We have all been there. Yes, even a well-trained esthetician like myself endured the red-glow of shame. Yet even with the most careful skin-protecting regimens we’ve all been the victim of the sun’s strong rays at least once in our lifetime. Yes, it’s that time of year when the sun is at its lowest and rays are the strongest (and most dangerous). Before we know it, our precious, delicate skin has been damaged from the sun’s glorious rays. After we beat ourselves up for getting sunburned, we may start to look for ways to soothe that painful sensation. Well, look no further. We are your one-stop-shop for natural sunburn relief! Follow these three simple steps to soothe your sunburned skin.
What Would the Queen of Sheba do?
Soak in a soothing milk and honey bath, that’s what! Lactic acid found in milk is gently exfoliating without being abrasive, and honey is softening, moisturizing, and antibacterial. Soothe summer sunburned skin with this easy milk and honey at-home bath:
How to take a milk and honey bath: Pour 1-2 cups of milk (or 1/2 c. full-fat powdered milk) and 1/2 c. honey under running, lukewarm water. Swish around to mix, hop in and relax!
Oatmeal, Not just for Cookies
When I think of oatmeal, a yummy cookie or heart-healthy breakfast comes to mind, not necessarily a bath. But, when it comes to sunburn relief, oatmeal does the trick! Oatmeal, especially colloidal (finely ground) oatmeal, moisturizes, helps protect the skin barrier, and has anti-inflammatory properties. Colloidal oatmeal has also been shown to promote skin repair after environmental insults (aka sunburn). Soak and soothe with this easy oatmeal bath:
How to take an oatmeal bath: Blend or food process 1 cup of natural oatmeal on the highest setting until you have a very fine, consistent powder. Sprinkle the finely ground oatmeal into a tub of running lukewarm water and stir the water with your hand to ensure even distribution. Break up any clumps you find. Water should be milky white in color. Soak in the tub for 15-20 minutes and pat dry with a soft towel rather than rubbing.
Summer Brew Iced Tea to the Rescue
I think we have all heard by now the amazing health benefits of sipping green tea but did you know it can soothe sun-burned skin too? According to the Mayo Clinic, green tea contains compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Just what sunburned skin needs! Follow this simple recipe for green tea compresses or a green tea body spritzer:
Green Tea Compress: To create a compress from green tea, make an infusion by pouring boiling water over loose-leaf green tea leaves (1 cup water to 1 tsp. tea) or a green tea bag and allow the mixture to steep for 15-20 minutes. Cool in the refrigerator. Once cooled, strain loose tea leaves or tea bag and retain the liquid. Soak a clean cloth or disposable cotton pads in the liquid, gently wring out and place on sunburned skin for 5-10 minutes. Repeat several times a day is necessary. Use caution, tea infusion will stain clothes.
Green Tea Spritzer: Follow the above recipe. Put the cold tea into a spray bottle and mist the sunburned area. Keep the spray bottle in the refrigerator and throw out any remaining tea after a week. Use caution, tea infusion will stain clothes.
After a few days, the affected area may begin to peel. This is simply your body’s way of getting rid of the top layer of damaged skin. Prior to and during the time when your skin is peeling, continue to use a moisturizing cream to soothe and treat the skin. Look for a thicker cream with nourishing oils such as cocoa butter, coconut oil or shea butter restore moisture to the skin. We suggest a thicker body cream such as Makes Scents Natural Spa Line’s Tropical Isle Coconut Body Butter, made with organic virgin coconut oil or our Citrus Grove Body Butter made with nourishing cocoa butter.
Best Sunburn Treatment
The best treatment for sunburn is prevention. Before going outside, remember to apply a full-spectrum sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) at least 30 minutes prior to sun exposure as well as wearing a hat, protective clothing or seeking shade under an umbrella. Remember, “a person’s risk for melanoma–the most serious form of skin cancer–doubles if he or she has had five or more sunburns” according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Prevention is the key!
How do you prevent sunburn? If you have suffered from sunburn in the past, what have you done to soothe your skin?