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5 Ways to Treat Sunburn Naturally

Sunburned man applying sun & earth tinted zinc cream at the beach

When your skin is flushed with red, tender, heated patches of flesh, it can be extremely painful. Despite being a common occurrence - The Australian Cancer Council reported that half a million Australians get sunburned every year - sunburn and the skin damages that sometimes follow are something we should take seriously. 

Sunburn appears on your skin after unprotected or extended exposure to the Sun’s UV rays. During sun exposure, the skin protects itself by producing melanin, and results in a tan. However, this protection is limited and can quickly turn into a burn. 

While the occasional sunburn can be a painful yet harmless experience, having a burned skin on a regular basis can highly increase your risks of hyperpigmentation, discolouration, accelerated ageing, and melanomas. 

Preventing sunburn from happening in the first place is key to keeping your skin healthy and happy. A broad-spectrum SPF for your face and body that is clean and natural is best. But how can you look after your skin the same way when you get burned? Today, we share five ways to treat sunburn naturally.

Cool Water

With a sunburn, the skin is raw and exhales heat. As such, you need to cool it down. Water is a quick way to soothe the heat and discomfort. Whether that’s through a cool shower, some cold compresses or drinking water to rehydrate the skin, giving your body plenty of water after a sunburn has shown to significantly help the healing process. 

Aloe Vera

Sunburn often implies skin inflammation. Applying some Aloe Vera onto it is a prime way to tone it down. Aloe Vera and its gel-like substance contain a powerful anti-inflammatory compound called Aloin, which suppresses the skin’s inflammatory response against sunburn. To get the most out of Aloe Vera, it’s best to use natural lotions or raw gel directly from the plant. 

Oatmeal Soak

When the skin tries to heal from a sunburn, it is common to experience discomfort and itchiness. Research suggests that soaking your body in an oatmeal bath can help soothe these symptoms. This is because oatmeal binds to the skin to clean, moisturise and protect it during the healing process. To prepare a soak, add one cup of oatmeal to a lukewarm bath and enjoy it for 10 to 15 minutes before patting yourself dry. 

Coconut Oil

A sunburned skin needs plenty of moisture to heal. Coconut oil is rich in saturated-fat that has shown to have powerful anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and moisturising properties for your skin. Applying some coconut may help reduce the itchiness and flesh peeling that comes with a healing sunburn. 

Tea Bags

Treating a sunburn means that you’re in for a couple of days of having a red and painful skin. And while applying tea bags to yourself may seem odd, the tannins and antioxidants found in black, green or chamomile tea can relieve these symptoms and help make those days a little more pleasant. You can apply cooled tea bags directly to your sunburn, or brew four to five and soak yourself in the cooled infusion (after pouring it in a bath, of course). 


No matter the circumstance that led you to a sunburn, treating your skin with these natural ways can help soothe the discomfort and boost the healing process without triggering more skin damage. So give one of these five ways a try, and make sure to regularly apply some zinc the next time you head out to the sun - you know, to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

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