Here are 20 home remedies for minor sunburns where the skin is red or sore but not blistered or broken.
As the days begin to shorten So the heat begins to scorch`'em.
- "If you get a sunburn, restore your energy with salt tablets or hot tea, which will pep you up and cool you off as well as or better than a cold drink." (OFA, 1945)
- "A simple and harmless remedy for sunburn is to bathe the face in buttermilk." (OFA, 1898)
- Wash gently with soap and water and then apply the gel of an older aloe leaf, splitting the leaf open lengthwise for the quantity required.
- Apply a mild infusion of purple coneflower to destroy bacteria and soothe the skin.
- Grate potatoes and apply to sunburned skin. The starch will cool and soothe the burn.
- Apply peppermint oil to sunburned skin, as long as the skin isn't blistered. Use a peppermint infusion as a milder wash to help cool a sunburn.
- Use apple cider vinegar, plain or diluted, to ease a sunburn.
- Make an ointment or salve with the essential oil of Saint Johnswort to promote the healing of burns that haven't broken the skin. It is not only anti-inflammatory but also antiviral and antibacterial.
- Apply ice or cold water.
- Dissolve Epson salts or baking soda in water, apply to a clean cloth, and drape the cloth over the affected skin.
- Take a cool bath, adding lavender or bergamot oil to the bath water.
- Add some black or green tea to your bathwater to soothe sunburned skin. Or pat sunburned skin with wet tea bags.
- Mix 1 cup water and 20 to 25 drops lavender oil and use to bathe the sunburned area. Or, apply the solution with a spray bottle.
- Make an infusion of cooling peppermint or spearmint tea. Drink it and use it to bathe the affected area.
- Apply a poultice of dock leaves and water.
- Bathe the sunburn with an infusion of stinging nettles, chamomile, or calendula.
- Apply aloe or plain yogurt with live cultures.
- Native Americans infused ground yarrow in water and used it as a wash.
- Wash with an infusion of elder flowers or chickweed.
- Apply a compress of decocted witch hazel.
As always, prevention is the best medicine. See our UV Index page for tips on preventing overexposure.