Most of us know how to avoid sunburn: apply sunscreen and stay out of the sun. But, sometimes, the sunscreen is forgotten or a tan is too tempting, and we find ourselves sporting a bright shade of pink at the end of the day. Painful, peeling skin can be a tough price to pay for time in the summer sun.
While there’s no immediate cure for sunburn, there are ways to find relief. The most well-known is aloe vera gel, taken from the leaves of the aloe vera plant and sold in most drugstores. The gel’s cooling effect will make you sigh in relief as it heals burns and wounds.
If you can’t get to the supermarket to pick up a bottle, a few common household products can help heal sunburn, too.
Shaving cream isn’t just for razors anymore … it’s also a great sunburn treatment. The menthol in shaving cream takes the heat out of sunburn and provides instant relief.
A baking soda bath can help, too. Add a few tablespoons of baking soda to cool bath water and soak skin for 15 to 20 minutes. Baking soda has antiseptic properties, works as an exfoliant and can help with itchiness.
If you’d prefer not to soak in baking soda, try soaking in green tea. A compound in the tea, called catechins (CAT-ih-kins), repairs skin damage and may even prevent radiation-caused cancers.
Another uncommon treatment for sunburn is potatoes. Yes, potatoes. Wash and cut two potatoes into chunks, blend them in a blender and add a little water. Pat burned skin with the mixture, wait until it dries and jump in the shower. Continue applying several times a day for a few days until the pain subsides.
Honey also is known as a treatment for all ills. It’s anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and can help the skin grow new skin cells.
Of course, the best way to treat sunburn is to not get one at all. Grab a bottle of sunscreen and don’t forget to reapply.