Every year we say we won’t get a sunburn, that we’ll be diligent with sun protection, wear our hats, etc. Then that one day comes. You’re hanging at the beach, on the farm, or at the pool and the next thing you know, you’ve been overexposed and sunburned.

A sunburn is never good for the skin! But, without getting into the whys and ways to use sunscreen, let’s look into how to relieve any sunburn pain and discomfort naturally. There are many remedies that can cool skin after sun exposure and hopefully one of these works well for you and your children. Keep a few on hand, just in case.

Aloe Vera gel. We have all heard of (and probably have tried) this old stand-by. Buy it in a drug store bottle or have your own aloe plant in your house. The gel from the plant feels cool to your skin and has anti-inflammatory properties. If you buy a bottle, go for 100% aloe and avoid other ingredients.

Baking Soda. Pretty much everyone has baking soda in their house. Making a cool compress of baking soda and water can provide relief. The drying powder makes for a bit of a mess, but if it cools the sunburn sting, it might be worth it! Rinse gently with cool water.

White Vinegar. This has been shown to relieve pain and inflammation and prevent infection. Dip a towel in vinegar and place it gently on the affected area to help soothe and relieve pain.

Take a cool bath. Not cold, but cool water can be soothing. Adding a little baking soda or oatmeal can relieve some of the inflammation.

Some burns are very painful and may require ibuprofen. A hydrocortisone cream applied gently can also help. Any moisturizers you use afterward, as you heal, should be free of fragrances and chemicals that can be irritating.

Not into home remedies for sunburn relief? There are many after-sun sprays available that contain the ingredients to soothe skin, such as aloe, tea, cucumber, and lavender. It’s a good idea to have these with you, especially when you travel.

Of course, it goes without saying to stay out of the sun until you are healed. Take preventative measures, especially if you burn easily. SPF clothing is now available as well as a plethora of sunscreens on the market (mineral sunscreens are safer than chemical ones) Learn your ingredients and avoid oxybenzone amongst other chemicals.