thick paste of cold yogurt and chamomile essential oil. Yogurt is a source of lactic acid (a natural alpha-hydroxy acid), which gently smoothes rough skin. Yogurt also has mild bleaching action. If applied three or more times per week, it can help lighten redness and discoloration caused by excessive sun exposure. Greek yogurt is thicker than other varieties, making it a good option for this treatment. If your yogurt is runny, strain it through cheesecloth to remove excess moisture.

• 2 tablespoons thick, plain yogurt, strained if necessary
• 2 drops chamomile essential oil

1. Mix yogurt and chamomile essential oil.
2. Smooth the mixture over your face and neck.
3. Leave mask on for 15 minutes, then gently rinse skin with tepid water.

Cucumber-Rose Sunburn Relief Lotion

This cooling, fragrant lotion from Angel Face Botanicals founder Jessica Ress is just the thing to have on hand after a day in the sun. Store this treatment in the fridge and use it to mist on a sunburn for instant relief. The aloe vera and cucumber provide anti-inflammatory relief. The rose and coconut milk offer skin-saving healing moisture to overexposed skin.

• 1 medium cucumber, chopped
• 1/4 cup coconut milk
• 1/4 cup rosewater
• 1/4 cup aloe vera juice
• Strainer or cheesecloth
• 8-ounce jar with lid
• Spray bottle

1. Put chopped cucumber inside a strainer or piece of cheesecloth and squeeze out juice. Pour cucumber juice into a jar. Add coconut milk, rosewater and aloe vera. Close lid tightly and shake well to blend.

2. Pour some of the mixture into a spray bottle. Reserve remainder in the jar.
Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Shake well before use. Spray affected areas as desired. Soak a soft cloth and apply as a compress for 10 to 15 minutes to affected areas.