5 Effective Ways to Soothe Sunburns at Home

Some of the best remedies might be hiding in your pantry.

Sign showing risk of sunburn

A day at the pool with friends is one of the highlights of summertime. But going home after fun in the sun and finding flaming red skin all over your body can have negative consequences.

Related: What Actually Happens to Your Body When You Get Sunburned?

Sunburns may be uncomfortable and irritating, but luckily, treating them doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are several ways to treat sunburns at home:

1. Hello, hydration

After soaking up too many sun rays, do your body a favor and drink, drink, drink. Getting scorched by the sun can make your body lose a lot of water. Remember that your body is 70% water, so hydrate to help your body in the healing process.

2. Bask in baking soda

Draw a bathtub full of cool water and throw in plenty of baking soda. You can also try oats if you’re looking for an extra boost in the soothing factor. Soaking for 20 minutes can nourish your skin with moisture and reduce inflammation. Gently pat yourself dry with a towel when you’re finished.

3. Apply the aloe

Whether you use store-bought gel, or you have an actual plant growing on your windowsill, this plant is your sunburn’s bestie. Aloe vera has healing properties that have been used for centuries. Just apply a little bit of this soothing gel, and your skin will feel like it’s been dipped in cool, soft-serve ice cream.

4. Welcome the water

If you catch your sunburned skin quickly, immediately dousing yourself in cold water can prevent inflammation and further damage. You can also wrap an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables in a towel and put the cold compress on your burn. Just don’t put any ice directly on your skin, or you might cause further damage.

5. Moisturizer is a must

Whether you like to slather yourself in coconut oil or your favorite, vanilla-scented body lotion, moisturizing your burned skin after it has had a chance to cool down can help prevent the annoying itching and peeling that often follows too much sun. And coconut oil not only smells fantastic, but it also contains lauric acid, which can help lower your risk for a skin infection.

Be sure to wear that sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, and don’t forget to reapply every few hours, especially if you are swimming. Remember, the pain of taking five extra minutes to coat yourself in sunblock is much less than the pain of a sunburn.

Related: How to Choose Sunscreen and When to Reapply

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