32 Best Home Remedies to Get Rid of Sunburn Quickly

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Home remedies to get rid of sunburn

Summer is here! You all might be planning for a trip to enjoy your vacations. There is nothing more exciting than bathing in the sun and playing with waves on a beach. But, with all this fun comes the sunburn. Well, some sunshine is right for your skin as it protects the skin from cancer. However, as the saying goes, excess of everything is bad. Therefore, excessive exposure to the sunlight can wreak havoc on your skin and cause sunburn.

You can find several sunscreen products in the market that promise to reduce the problem in a short time, but they may result in side-effects on the skin. If you want to get rid of sunburn naturally, you can rely on home remedies.

Causes and Symptoms of Sunburn

Too much exposure to the sun exposes your skin to the UV rays that damage the cells of deeper skin layers and deteriorate the melanin pigment, resulting in tanning and sunburn (1).

The symptoms of sunburn do not appear immediately; they become apparent 4-5 hours after sun exposure and get worse in 24-36 hours (2). Fluid-filled blisters, swollen skin, pain, change in the skin color, tenderness and redness in the skin, and itching are some of the symptoms of sunburn (3). Symptoms of sunburn are temporary, but they result in damage and serious long-term effects such as early aging of the skin and skin cancer (4).

Homemade Remedies for Sunburn

Looking for the best way to treat sunburn? One thing to know here is; it takes 3-5 days to cure the sunburned skin (5). Here are some effective home remedies for sunburn relief; give them a try.

Home Remedies to Treat Sunburn Quickly and Naturally

1. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is one of the natural remedies for sunburn that helps heal mild to severe burns (6). The cooling and soothing properties of the herb are useful in the treatment of all forms of burns – be it solar, thermal, or radiation (7). Aloe vera protects the skin from the harmful UV radiations (8). Moreover, amino acids in this plant soften the harder skin cells while the elastin and collagen fibers reduce the wrinkles and increase the elasticity of the skin (9).

How to use?

Take a mature leaf of the plant and remove its outer skin. Blend the jelly-like colorless substance and apply it on the affected areas. You can also apply the aloe vera gel directly. Let it stay on your skin as long as you can. Then rinse with cold water. Use this home remedy frequently.

2. Olive Oil

Olive oil has the best SPF (Sun Protection Factor) value (10). Moreover, it has the high level of squalene, which is the essential protective lipid of the skin produced by sebaceous glands, that acts as a natural sun blocker and plays a significant role in skin lubrication (11).

How does it work?

You need to soak a cotton ball in the olive oil and apply on the affected skin. This home remedy not only helps get rid of sunburn quickly but also moisturizes the skin.

3. Lemon Juice

Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant that has a significant role in maintaining the skin’s health (12,13). Vitamin C does not absorb UV radiations; however, it neutralizes free radicals exerting an UV-protective effect (14). Lemon juice is rich in vitamin C, thus helps lighten the skin tone (15).

How to do it?

Take a lemon and squeeze its juice. Add the extract to a cup of cold water and mix well. Apply the solution to the tender skin with the help of a cotton ball. You can also prepare a pack by mixing a tablespoon each of lemon juice, rose water and cucumber juice. Apply the pack on the affected skin and allow it to dry for 10 minutes; then rinse with cold water. Cucumber and rose water soothe the irritated skin and reduce the pain.

Note:

  • Do not go outside in the sun after applying any of the above two remedies as psoralens in lemon juice increase the sensitivity of the skin to the sun rays and result in severe inflammatory reaction (16).
  • Do not use lemon directly on your skin; otherwise, it may worsen the situation.

4. Cucumber

The phytonutrients in cucumber have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties (17). Cucumber soothes the skin irritations as well as alleviates the swelling and pain resulted due to the sunburn (18).

How to use?

Take a cucumber and cut it into slices. Apply the slice directly on the sunburned skin. Alternatively, blend the chilled cucumber to prepare the paste. Apply it on the affected area. You can also use cucumber juice to get rid of sunburn fast.

5. Tomatoes

Tomatoes have an abundance of lycopene that acts as a natural antioxidant and neutralizes free-radicals. Tomato paste has been found effective against sunburn induced by UV rays (19,20).

How does it work?

Apply a slice of tomato on the burned area and hold it for a few minutes. Allow it to dry. Alternatively, eat tomatoes to avert sunburn. You can also extract the juice of a tomato and apply on burns. This is one of the best remedies to get rid of sunburn redness.

6. Potatoes

Potatoes are a rich source of starch that helps treat sunburn fast. In addition to starch, the antioxidants and phenolic compounds minimize the detrimental effects of ultraviolet rays on the skin (21,22,23,24).

How to do it?

