Ah, summertime. A time for bare shoulders, sandals, cocoa brown tans, and horrible sunburns.
Despite all the precautions (sunscreen, hats, shade), we've all been there at one time or another, whether it's been on your shoulders, your nose, your back, or in my case, your ass after a day of surfing. What we can all agree on, is that they hurt like hell and we'll pretty much do anything in our power to make the pain go away.
Despite having Sicilian/Cuban genetics which naturally makes my skin tan (even in a dark room), as I've gotten older, I've noticed my skin has gotten more sensitive and is more prone to burning then it used to be. Now that I'm in my thirties, I have officially turned into the "sunglasses and big floppy hat lady" but, that doesn't always guarantee me I'll get off sunburn-free. So, when it does happen I (of course) go the natural route to heal my skin and find relief.
Outside of consuming loads of ice water and hiding out in the AC, here are my tried and true natural tips on how to help ease the burn when I turn as red as a lobsta in Maine during a summer getaway.
1. Cold Showers
Cold is your friend when your skin is hot enough to set the couch on fire upon contact. I take these multiple times as day and go as cold as I can stand it. It helps to cool the skin down, provides some temporary relief, and relieves the pain enough that you can put on some aloe vera gel without screaming.
2. Aloe Vera Gel
It cools the skin, and if you keep it in the fridge it'll help give you even more relief. Straight from the plant is best but if you don't have one growing outside your door, you can pick up a bottle at any local health food store (Sprouts for example) or online. Just be sure to read the ingredients on the bottle to make sure you're actually getting pure aloe vera instead of a bunch of chemical crap.
3. Lavender + Mint
Lavender helps with pain relief and mint helps ease the heat. The best resource is directly from essential oils but rolling anything onto my skin when it's burnt is like teasing my flesh with a torch, and using anything with a carrier oil can be too heavy on raw skin. So I use the Burn Baby Burn Skin Soothing Spray which is an infusion of lavender buds, peppermint and spearmint leaves in aloe vera blended with essential oils. It packs quite a healing wallop by helping to ease the pain, cool the skin, and start damage control all in one. I spray this liberally as often as I need to and keep it in the fridge for an extra cooling dose.
4. Black Tea Bath
The tannic acid and theobromine in black tea actually helps to alleviate the heat part of a sunburn, so taking a tea bath is a quick way to help provide relief and get you on the path of healing. Drop 3 - 6 bags of pure black tea into a warm bath and let seep for 30 minutes, or until the bath water is lukewarm to cool. I hop in (well as much as you can hop when you're in sunburn hell) and sit for at least 20 minutes (preferably longer), and I don't rinse off, which allows the healing to continue. Ideally, I try to do this before bedtime which allows the tea magic to work overnight, and then rinse off the next morning in a cool shower.
5. Let The Peeling Begin
Once my skin has gone from "oh my god I'm on fire and I feel like I'm going to die" to "holy crap I'm shedding like a snake and my entire body feels dry, tight and itchy" then it's time to moisturize like you've never moisturized before. I'm not a fan of lotion because it feels like it dries and dissipates too quickly, so instead I go the body oil route. I like to use the Yogatta Be Kidding Me Body Oil because it has lavender (pain relief), rosemary (antiseptic) and cypress (healing). I apply this to the peeling areas morning and night and continue to use the Burn Baby Burn Skin Soothing Spray throughout the day as needed.
So the next time you (unfortunately) find your skin bright red and toasty, try these tips to help you recover as quickly as possible. And get your summer defense kit ready now with 20% off the Burn Baby Burn Skin Soothing Spray and the Yogatta be Kidding Me Body Oil from now until Monday June 4th (no code needed)!