No one likes to stay indoors during the summer season. The warm weather and sunny skies urge you to explore outdoor activities as much as possible! However, in the course of enjoying yourself, you often tend to forget that the sun’s harsh rays may not prove good for your skin, especially if it is extra sensitive in nature. At the end of the day, you may find painfully red patches dotting the surface of your exposed skin all over the body, specifically the face. This is sunburn, which is bound to lead to blistering or peeling skin soon enough. Worse, sunburn also increases the risk of developing a deadly type of skin cancer, which is melanoma.
Why Does This Happen?
The sun sends directs ultraviolet rays towards earth. These rays are most potent between 10 AM and 4 PM. When they strike the exposed areas of your body, it damages skin and it become red and painful, even they destroy the DNA present in your skin cells. In other words, they cause genetic damage. If the damage is strong enough and continual in nature, over time, you are bound to develop skin cancer.
Outlined below are some home remedies that should serve to heal your sunburn, if you are already a victim of it.
I. Go For A ‘Special’ Bath
Stay away from strong perfumes or chemical-laden soaps for some time as they cause greater harm by drying out your dried and sunburned skin even further.
Surprisingly, oatmeal provides tremendous benefits to the skin! It has saponins within it, Saponins naturally produced within plants. The scientific community refers to them as phytochemicals. They behave like detergents, removing the accumulated dirt and dead skin cells from your skin’s pores. At the same time, it ensures that the natural oils of your skin remain intact despite its action of exfoliation.
Oatmeal possesses anti-inflammatory properties too, which are ideal for soothing your irritated or itchy skin. The large quantities of anti-oxidants along with the emollient properties of oatmeal, work magic on your skin, by soothing and moisturising it. Thus oatmeal suffices to undo the damage caused by the harsh UV rays of the sun.
What You Should Do
- Fill your bathtub with cool water and pour a cup of organic raw oatmeal into it
- Stir thoroughly, step into it and enjoy a good soak for at least half-an-hour or so. Step out and pat your skin dry
- Do not use a towel for vigorous rubbing. Do this once daily and you should be fine within a few days.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
You are well aware that even mild sunburn can result in blisters after some time. If you leave them untreated, they may rupture leading to sepsis or infections. Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria are always eager to settle down in these burnt/infected parts. The acetic acid present in apple cider vinegar possesses anti-bacterial properties.
What You Should Do
- Fill your bathtub with cool water and pour a cup of apple cider vinegar into it
- If you are frightened of feeling a stinging sensation or experiencing pain, you might add a few drops of chamomile or lavender essential oil to the bath water
- Relish the joy of soaking in this water for some time.
The period of soaking depends upon your comfort level, but do not go overboard with it since the diluted apple cider vinegar ensures balancing of pH, your skin will begin to heal.
3. Baking Soda
Baking soda is alkaline in nature with a pH of nine. It will help your skin to restore its pH level that become disturbed due to sunburn. The balance will help your skin to get back its smooth and glowing look. It is a great exfoliator, removing dead skin cells and dirt from the pores on your skin.
What You Should Do
- Fill your bathtub with cold water, pour a cup or two of baking soda into it
- Stir the bath water thoroughly, step into the bathtub and take a good soak for about 15 minutes or so
- Instead of using a towel for vigorous rubbing, just pat your skin dry
- Alternatively, you may utilise an air dryer too.
You may do this once a day. Even if you feel like treating yourself more than once a day, do not go for it. Since it is highly alkaline, it may do the reverse job of upsetting the natural pH balance of your skin.
II. Fruits That Help
Coconut oil is excellent for treating sunburn. However, do ensure that you obtain the extra-virgin variety and not just any ordinary oil. Additionally wait for a couple of days after the advent of sunburn prior to using it.
As soon as you apply the lightweight oil, even if it is in the solid form, it melts on your skin. The oil leaves no residue on your skin, for it seeps into the deeper layers via the surface pores very easily. Coconut oil contains plenty of fatty acids within it. These acids behave like excellent moisturisers. There is vitamin E in the oil and is an anti-oxidant, splendid for reducing inflammation.
- Warm a portion of the oil, albeit slightly in a microwave
- Spread the warmed oil liberally over the sunburned patches
- Massage gently
- You may repeat thrice every day, until the patches heal.
- Take a cup of coconut oil
- Pour a teaspoon of vitamin E oil into it
- Blend both thoroughly
- Spread over the affected areas, such that the mixture goes deep into your skin.
You should find this slightly acidic fruit quite useful for treating mild-to-moderate sunburn. The fruit contains an important nutrient, Lycopene. Also known as, a polyphenol, Lycopene helps in reducing the heat emanating from your sunburned skin.
