With another 4th of July in the books, summer is officially in full swing. That sun-soaked time of year with back to back barbecues, beach getaways… and painful sunburns.
It only takes one forgotten tube of sunscreen or a lost hat to doom you to days of misery and a cherry red glow. And it happens to the best of us.
Of course, everybody knows that aloe is a sunburn victim’s best friend. But it’s not the only common kitchen staple that can help calm painful summer skin.
Soothe sunburn with these 7 kitchen staples
Following are seven more sunburn soothing solutions that just about everyone has hiding in their pantry…
Honey’s unique antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties make it the perfect natural remedy for a bad burn, whether your stove or the sun is to blame. Manuka honey carries the most powerful healing benefits—but any raw, organic variety will do in a pinch. You can dab it directly onto sunburnt skin or apply it under a bandage.
2. Yogurt or milk:
Milk’s fat, protein, and cool temperature make it a perfect salve for a summer sunburn. Plain yogurt spreads on easier. But soaking a washcloth in whole milk will do the trick, too. For best results, let either sit on your skin for 15 to 20 minutes.
You’ve probably already heard of oatmeal baths for skin conditions like eczema or dermatitis. And that same anti-inflammatory power makes it a handy solution for a nasty sunburn, too. But if you don’t have colloidial oatmeal in your medicine cabinet, a cup of plain old oats in a cool bath will do.
I burn easily and I love swimming. The combo meant as I kid I suffered far more than my fair share of sunburns. My mother’s go to soothe the pain was vinegar. And while no one wants to spend the summer smelling like a picnic salad, I can assure you vinegar works. And really, when you’re up against a bad burn, it’s a small price to pay.
Vinegar delivers a shot of acetic acid, which acts as a topical pain reliever—without the risks of popular over-the-counter drugs. Either apple cider or distilled white vinegar will work. Simply add it to a bath, or mist it directly onto your skin with a spray bottle.
5. Baking soda:
If you’ve ever used baking soda to calm down a fresh bee sting, then it won’t surprise you to learn that the same trick works on sunburn, too. You can mix it with water to make a paste, or add a couple cups to a tepid bath and soak the sting away.
6. Green tea:
Is there anything green tea isn’t good for? It turns out in addition to a long list of life-saving benefits, green tea is good for soothing your sunburn, too. Its tannic acid and theobromine content can take the edge off sunburn pain and encourages faster healing.
You have a couple of options for relief, depending on what you have on hand. You can soak compresses in a strong batch of cooled tea. Or for smaller areas, like your face, you can apply cold teabags directly to the affected area.
The term “cool as a cucumber” didn’t come out of nowhere—and the natural soothing compounds in these garden vegetables are good for more than puffy eyes. Mash them up in the food processor to make a paste. To relieve pain and puffiness gently smooth the paste across the sunburned areas and leave on for at least 20 minutes before rinsing.