It’s always fascinating to learn about the double duties of some very familiar items.
I’ve been on a mission to learn more about natural ingredients and remedies. I also wanted to separate old wives tales from ingredients that can and should be used on our skin (e.g. don’t use baking soda as an exfoliant on your face because it can be really harsh!)
Since it’s summer in many parts of the world and we may all be a little guilty of forgetting to reapply the sunscreen, I also wanted to look into natural remedies for sunburn or dry, damaged skin. I would always use aloe vera gel when I had peeling or sunburned skin but was wondering what else could be used to heal my skin after a day in which I’ve spent a little too much time outdoors. I found a pretty diverse and also accessible list of ingredients. I had most of these ingredients my kitchen already! Some of the produce like cucumbers and strawberries are also staple foods of summer so it’s interesting that they can be consumed as well as used on our skin. Read on below for the full list of skin soothing remedies.
Natural Sunburn remedies
1. Aloe Vera – Aloe vera is antibacterial and has vitamins that promote healing, according to Prevention. It’s best to use it in the plant form, but you can apply an aloe vera gel or lotion as well*.
2. Milk – Milk creates a protein film on your skin that will help to cool, heal, and soothe delicate skin states Everyday Roots.
3. Yogurt – Milk’s cousin, yogurt, is also a great sunburn remedy. Plain yogurt with live cultures are full of probiotics and enzymes that will keep you chill and comfortable.
4. Oats – Oats are high in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and can be used as part of a bath or compress (here is an idea on Livestrong).
5. Strawberries – Strawberries are great for more than just snacking during summer. The berries’ phenolic compounds or tannin content helps reduce the sting of a sunburn.
6. Vinegar – Do you have white vinegar in your cabinet? White vinegar’s acetic acid is like a topical nonsterioidal anti-inflammatory drug when applied on your skin.
7. Cucumbers – Cucumbers are full of natural botanical compounds that are great on damaged skin. Dr. Bailey Skincare touts cucumbers as a natural solution with both antioxidant and analgesic properties.
8. Green Tea – Green tea does a body good in more ways than one. The tannic acid and theobromine found in green tea also helps relieve pain and heal damaged skin when applied topically
* Be careful not to use lotions or creams that have any of these things listed in the ingredients: petroleum, benzocaine, or lidocaine. Things with petroleum trap the heat in your skin (and you don’t want that!) and benzocaine and lidocaine can bother and irritate your skin (AAD).