We all love summertime. Kids and adults alike suffer silently through winter and spring, and sometimes count down the days to summer. Boating, fishing, swimming, cookouts—they’re all signature summer activities.
However, along with those activities comes sun exposure, and while our bodies need sun for the proper production of vitamin D, too much sun exposure can be a bad thing.
We’ve all dealt with sunburn, that bright red painful thing that happens to your skin when you’ve spent far too much time in the sun. There are different degrees of sunburn, but all of them can be uncomfortable—and damaging. The good news is that there are a number of natural ways you can soothe your sunburned skin and start feeling better, faster!
Sun Exposure & Your Skin Health
Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients in your body, and it’s produced when your skin is directly exposed to natural sunlight. The amount of sun exposure you need to produce proper levels of vitamin D may vary, but “if you’re fair skinned, experts say going outside for 10 minutes in the midday sun—in shorts and a tank top with no sunscreen—will give you enough radiation to produce about 10,000 IU” (Source).
While 10 to 15 minutes is all many people need, they’re spending much longer outdoors, and why not? The weather is nice and nature can do good things for the soul, but too much sun can lead to sunburn and skin damage.
Keeping Yourself Protected
The best thing you can do for your skin when you’re outside in the sun is to keep it protected. Keeping your skin covered is a popular choice, but depending on temperatures and humidity levels, it’s not always the most comfortable option.
There are a number of natural sunscreen options that not only keep your skin protected from harmful sun rays, but also nourish your skin and keep it healthy, too. Some of my favorite options are listed below:
- Natural Sun Green Tea Sunscreen (SPF 30+) from Aubrey Organics
- Kid’s Very Emollient Mineral Sunscreen (SPF 30) from Alba Botanica
- Sensitive Side 3-in-1 Sunscreen (SPF 30) from Kiss My Face
Sunburn: The Bane of Summer
Sunscreen is undoubtedly one of the best ways to keep your skin protected, but there are times when you may end up with sunburn anyway. Even the lightest of sunburns can make moving, showering, and even getting dressed an uncomfortable task.
So, why is sunburn such a painful thing? According to Science Daily and Mark’s Daily Apple, “Recent research has found the culprit responsible for a sunburn’s pain: an inflammatory molecule called CXCL5. CXCL5 is a chemokine, a protein that recruits inflammatory immune cells to damaged tissue.” In tissue that has been sunburned, levels of CXCL5 are high.
5 All-Natural Ways to Soothe Sunburned Skin
Getting rid of the pain isn’t easy, but there are a number of natural ways you can soothe your sunburned skin. Some might work better than others, and the trick is to figure out which works best for your skin.
1. Aloe Vera
Aloe has been been the go-to when it comes to sunburn. It provides a soothing cool feeling, and for some people, may reduce redness and relieve the stinging pain. Aloe gel keeps your skin hydrated as well, which may reduce the amount of peeling that occurs after sunburn.
It is thought that aloe may also be able to help keep your skin protected from sunburn, too. A sunscreen with aloe in it, such as Everyday Natural Sunscreen Lotion from Goddess Garden Organics is a great choice for the whole family.
It’s no secret that vinegar has some pretty amazing health properties. From helping to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and supporting weight loss to providing possible benefits for a healthier heart, it has its place in the hearts of the healthy.
Vinegar (both apple cider and white varieties) is also a reliable sunburn soother. While the smell isn’t the prettiest, vinegar “can help to prevent unsightly blisters and peeling” (Source). Give it a try after a cool shower!
3. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel has been a staple in the natural health community for many years. The leaves, barks, and twigs are used to help maintain optimal health and to help relieve a number of illnesses and health issues. Tannins, chemicals found in witch hazel, provide a number of benefits when applied to your skin. They may “help reduce swelling, repair damaged skin, and ward off nasty bacteria” (Source).
Soak a cotton ball or clean cloth in witch hazel liquid such as this option from Thayers, then dab over your sunburned skin for fast, reliable relief.
4. Plain Yogurt
There are a number of probiotics and enzymes that help repair and protect your skin. Plain yogurt is packed with both, and has become a more popular way to soothe sore sunburn and boost skin repair.
It’s simple. First, make sure you have plain yogurt with probiotics. Apply to your sunburn with clean hands, and let it sit on the affected area for five minutes or so. When the stinging is gone, rinse the yogurt off with cool water. Ta-da!
5. Mint & Green Tea
This option may seem weird, but it’s another good one. Mint provides a natural cool, and when you combine it with the tannic acid and theobromine found in green tea, you’ve got a winning combination.
Boil green tea bags and mint leaves, strain, and chill. Once the liquid is cold, soak a clean cloth or cotton pad in it and apply it to your sunburn. (You can also just pour the liquid over your skin, if you’d like). The green tea and mint work together to provide a cooling sensation, will help relieve stinging and pain, and may also help repair damaged skin.
Do you have other natural ways to soothe sunburn and quicken recovery? Please share with us in the comment section below!
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