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Wiser Living

Finding a natural solution

Green Summer: Sunburn Care

by Susan Melgren, Web Editor

Tags: green summer, sunburn care, sunburn treatment, natural sunburn remedies,

It’s June. That means it’s high-time I hit the pool to soak up some rays and relax. While sunshine and vitamin D are naturally beneficial, too much of a good thing can be bad – especially when it’s the sun. Before I go outside for a relaxing summer afternoon, you can be sure I’ll slather on the sunscreen.

Finding a natural, healthy sunscreen can be difficult. Many sunscreens contain chemicals that can irritate and even damage the skin. Instead, look for sunscreens that contain zinc and titanium dioxide, natural minerals that reflect light.

If you didn’t apply sunscreen as thoroughly as you should have, you’ll probably be in for what is, in my opinion, one of the most painful physical ailments ever – a sunburn. Lucky for us, Mother Nature has some natural remedies we can use to reduce the pain and burning.

Aloe vera: Aloe is perhaps the most common treatment for a sunburn because of its cooling and healing properties. Instead of treating your sunburn with the diluted aloe gel from the store, try using the gel straight from the plant. Personal experience has taught me that this will sting worse than gel from a bottle, but you won’t need to keep reapplying it. One application was enough to soothe my burn!

Aloe vera
The gel of the aloe vera plant is a good natural remedy for treating your sunburn. Its natural cooling and healing properties will speed up your recovery. Photo Courtesy Powerhouse Museum.

Black tea: The tannins in tea will treat your burn and take away some of the pain and redness. Brew several tea bags together to make a strong pot of tea. Once it has steeped, add some ice cubes to make the water warm and more tolerable for you skin. Then, soak a towel in the tea and place the towel on your burn. Alternately you may also fill a tub with water and throw in several tea bags. If you have a small burn, an easier way may be to just wet a tea bag and place it on the burn.

Apple cider vinegar: Dab some vinegar on a cotton ball and apply it to the burned skin. If you have a large sunburn, pour a large glass of vinegar into a lukewarm bath. If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, add some lavender essential oil or lemon juice to mask the smell. Lavendar essential oil has cooling and soothing properties and works well as an anti-inflammatory on sunburns. The lemon juice acts as a disinfectant and will help heal the burn.

Cornstarch: I’ve also heard that cornstarch is soothing for burned skin. Combine cornstarch and water until it has the consistency of paste and apply it to your burn.

Do you have any natural remedies you use for treating sunburns? If so, please share them in the comments section.