Sunburn Cures From Your Pantry

Spending the day at the beach with your friends is a well-intentioned summer activity. But exposing your skin to too much sun has dangerous repercussions (wrinkles, sun spots, skin cancer, you get the idea!). No matter how careful we tend to be, though, we've all suffered from a tan gone awry and we all know it's not pleasant.

Of course, prevention is always the best medicine, but if you ran out the door without applying your SPF and ended up with a painful sunburn, follow some of our tips to reverse the damage and ease the pain. Alexis Wolfer from beautybean.com shares ideas to help you save money on skincare this summer.

Aloe. It's the age old remedy for treating sunburns, but can actually be used to help prevent burns too. Before heading to the beach, apply a sunblock containing aloe vera to block harmful rays while allowing healthy rays to give you the glow you desire. Damage already done? Apply fresh, refrigerated aloe or an aloe gel to the skin to soothe burn and prevent peeling.

Vinegar. It may not smell like our favorite summer scents, but if you put white or apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle and mist onto a sunburn, it can help to prevent unsightly blisters and peeling.

Oats/Baking Soda/Oils. Utilize your bath time to help soothe your sunburn by mixing 2-3 cups of oats into a bath to soothe the burn. If an oatmeal bath isn't up your alley, try dissolving ¾ cup of baking soda into a warm bath to cool the skin and to keep it from drying out. Another option is to add 25 drops of lavender or chamomile essential oils (or both!) to a bath and soak.

Tea. The tannic acids that occur naturally in tea are a great remedy for sun-damaged skin. Steep a pot of spearmint or peppermint tea and cool it in the refrigerator before applying it to the burn using a compress or spray bottle or just press the tea bag directly onto the skin.

Produce. Look to the produce aisle and you will find sunburn remedies that you never even knew existed. Fresh cut cucumber cools and soothes the skin and lemon juice, mixed with water, can help speed the healing process. Similarly, the starch from a grated potato can help soothe a burn when applied directly to skin, as can pureed strawberries (applied directly to the burn). More creative? Mix equal parts of pureed tomatoes and buttermilk!

Dairy. The dairy aisle is another sunburn remedy hot spot. Apply whole milk to the burn for 20 minutes or bathe in a mixture of water and whole milk to soothe the burn. Keep in mind that the fat in whole milk is what soothes, so skim milk won't work! Plain greek yogurt, with live cultures, or egg whites can also be applied directly to the burn for 5 minutes to help cool and exfoliate the skin.

Coconut oil. You shouldn't be using any type of oil in place of sunblock – and we certainly recommend lathering on SPF daily! – but for those times when the sun unexpectedly scald you, virgin coconut oil is an effective, natural treatment for reliving sunburn and a great alcohol-free alternative that won't dry your skin.

Beta-Carotene. Essential for both the prevention and reduction of the inflammation associated with sunburn, foods high in beta-carotene (such as sweet potatoes, carrots, papaya, broccoli and spinach) defend the skin against sun damage.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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