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The lure of the outdoors and long summer days can mean chaos for your skin. Summertime activities like camping, hiking, swimming, and laying out on the beach can make it all too easy for us to underestimate the power of the sun’s rays, leaving us with red and inflamed skin.
Sunburn is the bane of summer, thwarting our every attempt to keep our skin safe and protected after long hours in the sun. It’s for times like these when we forget to reapply our sunscreen that a few handy DIY sunburn remedies can come swiftly to the rescue.
4 DIY Sunburn Remedies You Need This Summer
Over the years, I’ve come up with a few tried and true sunburn remedies that are not only simple to make but are effective for taking out the sting, pulling away the heat, and reducing the redness of a sunburn.
Seeing as how pale my complexion is, I can attest to the efficacy of these remedies and how quickly they offer sunburn relief. I hope you give them a try, but also hope you won’t need them!
Sunburn Remedy #1 – Soothing Sunburn Gel
This soothing gel utilizes the amazing healing properties of calendula. Also known as marigold, calendula is known to be an effective remedy for all things skin related, and sunburn is no exception.
Calendula can soothe the pain, redness, and general discomfort of a sunburn and will also speed up the healing process. It’s a must-have remedy to keep on hand not only during the summer but year-round for all manner of skin afflictions. Keeping it in the fridge will give it a pleasant cooling sensation when applied to a sunburn. I highly recommend doing so!
My absolute favorite calendula gel to use is the Boiron Calendula Gel.
Peppermint essential oil is another favorite ally to keep close at hand during the summer months. It is known to be an effective pain reliever and anti-inflammatory, but my favorite use for it is to pull the heat out of a sunburn. NOW Foods Peppermint Essential Oil is one of my favorites this season.
To make the Soothing Sunburn Gel, you will need:
Simply mix the ingredients together and apply to a fresh sunburn as soon as possible to help pull away heat and begin the healing process.
Sunburn Remedy #2 – DIY Pain Relieving Burn Cream
This remedy is amazing for all types of sunburn but is especially helpful for particularly bad ones. When you need something to bring down your discomfort level fast, this is the recipe you want to throw together!
The witch hazel’s astringent properties will help reduce redness and inflammation while also keeping the sunburn clean. I love Humphrey’s Witch Hazel as it’s completely natural with no hidden additives or ingredients.
Aloe vera has been touted to be an excellent sunburn soother for hundreds of years, and for good reason! It’s cooling, astringent, and extremely healing for the skin. Applying it as soon as possible will help prevent a sunburn from sticking around and will instead turn it into a tan within a couple of days. Aloe Life’s Skin Gel is the purest I have found.
Baking soda is an effective remedy to use for lessening the pain and blazing redness of a sunburn. I really like Bob’s Redmill Pure Baking Soda for this purpose.
And once again, peppermint essential oil makes an appearance! But honestly, it’s an excellent essential oil to have on hand in your first aid kit and perfect for treating painful sunburns. Get it HERE.
To make the Pain Relieving Burn Cream, you will need:
• 1 TB witch hazel
• 1 tsp aloe vera gel
• 2 tsp baking soda
• 10 drops peppermint essential oil (swap with lavender essential oil for children 5 and under)
• 1-2 TB of water, added slowly to get the consistency you’re looking for. If it’s too runny, add more baking soda to thicken
Mix the ingredients well in a small dish until smooth, then delicately apply a thin layer to sunburned skin as needed.
As a handy side note, I’ve used witch hazel for sunburn by itself with good results especially when it’s been chilled in the fridge beforehand. It even helps with an itchy sunburn if you add the peppermint essential oil.
Sunburn Remedy #3 – Oatmeal and Vinegar Bath Soak
This remedy is one of my favorites to use for sunburn as it’s really quick to throw together and so so soothing for the skin. I like to use it when I have an extensive sunburn as it’s easier to just soak in the tub than applying creams or gels to large areas.
The oatmeal in this recipe is super soothing for red and irritated skin and will help infuse/coat the skin with healing moisture due to its polysaccharide content. I really love having Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grain Oat Flour on hand for this purpose.
Raw apple cider vinegar is probably the BEST sunburn remedy out there (for reasons unknown) as it’s known to take the sting out of a burn in a matter of minutes if you’re quick to apply it. I have really liked using the Jarrow Formulas Organic Apple Cider Vinegar.
Lavender essential is another fabled burn remedy since the time of Gattefosse and his lab experiment explosion:
The external application of small quantities of essences rapidly stops the spread of gangrenous sores. In my personal experience, after a laboratory explosion covered me with burning substances which I extinguished by rolling on a grassy lawn, both of my hands were covered with a rapidly developing gas gangrene. Just one rinse with lavender essence stopped “the gasification of the tissue”. This treatment was followed by profuse sweating and healing began the next day.
Lavender is known for its quick pain relieving and healing properties, especially for all types of burns. I recommend NOW Foods Lavender Essential Oil.
To make the Oatmeal and Vinegar Bath Soak, simply mix the following:
Run a tepid/cool bath and add the mixture to the water. Be sure to submerge as much of the sunburn as possible for a good 20 minutes. Follow the bath soak with one of the above remedies as needed.
Sunburn Remedy #4 – After-Sun Healing Oil
Once your sunburn has passed the stage of radiating heat, you can then start using a more substantial remedy for healing the skin after a long day in the sun.
Rosehip seed oil is regenerative, rejuvenating, and incredibly healing for all skin types and can even be used on the face without fear of clogged pores. I have been loving Life Flo’s Rosehip Seed Oil.
Helichrysum essential oil is another EO reputed to have extraordinary healing benefits for the skin. Also known as immortelle and everlasting, helichrysum essential oil is probably one of the best EOs I’ve come across for pain relief. It possesses anti-inflammatory and tissue-regenerating properties that encourage healing, reduce redness, and soothe even the worst sunburns. I recommend Aura Cacia’s Helichrysum Essential Oil with Jojoba Oil as it’s pre-diluted and ready to use.
The lavender and peppermint essential oils in the recipe will also quicken the healing process, bring down inflammation, and lessen the pain associated with a bad sunburn. The trio of these oils together makes for an excellent healing elixir for the skin.
To make After-Sun Healing Oil, simply mix together:
Add all of the ingredients to an empty 1 oz dropper bottle, cap closed, and roll between your palms to mix.
After the heat has been pulled away from the sunburn, apply a thin even layer over burned areas for quick healing.
Can you use coconut oil for sunburn? Yes! But only after the heat has been pulled from the skin. This is true for applying any sort of oil. be sure to at least add peppermint essential oil (or lavender for children) as it’s one of the best essential oils for sunburn.
Why DIY Sunburn Remedies Are Better and My Favorite Place to Shop!
In a world filled to the brim with chemicals, additives, and other unhealthy ingredients in our skincare, it’s more important than ever to be able to source healthier alternatives. Whether that be making your own remedies and recipes or buying from reputable sources like iHerb, you can take charge of your health and inspire others to do the same.
I have enjoyed using iHerb as my main source for healthy ingredients and healthy sun care products this summer. It’s always a pleasant experience to shop on iHerb not only because I know I can get thousands of products quickly almost anywhere, but also because their service is amazing and their prices are super affordable.
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