Okay, so among the worst ideas of all time has to be sunburn art. Never heard of it? Well, it’s like a tattoo with one small difference: instead of ink, the “artist” uses the sun. Just google #sunburntart for some spectacularly dimwitted examples. Perhaps these folks are just ignorant of the fact that millions of people are diagnosed with – and tens of thousands people die from – skin cancer every year. While this recent trend may be extreme, the sad truth is that too many people don’t pay enough attention to their skin health.
Today, we’re going to talk a little bit about the skin. We’ll focus primarily on the effects of sunburn, and how to heal and treat sunburn. We’ll wrap up by listing some preventative measures that you can use to guard your skin health.
Facts about the Skin
“Sunburns cause DNA damage to the skin, accelerate skin aging, and increase your lifetime cancer risk.” – Time Magazine
Here are a few facts about the skin and skin health:
- The skin is the largest organ of the human body, accounting for about 15 percent of your total body weight.
- One in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer before age 70.
- A precancerous form of melanoma (Actinic keratosis) affects nearly 60 million Americans adults.
- Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun accounts for around 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancer cases.
- UV radiation accounts for about 86 percent of all melanoma skin cancer cases.
- Applying SPF (sun protection factor) 15 or higher reduces the risk of developing skin cancer by 50 percent.
10 Natural Sunburn Remedies
Without further delay, here are ten easy ways to heal sunburn naturally:
1. Try essential oils.
There are a few essential oils that may help treat sunburn. Small amounts of lavender, witch hazel, or chamomile essential oil can help relieve some of the pain and irritation caused by the burn. You may also choose to add these oils to a cool draw of water for some relief.
2. Use aloe vera.
Aloe vera is one of the best things for your skin, period. When it comes to natural cures for sunburn, aloe may just be number one. It soothes, moisturizes, and provides decent pain relief as well. Some aloe vera products include lidocaine, which – while not a “natural” cure – can work wonders for pain relief.
3. Apply some brewed tea.
Applying some cool, brewed tea helps naturally restore the skin’s pH levels. Black tea mixed with a bit of mint may be the best option as a natural remedy, tea-wise.
4. Slice some cucumbers.
Cucumbers are great as a natural remedy for sunburn because they contain a bunch of water, something that the skin desperately needs after being burned. They’re also brimming with antioxidants, and have pretty good pain-relieving benefits too.
5. Peel some ‘taters.
The starch in white potatoes is thought to help absorb some of the heat from the sunburned skin, providing pain relief. It’s best to mash and cool the potatoes and apply it as a dressing.
6. Divvy up some dairy.
Besides having a nice, cooling effect, the protein in dairy products creates a film that can ease discomfort. Cooled (not cold) milk and yogurt are two excellent natural remedies.
7. Try Vitamin E extract.
As a potent antioxidant, vitamin E can lower inflammation caused by sunburn. Apply a small amount of E oil or take as a supplement until the skin heals. Vitamin E is also gentle enough to be rubbed onto peeling skin.
8. Pour yourself a homemade skin cure.
There are plenty of natural ingredients that you can add to the bathtub that will heal sunburn. Apple cider vinegar can rebalance the skin’s pH level. Baking soda eases the itchiness and irritation. Oatmeal smooths and soothes the skin’s surface.
9. Take a cool shower.
Water is an absolute must for sunburned skin. Hydrated skin is healthy skin; this is why we’ve including bathing and showing with cool water on this list. No sunburn remedy or natural cure would be complete without water.
10. Drink some H2O.
Yep, water again. This time, you’ll pour yourself a nice, cold glass of fresh water and drink it (a lot of it) until your skin heals. Your skin will feel better, look better, and recover faster. Say it with us: “Water is my friend.” It is simply the best sunburn remedy of them all.
Prevention is always the best medicine. The same applies when we’re talking about sunburn. Here are a few tips to safeguard your precious skin:
- Before heading out the door, check for U.V. warnings.
- Cover up every exposed area of the skin, especially if you are often outdoors.
- Use SPF 30 or higher.
- Avoid the use of tanning beds.
- Should you get sunburned, avoid sun exposure until the burn begins to heal.
- Hydrate with plenty of water.
- Keep your home cool with an air conditioner or cooling fans.