Natural Remedies for Sunburn

Treating sunburns does not always have to involve chemicals. In fact, it can start right in your home!

Today we are going to go through natural practices that can help relieve symptoms and heal sunburns such as herbs and water.

Keep on reading to learn more about the natural remedies that can help soothe your skin and effectively treat your sunburn. 

Benefits of Natural Remedies for Sunburn

Treat your sunburn without having to worry about the side effects chemicals that may follow from chemicals.

Natural remedies not only prevent you from using chemical products but it is also more efficient for your health. Vegetables and fruits in our daily lives also help save costs and contain natural AHA that helps with eliminating dead skin cells in a harmless way.

In addition, it helps to prevent dark spots, scars, wrinkles while also rejuvenating your skin at the same time.  Another easy method is to drink lots of water.

As your skin is battling the damage of the UV rays, your body needs to restore back the moisture that has been lost from the time you spent out in the sun.

Remember that it is as important to treat your health internally as it is to take care of it externally. 

How do I know If I am Sunburned?

Sunburn is usually a result of intense, repeated exposure to UV rays until the skin becomes red and itchy with burning sensations and blisters may even appear in severe cases. 

Afterward, the redness gradually decreases but the top layer of the skin may still peel. You may also experience symptoms such as fatigue ness and dizziness.

The skin is most susceptible to burning the most from 10 AM – 3 PM because it is the most intense sunlight of the day. 

Signs Of Sunburn

Redness can occur on the skin when it is exposed to the sun for a long time.

This is the skin’s defense mechanism towards UV rays, especially UVB. Indeed, the swollen and red areas of the skin are reactions and resistance to UV rays by expanding the blood vessels under the skin resulting in inflammation.

At the same time, the skin may start to lose its water and oil to the point that it becomes tight and dry.

Don’t confuse tanning with sunburn because, for many of us, too much sun results in uneven and spotty skin and not the kind of celebrity tanning that we hope for. 

Next, your body will protect itself from UV damage by accelerating the production of melanin to prevent skin cells from being harmed.

Indeed, pigmentation is a natural protection for the skin. However, UV rays can damage your DNA and negatively affect the skin’s inner cells.

This is one of the reasons why skin repair and scars take longer to heal. Most importantly and scaringly, sunburn is a major risk factor for skin cancer. 

When to See a Doctor? 

Symptoms that require medical attention include infections from blisters and pustules as well as feelings of pain or fever.

Infections may also spread to deeper layers of the skin. You can treat your skin initially by compressing the burned area with cold water as well as applying creams such as aloe vera or after-sun skincare products. 

What’s the Difference between Sunburn and Sun Allergy? 

Sun allergy develops when your body’s immune system is defending and fighting against the sunlight resulting in visible skin rash and allergies that may also lead to pain.

The skin may expand and turn into blisters along with other symptoms. Sun allergy does not mean that your body is in danger of being exposed to UV radiation.

Having said that, repeated exposure to direct sunlight without protection may lead to long-term effects. 

In contrast, sunburn is when the skin becomes burned from UV rays due to prolonged exposure in the sun causing the skin to become red and itchy with blisters.

The redness should gradually decrease but peeling of the skin may follow. In some cases, sunburn can be very severe and require medical attention. 

Natural Remedies 

Now that we have a better understanding of the signs of sunburn, let’s take a look at how to heal our skin from sunburn naturally.

Below we have listed some of the main natural remedies but of course more natural practices and ingredients are available.

Just like chemical products and ingredients, we also need to be mindful and aware that allergies may occur with natural ingredients.

Let’s take a look at the natural remedies together! 


Use fabric to wrap around small ice cubes and compress it directly on to the sunburn area. This helps to soften the skin, close pores, and relieve pain when overexposed to sunlight.

The coldness will help to reduce the expansion of blood vessels. Remember to use a piece of fabric and do not apply ice directly onto the skin. 

Cool Water 

Cool water helps to reduce inflammation from prolonged exposure to the sun. Showering in cool water is an easy way to heal the skin that has been peeled off and reduce itchiness.

In this case, the coolness of the water should not be mixed with ice but come straight from the tap. Dunk the burned area into the water to allow the skin to soothe until symptoms lessen. Cool water is an effective way to heal sunburns without leaving a scar. 

Alternatively, use a wet towel that has been damped with cold water and place it on the burned area. Refrain from rubbing the towel back and forth as this can lead to soreness of the skin.

