5 Hacks to Recover From a Sunburn—Fast

Alright Michiganders! Time to grab your friends, family and beach towels and head to one of our many beautiful lakes and shores for some fun in the sun. But there’s another thing you should remember to pack: sunscreen. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, you should apply a palm-sized amount of sunscreen to exposed skin at least every two hours to stay safe and reduce your risk of developing skin cancer. (Sustaining five or more serious sunburns between ages the ages of 15 and 20 increases your chance of developing melanoma by 80 percent!)

The problem is that sometimes you don’t realize you are burning until it’s too late—and then you’re in for a painful recovery that can last days. If that happens to you, there are some things you can do to lessen your misery. Try these five hacks to get you feeling better and back outdoors (and next time, make sure to bring plenty of sunscreen!):

  1. Wipe down skin with apple cider vinegar. Soak a clean washcloth in a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water and leave it on your burned skin for a few minutes. This helps reduce inflammation and promote healing. As soon as you’re done with the apple cider vinegar, moisturize your skin.
  2. Rub on coconut oil. One of the many powers of coconut oil is that it’s incredibly moisturizing and full of natural oils—that’s why it feels so good on dried, burned skin. Just gently rub solid coconut oil over the burned area (making sure you aren’t wearing clothes you care about because they’ll get greasy). In minutes, you’ll feel relief.
  3. Take an oatmeal bath. Oats are a very rich source of antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory components, which makes them perfect for treating sunburned skin. Simply grind up one cup of oatmeal in a food processer and add it to a soothing lukewarm bath. Then simply soak into relaxation.
  4. Freeze aloe vera in ice cubes: There’s a reason aloe vera is what most people think of in terms of sunburn relief: It works. Double the soothing power by making ice cubes out of lotion with aloe vera in it (you might need to mix some water in with the lotion to get it to freeze). Just make sure you aren’t using a lotion that contains petroleum, benzocaine or lidocaine. Those ingredients can actually trap heat and cause irritation to your skin. Rub the ice cubes over the burn to calm and cool at the same time.
  5. Brew up a pot of tea. Tea can help balance the pH level of the skin and is filled with tannic acid, which helps pull the heat from your burn. You can dab the affected area with cold wet tea bags, add some tea bags to your bathwater and soak in it or wet a washcloth in some cold tea and apply it to your burn.

What’s even better than these five sunburn-treating hacks? Preventing sunburns before they happen! Check out these three blogs for some more information on protecting your skin from the sun:

 

Photo credit: Nick McPhee

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