Cut a raw potato into thin slices. Take a slice and rub onto the irritated skin. Alternatively, grate a potato and prepare a poultice. Apply it on the sore skin affected by sunburn.

7. Black Tea

Black tea is an effective ingredient to treat bad sunburn. It is a good source of polyphenols that act as potent antioxidants (25). Other compounds in black teas such as catechins and tannic acid repair the skin damage and prevent UV rays-induced sunburn (26).

How to use?

Take a jar and fill it with steaming water. Then, put 3-4 black tea bags in the jar and cover it. Take out the tea bags after 20-25 minutes. Allow the water to cool down. Afterward, soak a wash rag in the water and put it over the affected skin. Let it stay for the whole night. This is one of the best remedies to get rid of a sunburn overnight. You can also take black tea bath. For this, pour 1 liter of boiling water over four tablespoons of black tea. Allow it to steep for 20-25 minutes. Then, pour this infusion in the bathtub and soak yourself in it for as long as you can.

Note:

  • Make sure that the water is not too hot; otherwise, it can further cause irritation.

8. Green Tea

The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of green tea soothe the sunburned skin. Moreover, green tea decreases the number of sunburn cells and also provide a photoprotective effect (27).

How does it work?

Put 3-4 green tea bags in a cup of boiling water. Let it steep for 10-15 minutes. When the water cools down, soak a clean washcloth in it. Squeeze it and spread it over the sunburned areas. You can also use this home remedy to cure sunburn on face.

9. Honey

Honey is a natural ingredient which is widely known for its antimicrobial and therapeutic properties (28). Its anti-inflammatory properties protect the skin from the photocarcinogenic effects of sunlight exposure (29).

How to do it?

Smear raw honey on the areas affected by sunburn. Wrap it with gauze. It will heal and repair the skin faster.

10. Cold Shower or Cool Compress

Cold bathing and cool compress have many beneficial health effects as well as a positive impact in relieving the symptoms of sunburn (30,31).

How to use?

Bath with cold water or take a cold shower to get rid of sunburn. Dry yourself in air. Then apply a deep moisturizer or aloe vera gel.

Note:

  • Don’t use any soap or shower gels.
  • Avoid using a towel to get rid of a sunburn peeling.
  • Do not take a bath for a long time as it will make your skin dry.

Alternatively, take some ice cubes and let them melt. Soak a clean cloth in chilled water and put it on the sunburned area to reduce soreness. Try this remedy twice or thrice daily.

Note:

  • Do not use ice directly on the sunburned area.

11. Cold Milk

Calcium and Vitamin D in milk suppresses the inflammation (32) (33). Milk creates a protein layer on the skin that alleviates the discomfort caused due to sunburn.

How does it work?

All you need to do is, soak a clean cloth in cold water and apply on the burned skin. This is an effective remedy to treat sunburn blisters.

Note:

  • Do not rub or apply pressure as it can cause pain and irritation.

12. Yogurt

Yogurt contains probiotics that work wonders in preventing and treating UV rays induced skin damage (34,35,36).

How to do it?

Spread a thin layer of plain cold yogurt on the sunburned skin. Let it sit for approximately 10-15 minutes. Then, wipe it away with the help of a cold rag. If the pain persists, reapply another layer of yogurt. You can also soak a clean cloth in the yogurt and use it as a compress on the burned area.

13. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is no less than a miracle for skin conditions. ACV has antifungal properties and a high content of phenolic content that makes it an excellent antioxidant (37,38,39).

How to use?

Mix apple cider vinegar with water in 1:2 ratio. Dab it on the affected skin with the help of a cotton ball.

Note:

  • Prepare a more diluted solution (add more water in ACV) if your skin is sensitive.

14. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is an excellent home remedy to treat severe sunburn. Various types of phenols in oatmeal impart its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties as well as make it a good ultraviolet absorber (40,41).

How does it work?

Take a cup of oatmeal and finely grind it in a blender until you get a fine, smooth consistency. Fill the bathtub with tepid water and pour the grounded oatmeal into it. Soak yourself in this water to get relief from sunburn. Alternatively, prepare the oatmeal paste. For this, grind ½ cup of uncooked oats into a fine powder. Add 2-3 tablespoons of honey and ¼ cup of milk to it. Mix well all the ingredients with a spoon. Smear this paste on the sunburned skin. After 15-20 minutes, wipe the paste with cold water and a soft cloth.

15. Baking Soda

Baking soda possesses alkalinizing and antibacterial properties (42,43). It reduces itching and soothes skin inflammation.

How to do it?

Mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda with water to prepare a paste. Clean the affected skin and apply the paste with the help of a cotton ball. After 5-10 minutes, rinse with cold water. Dry the skin and reapply the paste. Alternatively, fill your bathtub with cold water. Add 1 cup of baking soda to it and stir well. Soak yourself in it for 25-30 minutes. Let your body to air dry. Take baking soda bath daily. You can also prepare baking soda spray. Mix ¼ cup of baking soda with cold water. Fill the solution in an empty spray bottle. Shake well and spray on the sunburned skin.

