Ouch! I rolled over in bed this morning, forgetting that my legs were extra crispy from a long day at the beach yesterday. My pajamas rubbed painfully against the burns and the skin stretched uncomfortably. I headed for the bathroom to give myself yet another rub down with aloe vera. Then I did a little research. There are lots of effective ways to naturally soothe a sunburn in addition to aloe. Here are some of the best ones I found:
- Cold coffee or tea. Caffeine has fabulous, clinically proven healing powers when it comes to sunburns. Brew a pot of coffee or tea (coffee is better because it contains more caffeine) and let it cool. Then soak washcloths in the cold coffee and lay them over the burned skin for a few minutes. Do this once or twice and the next day the sunburn should be gone.
- A cool bath. Nothing feels better on hot skin than a soak in a cool (not cold) bath. Make it even more soothing by adding chamomile or lavender oil, or baking soda. Baking soda is excellent for soothing irritated skin, burns and minor wounds. In fact, many women take "sitz baths" with baking soda after giving birth to help soothe and heal.
- Supplements. In the days following your sun overindulgence, it is important that your body gets what it needs to heal. Taking vitamin B, C, beta carotene and flax seed oil will speed up the recovery process.
- Don't let it dry out. Keep applying aloe vera gel to the burn regularly. Allowing the skin to get dry will not only be uncomfortable but will increase your chances of pealing. Drink lots of water and stay hydrated.
- Don't go back into the sun. This sounds like a no brainer, but it can be difficult to avoid sun. If you have to go outside, wear long sleeves if your arms are burnt and trousers if your legs are burnt. I recommend a lose linen. It's light and airy and won't rub your burns. Also be sure to put on a hat to protect your face, chest and head.
- Milk. Mix a cup of milk and a cup of water with ice. Soak a washcloth in it and apply to the skin for five minutes.