Let’s face it, sunburns do happen – and with it come the pain, redness, and eventual peeling.  Here are some great home remedies to take the burn out of a sunburn.

Pain Management

The first sign that you have a sun burn is a tightness and burning or tingling feeling in your skin. This alerts you that the burn has already started. First take some aspirin.  Pain relievers like ibuprofen or aspirin don’t just cut the pain but also the inflammation. Next, spray on a topical anesthetic like Solarcaine. The cooling spray takes away pain and moisturizes skin ensuring quick pain relief. If you have a sun burn on your face or other sensitive area, try spraying a pad of gauze and then gently pat the burned area.

Check the Pantry

Items like baking soda, potatoes and cornstarch are all staples in many household pantries.  They can also help with a sun burn.

  • Cornstarch helps  prevent chafing. Apply a light dusting of it to the irritated skin and it will provide some comfort along straplines, underwear lines and anywhere a fabric might rub the burned skin.
  • Baking Soda is a great all-purpose product. Just like an oatmeal bath (also good for a sunburn), a few tablespoons of baking soda combined with a cool bath can help your skin feel instantly better. Soak in the tub for 15-20 minutes and then air dry to keep the baking soda on your skin. Skin will feel less tight and raw. You can do it once a day until the pain subsides.
  • Dabbing a compress of pulverized raw potatoes onto skin will provide immediate relief against a burn.  Take 2-4 potatoes, depending on the size of the sunburn, and grind them in a food processor or blender. Add water if the potatoes look dry.  Place in a mesh bag or apply directly to the skin and let it dry. Shower it off and feel better right away. You can keep using the potato method every day until the burn is better.

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

It cannot be said enough.  Using gentle lotions and thick emollients on the skin after a burn just works. The tight feeling is gone and skin is less likely to peel.  An aloe gel or straight from the plant application is also a good way to fight the burn.  Last, remember to keep applying sunscreen each time you head outdoors, even on cloudy days.