16. Apricot

Apricots are rich in lycopene contents, phenolic compounds, and phytochemicals which provide various health benefits to this fruit (44). The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of apricots sooth the damaged skin resulted due to sunburn (45).

How to use?

Soak 3-5 apricots in warm water. Mash the soften fruit and mix it with a tablespoon of honey. Apply the resultant paste on the sunburned skin. You can also apply the juice of apricot leaf which is the fastest way to get rid of sunburn.

17. Coconut Oil

The high-fat content in coconut oil makes it an effective moisturizer for the skin (46). Besides, coconut oil also possesses anti-inflammatory properties and protects the skin from the harmful UV radiations (47). It is a superb remedy to heal some of the symptoms associated with sunburn such as itching, peeling, and dryness. Due to the SPF value of around 8, coconut oil is used in the formulation of sunscreens (48).

How does it work?

Apply a cool compress on the burned skin for 15-20 minutes or take a cold shower. Pat the skin dry. Then, gently apply coconut oil. Use this remedy twice or thrice daily until the sunburn gets cured.

Note:

  • Avoid applying coconut oil at the first symptom of sunburn.

18. Strawberries

Phytochemicals and antioxidants (such as catechins) in strawberries act as a natural sunblock (49,50).

How to do it?

Take a few ripened strawberries and mash them to prepare a paste. Spread it on the burns and then rinse off with cold water. Apply coconut oil or any other moisturizer for effective results.

19. Egg White

Egg white inhibits the synthesis of melanin in the skin (51). Phosvitin in the egg yolk has antioxidant properties, and it prevents hyper-pigmentation (52,53).

How to use?

Take the egg white in a bowl and beat it. Wash the affected skin with cold water and spread the egg white with the help of a cotton ball. The enzymes present in the raw egg white provide instant relief against sunburn and facilitate overnight healing. Wash off with cold water when it becomes dry. Alternatively, you can prepare a pack by adding two teaspoons of orange juice to the egg white. Apply it on the sunburned skin and allow it to dry. Rinse off with cold water. Reapply a few more layers if required.

20. Vitamin E Oil

Vitamin E is a lipophilic antioxidant that protects the skin from the harmful solar radiations (54). The efficiency of Vitamin E in providing photoprotection increases when it is combined with Vitamin C (55).

How does it work?

Take 2-3 Vitamin E capsules and open it with the help of a pin. Squeeze the oil and apply on the affected area. Use this remedy daily until the symptoms get wholly alleviated.

21. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is known for its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties (56,57). It increases the blood flow in capillaries and provides nutrients to the damaged skin, thus relieving sunburn (58).

How to do it?

Mix pure tea tree oil with coconut oil or olive oil in the ratio of 1:10. Apply the resultant mixture on the burnt skin. You can also dilute the tea tree oil with water. It is one of the best remedies to treat sunburned lips.

22. Olive Oil

Olive Oil has the SPF value of around 8 (59). Moreover, it contains squalene and phenolic compounds that are responsible for the antioxidant properties of the oil (60).

How to use?

Mix a few drops of olive oil with aloe vera and apply it on the sunburned skin. This remedy provides a cooling sensation and locks moisture in the skin. If aloe vera is not available, you can dilute olive oil with a few drops of water.

23. Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel contains antioxidant polyphenolic compounds that protect the skin from photoaging and sunburn (61). It also possesses tannins, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that further shield the skin from solar radiations (62).

How does it work?

Add 1 cup of witch hazel to ½ cup of aloe vera gel. Fill the solution in a spray bottle and squirt it on the affected skin for quick relief. You can also apply witch hazel directly on your skin with the help of a cotton ball.

Note:

  • Read the label cautiously while buying witch hazel. Prefer witch hazel extract over distilled witch hazel.

24. Coriander

Coriander exhibits antioxidant activity and neutralizes free radicals. It also contains fatty acids (such as palmitic acid, linoleic acid, oleic acid), moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties that make coriander one of the effective home remedies for sunburn (63).

How to do it?

Gently rub coriander essential oil on the sunburned skin. You can also apply coriander juice. Alternatively, take a handful of fresh coriander leaves. Blend them with a ¼ cup of chopped cucumber, and ½ cup oatmeal. Apply the mixture on the face and other sunburned areas. Wash off with water when it gets dried. This remedy will also rejuvenate your skin.

25. Lavender Oil

Lavender oil possesses anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antiseptic properties that help heal burns and scars fast (64,65,66).

How to use?

