We’ve all been there before — a day at the outdoor pool, an impromptu park date, or patio beers leaves us burnt red as lobster and oh-so-sore. We know prevention is best, but for those of us who are especially sun-sensitive or who forget the sunblock, there are a few things we can do to soothe our savaged skin. From the medicine cabinet to the kitchen, here are five ways to relieve a sunburn.
Cool it down
The first thing to do after an over-abundance of sun is to cool the skin. A cool shower works (avoid using soap on the burned areas to keep skin from drying out), or an after-sun cooling spray like Nivea After Sun Mositurizing Spray which both cools and moisturizes. Apply cold compresses to the burned area of vinegar, milk, or strong, cold black tea to take the sting off.
Kill the pain
As soon as possible, take an over-the-counter pain reliever like aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen. This will help with the pain and swelling associated with sunburn, and can help treat the fever which often accompanies an overindulgence in sun.
Take a bath
A cool oatmeal bath will soothe the itchiness which comes from sun-damaged skin. Try Aveeno Soothing Bath Treatment, or make your own oatmeal bath powder by grinding half a cup of uncooked oats in a coffee grinder, food processor, or blender. Add to the bath while the water is running to avoid clumping. Don’t overdo it in the bath — soaking too long can dry your skin out further, making the pain and itchiness even more unbearable.
Scramble some eggs
Don’t skip over this home remedy! It might sound a bit yucky, but this works: Separate egg whites from the yolk and gently apply to your burn. Allow the egg white to dry, then rinse off in a cool shower. Not only will this help with the pain and heat of a sunburn, it will also help keep your skin from peeling.
Go for green
Our favourite remedy for a sunburn has to be aloe vera. If you have this magical succulent at home, cut one of the spears off and apply the gel directly on the affected area. For those of us without the greenest of thumbs, aloe vera gel can be picked up at most pharmacies or health food stores. Store it in the fridge for extra-cooling healing powers!