Thanks to my Nana’s Portuguese heritage, I am blessed with olive skin and I tan easily. This however has made me complacent in the past and I have sunburned. I am now the proud momma of a darling daughter who has inherited more of her Father’s pale Irish genes than mine. So in the interests of looking after both of them should the sun make its presence felt in good old Blighty this year, I have found some homemade remedies for sunburn. And I’m happy to share!
If there is one single best way to soothe the pain and cool down sunburned skin, it is to use aloe vera gel. If you are lucky enough to have access to a growing aloe vera plant then you can use freshly squeezed gel straight from the leaf.
The gel form of aloe vera alone works very well but it is even better if you freeze it. Squeeze the gel into ice cube trays and pop into the freezer to have it on hand for whenever the burn strikes.
Nature has brilliant healing products. There’s no need to turn to chemicals if you can use natural products. Here’s a recipe for a sunburn relief spray with essential oils
¼ cup witch hazel
¼ cup distilled water
2 tbsp pure (100%) aloe vera gel
20 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops peppermint essential oil
Mix together all the ingredients in a jug. Pour the mixture into a 4oz spray bottle. Shake well before use and spray liberally and often.
And it’s easy peasy. Just brew up some black tea – the purer and higher grade, the better. Allow it to cool, then soak some cotton pads in it and apply it to your burnt bits. For larger areas, soak a paper towel in the tie and simply lay the damp towel over the affected area.
I smiled at the thought of my hubby being aghast at me using his precious potatoes (he’s Irish, remember) but apparently this works. You can simply slice potatoes and lay them over the bunt skin or you can make a paste. For the paste you need 2 potatoes. Wash and scrub them and then grate (skin on) them. Squeeze them hard to force the liquid out. Soak some cotton pads in the potato juice and apply to the sunburn. If you have a blender, chuck the potatoes in there and blend until it’s quite liquid. You can also soak a piece of gauze in the juice and lay it over your skin.
There are so many ways to use baking powder/soda outside the kitchen and it works great to ease the pain and lessen the lobster-redness of sunburn. Add cold/cool water to baking powder to make a paste. Smear on to red skin and leave until it is eased. Rinse off the paste in a coolish shower.
You can make this before the weather gets really hot and keep it in the fridge. It’s quite like the DIY spray I gave you earlier but in cream form.
2 tbsp cold water (preferably distilled)
1 tsp aloe vera gel
1 tbsp witch hazel
2-4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp peppermint oil
Mix together the water, witch hazel and aloe vera. Cover and leave to settle and infuse for 2 hours. After the 2 hours, add 2 teaspoons of baking soda and the peppermint oil and mix. If the mixture seems too runny, add more baking soda until you get a nice smooth cream. Transfer to a container with a tight fitting lid and put in a cool dark place for 24 hours to infuse. You can then put the container in the fridge until you need it.
So it looks like my shopping list needs aloe vera, baking soda, witch hazel and peppermint oil at a minimum. Are you going to try any of these? Oh and remember – please, please always use sunscreen to lessen your need for these sunburn remedies.
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