How to Soothe & Treat Sunburn Naturally

How to heal sunburn naturally and relieve the pain, itching, and redness that comes with it.

With Summer, brings the warm weather, days out in the sun, ocean swims, sunbathing, summer fruits (i.e. mangoes and pineapple!), and the list goes on

While mindful sun exposure can be very beneficial (bringing with it, vitamin D), sunburn on the other hand can cause quite a bit of damage to skin and should be avoided. Whenever I go to the beach or plan on being out in the sun for extended periods of time, I use a natural sunscreen and make sure to cover up (hat, sunnies, the works). But, on the occasions where I do get a little bit burnt, these are some of the remedies I use:

Aloe Vera

One of the most common and well-known remedies to use for sunburn, aloe works best when used straight from the plant, rather than in gel or lotion form that you purchase from the store. When using aloe gel from the plant, ensure you apply it straight away, as soon as you’ve cut it from the leaf, as it begins losing its healing properties the longer it’s off the plant. If you opt for a gel, choose a high quality one with no additives or preservatives.

Aloe vera gel is great for relieving pain & redness in skin by reducing inflammation. The gel also stimulates the production of collagen, & helps to moisturise skin, helping to avoid the peeling that often comes with sun damage.

Essential Oils

Lavender and helichrysum can help to soothe burnt skin and even speed up recovery. Simply pour a few drops into a bottle of water and spray onto affected areas as needed.

Cool Bath

Taking a hot shower after getting sunburnt is a not recommended, but having a cool bath can do wonders in relieving red, hot, sore skin. When you’re ready to soak, fill up the bath with cool water and slowly get in. Toss a handful of baking soda into the bath water for an added soothing benefit, as it relieves inflammation; reducing itching, and treating sunburnNote: Baking soda can be drying, so keep your soak time to a maximum of 15 minutes.

Herbal Apple Cider Vinegar Solution

When diluted, apple cider vinegar works as an effective remedy for sunburns, but combined with certain herbs, it becomes twice as effective.

To make the solution, boil 1 cup of water and add 2 tablespoons of lavender flowers, tea tree oil, dried rose petals, and dried mint leaves. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Once cooled, strain out the herbs and add an equal amount of apple cider vinegar to the cooled tea mix. Pour into a spray bottle and spritz onto affected areas as needed.

Cold Compress

Applying a cold compress to sunburnt skin can help take the sting out of it. This works by absorbing the heat and providing immediate cooling relief for painful burns. Do not apply ice directly onto the skin, as it can give a cold burn, which would just add more pain to already sunburnt skin. Instead, pop some ice into a bag and wrap a paper towel around it.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil can help stop peeling and reduce redness. It also acts as a mild sunscreen, but it’s not strong enough to use alone for all-day exposure. It works best as an everyday option for mild sun protection.

Coconut oil has SO many uses, a sunburn remedy being one of them.

Rehydrate

The sun evaporates moisture from the skin, effectively drying it out. Rehydrating the body can help in the recovery process after getting sunburnt. Drinking plenty of water, herbal teas, kombucha and kefir can help in rehydrating the body.

CBD Oil

CBD oil acts as a potent anti-inflammatory which actively suppresses the body’s inflammatory response to reduce pain and redness. It can be incorporated into a soothing sun spray to provide immediate relief.

To make the spray, combine 1 1/2 cups of witch hazel with 2 tablespoons aloe vera, 20 drops (or more) CBD oil, 10 drops rosemary oil, 40 drops lavender essential oil, 10 drops peppermint oil, 40 drops calendula oil, 1 tsp vitamin E oil into an amber spray bottle, cap the lid on and shake well to combine. Spray on affected areas as needed. Store in fridge.

After-Sun Spray

This homemade after-sun spray contains all-natural ingredients specifically targeted towards helping to soothe and relieve sunburnt skin:

  • Lavender: Helps soothe skin irritations.
  • Peppermint: Delivers a soothing, cooling sensation to skin.
  • Tea tree oil or frankincense can be wonderful oils to use, too.
  • Aloe vera: Helps relieve pain and redness by reducing inflammation. The gel also stimulates the production of collagen, which helps with healing and improves skin firmness, dryness, and elasticity. It also acts as a moisturiser, helping to prevent peeling that often comes with sun damage.
  • Witch hazel: A natural anti-inflammatory (just like aloe), and can help reduce the discomfort that comes with sunburn.
I carry my sun spray everywhere now, just in case I get caught out in the sun, and need a little spritz on my skin.

As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before trying or using any new products. It’s important to check with a doctor before taking this or any new product, especially if taking any other medicine or supplement or if pregnant or nursing. Be sure to check ingredients to make sure there is no risk of an allergic reaction.

What have been your go-to remedies for sunburn? Share in the comments below.

Lots of love,

🖤 Vanessa

Sources:

Wells, Katie. (January 23, 2019). Natural Remedies for Sunburn. Wellness Mama. Retrieved from https://wellnessmama.com/3039/sunburn-remedies/

10 Home Remedies for Sunburn Relief. Colore Science. Retrieved from https://www.colorescience.com/learn/10-home-remedies-for-sunburn-relief

Shea, Taylor. Home Remedies for Sunburn: 11 Treatments to Feel Better Fast. Reader’s Digest. Retrieved from https://www.rd.com/health/beauty/home-remedies-for-sunburn/

Wells, Katie. (Updated: January 3, 2020). Soothing DIY Sunburn Spray Recipe With CBD and Lavender. Wellness Mama. Retrieved from https://wellnessmama.com/414771/sunburn-spray/

Krans, Brian. (Updated: November 19, 2017). 8 Ways to Treat Sunburn at Home. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/sunburn

Hrustic, Alisa. (May 30, 2021). 17 Home Remedies for Sunburn That Will Heal Your Skin Fast, According to Dermatologists. Prevention. Retrieved from https://www.prevention.com/beauty/a20513758/natural-sunburn-cures/

York Morris, Susan. (Updated: February 12, 2019). Apple Cider Vinegar for Sunburn Care?. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/apple-cider-vinegar-for-sunburn-care

CBD for Summer Skin and Sunburn Relief. (July 7th 2020). Also Organics. Retrieved from https://alsoorganics.com/blogs/cbd-stories/cbd-for-summer-skin-and-sunburn-relief

Fowler, Mary Ross. (June 29, 2017). DIY: Sunburn Spray. Daily Dose of Greens. Retrieved from http://dailydoseofgreens.com/2017/06/29/diy-sunburn-spray/