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 Fun in the sun becomes a whole lot less so when the day ends with a nasty sunburn. So, of course, the best way to avoid getting burnt in the first place is to simply avoid the sun altogether. But that isn’t always possible.

When venturing outdoors, it’s wise to cover up adequately and always use sunscreen when going out during the daytime even when it looks cloudy outside. However, sometimes you might forget to reapply your protective layer of sunscreen, or you may spend a little too long in the water. Then, you end the day feeling a little toasty.

When that happens, several natural remedies can help you out. In this article, we’ll cover everything from the trusted aloe plant to newer options like CBD topical creams. By the end, you’ll have all the knowledge needed to treat a bad sunburn, but we’ll cross our fingers for you and hope you never need it.

1. Aloe

Aloe is a miracle worker when it comes to sunburns and one of the few herbal or plant-based remedies commonly used in Western medicine. This is because it contains anti-inflammatory compounds called anthraquinones that reduce swelling, promote healing and alleviate pain. Simply cut off a branch from your aloe plant and apply it directly to your burn up to six times a day. You can do this for several days until the redness and pain subside. 

If you don’t have an aloe plant handy, look for products that are 100 percent aloe gel. And if you find one, keep it in your refrigerator for added cooling benefits. Trust us it feels great on a rough sunburn!

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Using a cotton pad or soft cloth, you can apply apple cider vinegar directly to the sunburned areas of your body. Apple cider vinegar is a natural astringent that will help soothe your burn and speed up the healing process. Another benefit is that it’s especially good at taking the red right out and leaves you looking relatively normal.

The acetic acid contained in apple cider vinegar will also relieve itching, decrease inflammation and help prevent infection of any blistering areas, thanks to its antibacterial and antifungal properties

3. Oatmeal

Oatmeal can be a lifesaver, especially when your sunburn is a big or intense one, thanks to its soothing, anti-inflammatory properties. One way to use oatmeal for a sunburn is to make a paste, but our preferred method is a bath. 

To make an oatmeal paste, grind ½ cup of oats until it becomes a fine powder. Then, mix in ¼ cup of milk. Gradually add a tablespoon of honey at a time until the mixture is thick. Apply this to the burned area. 

Alternatively, you can place that ½ cup of oats in a sock and tie off the top. Make sure there aren’t any holes in the sock. Otherwise, you’ll have a mess to clean up! Next, run yourself a bath with warm water – not hot! – and place the sock in the tub while this is happening. Ease yourself in and submerge as much of the sunburned portions of your body as possible.

After you finish your bath, rinse yourself off with a warm to cool shower. 

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4. Baking Soda

Another option for bathtub-based relief is baking soda. Adding a ½ cup of baking soda as you run yourself a warm bath will help out a ton. 

This is because baking soda helps to balance the pH of your skin. Generally, burned skin will have a lower pH, and baking soda will help raise that. When the levels are where they should be, you’ll have relief from pain, inflammation and redness. 

You can add baking soda to your oatmeal bath for double the relief if you have both on hand and ready to go. And just like oatmeal, baking soda can be turned into a paste as well, but no milk or honey is needed. Just add water until a good consistency is achieved.

5. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has become commonplace in homes across the country because it can be used for everything from cooking to hair care. And now you can use it for sunburn relief as well. 

The widely known moisturizing properties of coconut oil will come in handy for sunburned skin, as will its ability to reduce inflammation and rebuild the skin’s protective barrier

Additionally, the lauric acid and monolaurin in coconut oil have been found to kill bacteria, viruses and fungi, which will help prevent any infection that might set in due to blisters. 

6. CBD Topical Creams

CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is a natural extract derived from hemp plants. CBD products, in general, have become widely used for stress and pain relief and are available as tinctures, capsules and topical treatments. 

CBD topical creams will be great to use as they have antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. These will help relieve the pain and discomfort caused by sunburn and help it heal simultaneously. 

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7. Hydrate!

Generally, sunburnt skin is dehydrated, and chances are you’re dehydrated inside as well from a day out in the sun. So at this point, you need to get as much hydration as possible. And though applying some of these remedies directly to the affected areas will help, an inside-out approach is also required.

Proper hydration is essential not only for skin health, but studies show it also affects cognitive function, proper digestion, good kidney function and keeping your heart happy. So while your body is working to heal your skin, it’s important not to put added stress on it by depriving these other vital systems and organs of much-needed hydration. 

So be sure to chug that water! 


Sunburns can be pretty serious matters and could be accompanied by heat stroke or sun sickness. 

Sometimes, home remedies won’t be enough, and you’ll have to seek assistance from a healthcare professional. Going this route could help prevent infection and scarring from nasty sunburns. 

And it could mean getting the proper treatment to avoid any complications caused by heat stroke. 

But if you want to avoid all this from the get-go, a strong defense is the best offense. So use that sunscreen and cover up!

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