Tomato is rich in vitamin C, which is an extremely powerful anti-oxidant. Vitamin C is responsible for the production of collagen, which awards elasticity and smoothness to your skin. The vitamin reduces the effects of inflammation. The fruit will also help to restore the pH of your skin that becomes unbalanced due to the sunburn.
What You Should Do
- Mix some crushed ice with a freshly mashed tomato and spread it all over your peeling skin. Be gentle in your movements.
- An alternative method is to combine four tablespoons of buttermilk with two teaspoons of fresh tomato juice. Apply it over all the affected areas of your skin. Leave on for an hour or so. Then, rinse your face with cold water.
III. Miscellaneous Products
Good-quality honey is essential for restoring the health of your skin and body. Do not go for the processed honey. It is rich in anti-oxidants, in the form of catalase, chrysin, pinobanksin and pinocembrin. It has several vitamins, minerals and amino acids that reduce inflammation and pain. It is a great antiseptic, has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties.
You may prepare a ‘honey’ facemask to treat your sunburnt face and neck.
- Keep half-a-cup of oatmeal, two tablespoons of honey and 200 mg of aspirin ready
- First, pour the oatmeal into a blender, ensuring that you get a ‘powdery’ outcome. Transfer this powder to a bowl then crush the aspirin tablet. You may use two spoons for doing the same. Make sure that it turns into fine powder
- Pour this powder into the bowl containing oatmeal powder and blend thoroughly
- Once done, pour in two tablespoons of honey. Stir well, until you obtain a fine, smooth paste. In case, the honey seems insufficient, add more to the mixture
- Finally, transfer this paste to an airtight and screw top jar
- Let the jar stay in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so. Take it out and begin applying the facemask.
How To Apply?
- Ensure that your hair does not come in the way. Cleanse your face of any makeup, creams or lotions that may be there
- Use gentle movements, to apply the paste to both your face and neck. Use your fingertips only
- Once the mask has spread evenly all over, just lie down flat on your back for some time and keep your eyes closed
- Relax for half-an-hour or so, allowing the mask to work its magic. Then, rinse your face with normal water, and apply a gentle moisturiser
- You will have to ensure that you drink loads of water over the next 48 hours, for internal healing.
As for the rest of the paste in the jar, store it. It will remain fresh for a week. You may apply it again the next day, and the following days thereafter. If anything remains in the jar after the week has passed by, just throw it away.
7. Black Tea
Black tea is rich in anti-oxidants permitting it to fight free radicals that cause skin damage. Then again, it possesses anti-inflammatory properties, which will treat the blisters resulting from severe sunburn. The tannic acid, theobromine and catechins present in black tea are excellent for undoing the damage that results from the harmful UV rays of the sun touching your skin. When this happens, you will find that the pH balance of your skin returns.
What You Should Do
- Heat some water in a vessel. Drop a couple of tea bags into the water as it is heating up. Continue heating for a few minutes more prior to removing the vessel from the stove
- Observe when the water attains a rich brown/black colour. Remove the tea bags and allow the tea to cool. Thereafter, take a clean piece of cloth and dip it into the tea
- Dab the liquid over all the affected areas of skin and let your skin dry naturally
- Once it is completely dry, repeat the process of soaking and dabbing all over again. When the skin is dry, go through the process once more.
Thus, you are applying the black tea thrice onto your sunburnt skin. This is a complete process; you need not rinse your face. Use this remedy just once a day, until your ailment heals.
8. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is an amazing gift from Mother Nature. It comprises of around 150 trace elements, vitamins and minerals. The inflammation and pain resulting from sunburn will receive splendid help from the glycoproteins present in it. New skin cells will be able to take the place of your sun-damaged cells, thanks to the presence of polysaccharides and lidocaine in Aloe Vera.
This plant also possesses anti-bacterial properties, thereby preventing infection. Finally, Aloe Vera keeps your skin moisturised, since it has water-retention properties.
What You Should Do
- Do you have an Aloe Vera plant at home? If yes, select a juicy and fresh leaf from it
- Cut open this leaf in a lengthwise fashion. Using a spoon, extract the gel from within the leaf
- After collecting the gel in a bowl, place the bowl in the refrigerator. Let it remain there for 30 minutes or so
- Now, remove it from the refrigerator. With the help of your fingertips spread the chilled gel over the patches of sunburnt skin
- Use gentle movements and allow the gel to dry on its own. Your skin is absorbing it slowly, while it is drying
- Once your skin is dry, rinse it with cool water.
You may repeat the process anywhere between two to six times in a day and for up to a week, depending upon the severity of your condition. If you do not possess a plant, you may obtain good quality aloe vera gel from the marketplace.