All you need to do is dilute a few drops of lavender essential oil with peppermint oil, coconut oil and aloe vera juice. Mix well and apply on the affected area. Wash off with cold water after 10-15 minutes.

Note:

  • If you have sensitive skin, perform a patch test by applying diluted lavender oil on a small portion of the skin. Don’t use this remedy if you experience irritation, allergic reaction, or any other side effect.

26. Peppermint Oil

The antimicrobial, antibacterial, and cooling properties of peppermint oil are effective in soothing the sunburned skin. Peppermint oil has the SPF value of around 7 that makes it a good sunscreen (67).

How does it work?

Add equal parts of peppermint and lavender oil to coconut oil and aloe vera. Spread the mix on the skin to alleviate redness and pain associated with sunburn.

27. Sandalwood

Sandalwood essential oil is known for its antiseptic and antifungal properties (68). Sandalwood is also used in the treatment of inflammatory skin ailments (69).

How to do it?

Mix equal parts of sandalwood powder, plain yogurt, milk or water and apply the resultant paste on the affected skin. Wash off with cool water after some time. The cooling effect of sandalwood will soothe the sunburn while repairing and healing the skin fast. Alternatively, prepare a paste by mixing equal quantities of turmeric and sandalwood powder with cold water. Apply the paste on the sunburned skin and wash off after 15-20 minutes. You can also mix a drop of turmeric essential oil, 2 drops of sandalwood essential oil, and an ounce of coconut oil. Apply it on the sunburned skin.

28. Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus essential oil has various skin benefits due to its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties (70).

How to use?

Add a teaspoon of pure aloe vera gel and 2-3 drops of eucalyptus oil to a cup of water. Fill the mixture in a spray bottle. Shake the mixture properly and squirt on the affected skin before going to bed. Alternatively, mix 4-5 drops of eucalyptus oil in cold water. Soak a clean cloth in this solution and dab on the sunburned area for quick relief.

29. Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense oil has many therapeutic properties, and its anti-inflammatory effects make it one of the best remedies for skin care (71) (72).

How does it work?

You need to mix 1-2 drops of frankincense essential oil with aloe vera gel. Apply it to alleviate the symptoms of sunburn.

30. Lettuce Leaves

If you are looking for a herbal remedy to alleviate sunburn, you can try lettuce leaves. They reduce the inflammation and pain associated with sunburn (73).

How to do it?

Boil some lettuce leaves in water. Let it cool down. Then strain it and apply on the sunburn with the help of a cotton ball. Alternatively, fill the water in a bottle and use it as a spray on the affected skin.

31. Calendula

All parts of the calendula plant are effective for the skin as they act as natural oxidants and neutralize the effect of free radicals. It also alleviates the inflammation, soothes the skin, and rejuvenates the cell. Besides, calendula oil has the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) that makes it an excellent sunscreen (74) (75).

How to use?

For preparing calendula oil, put calendula petals in a dry, clean glass jar. Pour olive oil in the jar so that petals get covered. Then tightly wrap the jar with a lid. Put the jar in a paper bag and place it in a sunny and warm place. Shake the jar every day. After 4-6 weeks, strain the petals and pour the oil in a clean jar. Store the oil in dark, cool place. Apply on the sunburned skin.

You can also prepare a spray by mixing equal parts of marshmallow root and calendula flowers. Pour cold water to cover the herbs. Let it sit for 8-12 hours at room temperature. Strain the herbs. Mix 1 ounce infusion with 1 ounce aloe gel and 10-12 drops of lavender essential oil in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray on the sunburned skin. Alternatively, add 2 tablespoons of dried calendula flowers to 1 tablespoon of hot water. Gently mash the flowers. Apply this poultice on the sunburned skin. Rinse off with cold water after 15-20 minutes.

32. Chamomile

Chamomile is a popular herb for skin care. It has healing, antioxidant, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties (76) (77).

How does it work?

Put some fresh chamomile flowers in a cup of boiling water. Allow them steep for 15-20 minutes. When the water cools down, strain the solution. After that, soak a towel/clean cloth in it and spread it over the affected skin. Alternatively, take 4-5 chamomile tea bags and steep them in the boiling water for 15-20 minutes. Strain the tea and pour in the bathtub. Soak your body in this water for quick relief.

Quick Tips

Do’s

  • Wear loose cotton clothes.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated as it accelerates the healing time.
  • Use a natural/herbal moisturizer to soothe the skin.

Don’ts

  • Do not pop or break the blisters to avoid infection.
  • Don’t scratch, peel, or exfoliate your skin.
  • Do not step out in direct sunlight until the pain, peeling, and redness have gone.
  • Don’t use petroleum jelly, fatty oils or other greasy ingredients on burns.
  • Avoid using makeup to let your skin breathe.

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