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Brace yourself, summer is here! Every year it’s the same thing: we are so excited to finally feel the first warm rays of sunshine, but more often than not, we forget to protect our skin. No matter how many times we hear it, we (almost) always end up with a sunburn. Dangers related to sun exposure are real, and it is time to be careful! But let’s get down to what you came here for, you will be careful next time (right? 🙂 ). You got yourself a nice sunburn and you want to take care of it. What is the best natural remedy for sunburn, you ask? Here is my answer in order to relieve the pain of a killer sunburn and heal faster.
In this article:
- What is a sunburn
- The 5 rules of sunburn
- Natural products against sunburn
- My homemade lotion for sunburn
- A few reminders
What is a sunburn?
Cause: UVBs burn your skin
Short term consequences: redness, pain, itching, sometimes blisters
What about UVAs: On the one hand you have the UVB burn which is what actually causes the sunburn. On the other hand, you have UVAs that do not burn your skin but these are much more dangerous as they dig deeper into your skin and damage the elastine and collagen. This harmful process liberates free radicals that are so dangerous for your overall health. They are indeed promoting the apparition of cancer.
Long term consequences: scars, sun allergy, aged skin, melanoma
Find out more about the cause and consequences of the sun in this excellent resource.
5 rules when you get a sunburn
- Reduce sun exposure as much as possible (avoid any exposure if possible)
- Drink water very often, stay hydrated
- Check your body temperature
- Refresh the sunburned area(s) with cold water (59-77°F)
- Go see a doctor if you have a severe headache and/or extreme or unusual pain
My natural products against sunburn
A sunburn is very painful! Depending on where it’s located on your body, the pain can range from a mild discomfort in our every day moves to a severe ache that can prevent us from sleeping… That’s why it is essential to relieve and heal the sunburn. It’s actually pretty simple as long as you are aware of a few grandma remedies that are often more efficient than any other expensive commercial after-sun lotions that you can find in your pharmacy.
Most efficient natural ingredients for sunburn
When a sunburn strikes, it’s not always easy to find all the necessary ingredients that will make the perfect remedy. I put together a little list of natural products that are tremendously efficient against sunburn. I will not use them all in my homemade sunburn lotion recipe, but if you are in a rush and do not have many ingredients with you, you can always pick one of those in the meantime.
It’s unique composition makes it super strong against sunburn. Ricinoleic acid is the magical ingredient in castor oil that makes it the perfect weapon against sunburns and an all-around ally for your skin.
With its unique healing and soothing properties, aloe vera is a “must” in the treatment of sunburns.
I just recently had a severe sunburn thanks to the beaches of Thailand, and the only thing that could soothe my sunburn long enough was a simple mixture of castor oil and aloe vera! Read more below!
Extremely efficient for all kind of burns (not only for sunburns). If you apply it directly to your skin you will feel an instant relief and it will help accelerate the healing process.
Coconut oil is very unique in its composition and is also great against sunburn. Full of Lauric acid and other fatty acids, the coconut oil will relieve and heal the burn (see our comparison on Coconut Oil / Castor Oil).
Some essential oils (diluted): I recommend lavender.
Cider vinegar: smoothes the skin, calms the irritation. It quickly relieves the pain as it helps rebalance the natural PH of your skin (mix it with half water).
Baking soda: mixed with water and applied as a compress, baking soda creates a faster healing process.
Calandula oil: caroten and vitamin A will restructure the skin while accelerating the healing process. It will also bring some relief.
What is the best natural remedy for sun burn? Try my homemade sunburn lotion
- Castor oil
- Coconut oil
- Aloe vera
- Cider vinegar
Let’s make it
- In a bowl, mix two tbsp of castor oil and 4 tbsp of coconut oil
- Add 3 tbsp of aloe vera et 2 tbsp of cider vinegar
- Once the mix is homogeneous, slowly apply on your skin
- Let it soak as long as possible/needed (overnight is better)
Still missing ingredients?
Don’t worry, I got you covered! The first time I ever used castor oil for sunburn, I was traveling Southeast Asia and I had to improvise with what I had. I simply mixed half castor oil and half aloe vera (I had castor oil and aloe vera was for sale everywhere in town). The mix was very efficient and I could feel an instant relief. It’s easy to make, easy to apply and extremely efficient.
>>Wondering where to find castor oil? You can find my favorite castor oil in the right side bar? If you’d like to find your own favorite castor oil, check out my advice here.
What is the best natural remedy for sunburn? Final thoughts
Best is to avoid sunburns when you can! After a long winter, we are always so happy to run free on the beach that we often forget that our bodies are not ready for this sudden rush of UV rays. In order to avoid sunburns, remember:
- Avoid direct exposure as much as you can, especially on the beach. Take an umbrella, a hat, sunglasses…
- Apply sunscreen very regularly. Choose a superior index (50+)
- Reduce direct exposure to the strict minimum (especially for the first time)
- Be very careful of the wind and clouds. Those traitors do not prevent UV rays from reaching your skin even if it doesn’t feel like you’re getting sunburned!
If after all this you still end up with a sunburn, my homemade recipe will be here for you. For burns that are beyond home remedies, do not hesitate to go to your doctor or a health professional. If you are feeling unwell, my best advice is to seek professional aid, as this could be signs of a more serious sunburn-related issue.
Thank you everyone for your support. Enjoy your holidays and take care of yourself during the beautiful summer time! If you also have a magic formula against sunburns, please share it with us! If it’s as good as mine, I could potentially incorporate it in this article! 😉