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1. Brew black or green tea
This remedy works best when you can apply the tea as soon as possible after you notice your sunburn. First, brew a pot of tea, then allow it to cool for a couple of hours. Take a clean, soft washcloth and soak it in the brewed cooled tea. Use the washcloth like a cool compress to relieve the ache of your sunburn.
2. Slice up some veggies
Cucumbers and potatoes both have cooling compounds that nearly instantly soothe irritated skin. Slice a raw cucumber or potato, then lightly and gently rub it across the sunburned area.
3. Make yours mint
Mint has its own cooling powers—in a way, similar to menthol. Here, you can either follow the instructions for #1 (tea) or you can add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to one cup of slightly warmed water. Then, soak a towel and use as a compress on your red skin.
4. Take an oatmeal dip
Oatmeal has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory powers which have long been exploited by herbologists and even dermatologists. There is no need to buy pricier oatmeal-based products (like Aveeno)—just grind up some oatmeal and add it to your cool bathwater.
5. Bathe in vinegar
Yup, you read that right! Just like oatmeal can relieve the irritation and pain of sunburned skin, so too can vinegar. Just add a couple cups of apple cider vinegar to your slightly warm bath water and then ease in for instant relief.
6. Make a baking soda paste
If you mix one part baking soda with one part cool water, the end result will be a thick, soothing paste that takes the sting right out of your irritated, red skin. You can leave it on for as long as overnight for really bad burns.
7. Dust off with cornstarch
Cornstarch is a great way to keep your skin from sustaining further damage through chafing. You can either dust yourself with cornstarch, or you can even dust your sheets before climbing into bed.
8. Boil up some lettuce
Lettuce isn't just good for you, but the leaves contain natural painkillers. And when you have a painful sunburn, painkillers are definitely what you want! So here, boil some lettuce leaves in water. Next, strain out the leaves and keep the water. Cool the water by placing it in the refrigerator for a few hours. Then soak a soft cloth in the water and use as a compress.
9. Plain yogurt
Plain yogurt is cooling and soothing, and it has properties to help your skin rebalance its own pH as it heals. Simply apply plain, non-sweet yogurt to the affected patches of skin, then wash off in a cool shower.
10. Freeze some tomatoes
There’s a compound found in tomatoes that helps protect and heal skin—it’s called lycopene (lycopene also gives the tomato its trademark red color). Freeze a tomato, then puree it in a blender or food processor (or you can mash it up by hand). Apply to the affected skin directly.
11. Go for some milk
Milk has natural protein enzymes that help protect skin as it heals. Also, the lactic acid in milk helps moisturize dried, sunburned skin. Slightly cooled milk works best, so take a cup of milk and leave it out of the refrigerator for about 10 minutes. Then dip a soft cloth into it and use it as a compress on the burned area.
12. Mix up a turmeric paste
Turmeric is not just a popular spice, but it also contains natural anti-inflammatory properties that can quickly ease the pain of sunburned skin. Take a couple of tablespoons of turmeric powder and add water. Mix into a thick paste. Then gently smooth the paste onto your skin and let it work for 10 minutes. Finish with a cool shower.
13. Smooth on some aloe
Of course you have probably seen the aloe vera lotions and gels at your local drugstore, but the best remedy of all is the aloe vera from a living, growing aloe plant. Just nip off a stalk and split it. Then use your finger to smooth on the clear soothing gel.
14. Break out the baby wipes
Baby wipes aren't just soothing to infant skin. When you have a sunburn, a baby wipe can provide instant relief for you as well!
15. Honey it up
Honey has natural enzymes to moisturize, heal, and protect skin and tissues. Because of this, many naturopaths and even some traditional physicians will tell patients to use honey to ease burns. You can either dab some honey on bare skin and let it soak in, or (if the sunburned skin will come into contact with furniture) drip a bit of honey onto a bandage and apply it that way.