Repeat the process again if you don’t notice the symptoms getting better. 

Aloe Vera 

It’s time to get an aloe vera plant in your house. Aloe Veras are extremely useful in moisturizing the skin and treating wounded tissues.

Moreover, the plant helps to alleviate the pain in the burned area as well as reducing the redness, burns, and blisters. If you can’t find fresh aloe vera, you can also buy 100% aloe vera gel as a substitute.

The aloe vera should not have a color, odor, or mixed with chemicals. Apply directly onto the sunburn area to reduce inflammation. Frequent application is the key to fast healing. 


Honey is a great choice for those who are not too bothered about their skin being sticky for a bit.  Even better mix the honey with lemon juice at the ratio of 80:20 and then apply it onto your sunburn.

This is another great way to restore your skin. 


Wrap the oatmeal in a thin white cloth, soak it in cold water and apply it every 4 – 6 hours or when you notice that the skin starts to peel.

Once you see progress on your skin, you can also try hopping into a bath mixed with oats to reduce itchiness and prevent scars from developing. This can simply be done by pouring 1 – 2 cups of ground oatmeal into the water. 

Witch Hazel 

You may not be familiar with this natural ingredient. In fact, it is a plant from North America that has been used in many other countries to treat skin problems for a long time.

Witch Hazels are rich in antioxidants which are acids to help repair the skin and maintain oil and other substances that are beneficial to the skin. It is extremely useful in reducing swelling, inflammation, and preventing bacteria from infecting the sunburn area. 

For mild sunburns, a few witch hazel drops mixed in water will do the magic. Always use a clean cloth to apply the witch hazel to the skin.

However, using witch hazel by itself can sometimes cause irritation. To be safe, always dilute witch hazel with water or body oil such as olive oil, jojoba oil, or coconut oil at the ratio of 50:50. 

Fresh Milk 

A glass of fresh milk is perhaps one of the most effective ways to relieve and treat sunburns. Simply take a glass of fresh milk and mix it with water at the ratio of 1:1 before placing it in the fridge to cool.

Use a towel or a cloth to absorb the milk and then apply it to the skin areas that are red or burned. By taking care of your skin this way, the inflammation and symptoms of sunburn are likely to improve. 

Baking Soda or Cornstarch

Both of these ingredients have properties that help alleviate skin inflammation and reduce itchiness. Take 1 -2 cups of baking soda and put it in a bathtub and soak yourself into the cool water.

By soaking in the water for 15 – 20 minutes you can restore and soothe the sunburn. Once you are out of the water, pat your skin gently with a dry towel.

Remember not to scrub baking soda directly to your skin as this can lead to dermatitis and worsen your symptoms. 


Place your towel into vinegar and then apply it on to the burned area. The vinegar should be mixed together with water at the ratio of 1:1.

Once completed, pour it into a bottle spray then spray it on to your burned skin. This method helps to reduce inflammation and can help take the sting out of the burn. 

Coriander Oil 

Yes, coriander oil can be used to nourish your skin. Dilute the coriander oil in coconut water before applying it to the burned area.

Plus, it helps to nourish and brighten your skin as well as retaining moisture resulting in smooth and soft skin. Coriander oil can also be used to treat skin rashes. Interesting fact – the alcoholic extracts from the leaves and stems contain beneficial antioxidants that can be applied to areas with sunburn symptoms. 

Your skin becomes extra sensitive to light when it is sunburned. This causes irritation to occur easily therefore, you should avoid exposure to the sun when the skin is healing.

If it is necessary to go outdoors then definitely wear protective clothes. Aloe vera is one of the best treatments for after sun exposure.

As we have mentioned, drinking water is extremely important to replenish water back to the body. Avoid adding antioxidants to the body by eating vegetables and fresh fruits to prevent increased damage to the skin. 

Is Expensive Sunscreen Always the Better Choice?

The price of sunscreen is not always a quality indicator. What’s most important to determine the quality of a sunscreen is the SPF and ingredients in the sunscreen itself and its effectiveness to reflect or absorb UV radiation.

Sunscreens from different brands may not have significant price differences but rather different in terms of the active ingredients used in the sunscreen to protect the skin from sunlight. 

Natural remedies reply on the benefits that we get from nature and ingredients we have placed in the house. As mentioned, natural treatments are extremely useful for rejuvenating our skin cells without the use of irritating and chemical substances.

The next time you plan to go out in the sun or on vacation, have a quick look around what natural ingredients you have on standby at home.

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