Natural Sunburn Remedies

Summer is finally here and that means sunburn season is here too! Despite your best intentions, you may end up with a sunburn for the better part of a week. First, there is the pain, then the itch, and finally the peeling. You can shorten your discomfort by using natural sunburn remedies that reduce pain and speeds skin healing.

Vinegar – Mix one cup of white or apple cider vinegar into a bathtub of cool water. The acetic acid in the vinegar acts as a topical pain reliever equivalent to an over-the-counter pain medication. Soak in the bath for 15 to 20 minutes. Don’t use soap. It will dry and irritate your skin. After soaking, rinse with cool water.

Aloe Vera – Fill an ice cube tray with Aloe Vera gel and let it freeze. Soak a cloth in cold water and then wrap the ice cubes in the cloth. Apply the cloth over the sunburn for several minutes and repeat a few times. The coolness will reduce inflammation and Aloe Vera promotes healing.

Tea Bags – Apply tea bags soaked in ice-cold water to your eyelids. The tannic acid in the tea eases the pain and decreases the swelling. And tea is gentle on eyes.

Vitamin D – Vitamin D eases the pain, reduces inflammation and redness, and speeds skin repair. Taking a single high dose of vitamin D within an hour of being sunburned provides fast relief. Researchers found that vitamin D increased the levels of anti-inflammatory enzymes that trigger skin repair.


Lavender Oil – Add a few drops of lavender oil to a damp cloth and apply it to sunburn. Lavender has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It provides immediate cooling relief. It also promotes healing and new skin growth.

Peppermint Oil – Add one to three drops of peppermint oil with a teaspoon of Aloe Vera and one cup of water. Add to a spray bottle, mix well and spray on burned skin. Peppermint oil stimulates cold receptors on your skin and dilates blood vessels to relieve pain.

Tea Tree Oil – Add a couple drops of tea tree oil with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil or Aloe Vera before applying to the skin. Researchers found that tea tree oil speeds sunburn healing. And there’s evidence it also protects against skin cancer. It is an anti-inflammatory and it kills germs that can cause skin infections.

Things Not to do Before Going Out in the Sun

There are a couple things that will help you avoid a sunburn and skin cancer later.

Do NOT Use Perfume – Many fragrances make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Stay away from perfumes and colognes if you’re going to be outside in the sun.

Check Drug Labels Before Going in the Sun – Antibiotics, antidepressants, antihistamines, tranquilizers, antifungals, birth control pills, and diuretics are just some of the drugs that can make you more sensitive to the sun. If your medication does cause photosensitivity, then cover up or use a quality organic sunscreen.

Get at Least 15 Minutes of Sun Daily

One study found that three-quarters of Americans don’t have enough vitamin D. This can lead to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other serious illnesses. Try to get at least 15 minutes of sunscreen-free sun exposure every day. This is not enough to burn you. But it will give you plenty of the vitamin D you need to stay healthy.

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