Home Remedies for Sunburn Relief & Treatment

Natural Sunburn Remedies: How to Treat a Sunburn

July 17, 2020

Here are 20 remedies for sunburn relief and treatment. If you have a minor sunburn (where the skin is red or sore, but not blistered or broken), try one of these sunburn remedies to help soothe your pain. Get rid of sunburn fast!

Sunburn relief is an important part of life during the summer! Sunburns can be itchy, painful, and simply irritating. The good news: Treating sunburns is actually much easier than you might think when using these natural sunburn remedies.

As the days begin to shorten,
So the heat begins to scorch ‘em.

Sunburn Remedies

  • “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.” –The Old Farmer’s Almanac, 1945
  • “A simple and harmless remedy for sunburn is to bathe the face in buttermilk.” –The Old Farmer’s Almanac, 1898
  • Wash gently with soap and water and then apply the gel of an older aloe vera leaf, splitting the leaf open lengthwise for the quantity required. See more about aloe vera’s soothing properties.
  • Apply a mild infusion of purple coneflower (also known as echinacea) to destroy bacteria and soothe the skin.
  • Grate potatoes and apply to sunburned skin. The starch will cool and soothe the burn.
  • Apply diluted 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 John’s wort 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 Epsom salts or baking soda in water, apply to a clean cloth, and drape the cloth over the affected skin. Explore more unexpected household uses for baking soda.
  • 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 vera, or plain yogurt with live cultures, or coconut oil to your sunburn.
  • 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.

If your sunburn is itchy instead of painful, try oatmeal to ease the itch.

As always, prevention is the best medicine. See our UV Index page and sun safety tips for advice on preventing overexposure.


Reader Comments

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Cider Vinegar in Ice Water Works!

Put 1/4 cup of cider vinegar in a bowl of ice water and dip wash cloths in the mix, wring out and place on burned are until the cloth is no longer cold. Repeat until the the heat has been drawn out of the burn. It works like a charm.


I have tried the boiling water and salt and its works. Am very happy about how I feel with my eye immediately.
Regards Hashmanis.com.pk/


Do not use full strength peppermint oil! Noxema (or any generic) medicated cream always worked well for me. Aloe vera as well. I had a huge blister on my hand once (the size of a quarter) from swinging a hammer all day. We wrapped it with an aloe leaf and the next morning the blister was gone!

peppermint oil

The Editors's picture

Thank you for your feedback: We have revised the text so that it is clear one should use a diluted solution of peppermint oil. Thanks, too, for the aloe leaf tip!


hello! My eye brows are so thin what I should do. This is an awesome post.I am Shocked to see your article. It's amazing.I am also a blogger and I really really like your post.Carry on, best of luck.

Please help...!

Please help...!
My arms and neck half colour is white and half colour is blacked due to sun. How to fix it.


Apply WD 40 to sunburn for relief

I use the vinegar trick, but

I use the vinegar trick, but I’d mix it in half with water & then spritz it on whenever I felt heat from it…did not know about tallow :)

Went to the biggest car show

Went to the biggest car show in the world with my family didn't use sunblock I got fried:( my shoulders arms and oh my legs are so bad there swollen hurts to walk any advice on how to fix it quick I hAve to start work soon

You have a severe burn. We'd

The Editors's picture

You have a severe burn. We'd suggest you get yourself into a cool bathe and then coat yourself in aloe gel. Also, take some ibuprofen to reduce the swelling caused by sunburn (as your body attempts to heal). Keep cold compresses on your body. You should call a doctor or nurse to ensure your swollen legs aren't a symptom of something more serious. 

Please help me ,once i us a

Please help me ,once i us a hair removal cream on my forhead after that my skin burn to hair removal cream so please give me a advice for clear my skin

pls help me eyes ichy alot

pls help me eyes ichy alot now i got black on my skin all around eyes.from rubbing it.plz help me.

Egg white works like

Egg white works like magic...... a living testimony.

I am ghost pale and have

I am ghost pale and have avoided living a life outside during the summer months ffor my whole life. Yesterday, I found sunscreen that was supposedly the strongest available. I followed the direction and rubbed it in the skin well and even applied a second time before going to a beach bazaar. I was only sitting in the sun for 35 minutes. I kept an eye on the time so I could determine if it might wear off after too long and need more. I went back to the motel and by dinner time I was in agony. I asked the people in the office for advice and all they could suggest was dumping ice into bathwater. I need 2 things: 1) something that really blocks the rays but doesn't have me dressed for cold winds.I want to have a life during the sunny, hot summer days like everyone else. 2) I am bright red, hot to touch and visibly swollen on my arms, back of neck, shoulders and shoulderblade areas, my ears, my legs on the front of my knees and the inner sides of both legs and tops of my feet. It hurts to move, or have anything in contact.

Kathy, This sounds

The Editors's picture

Kathy, This sounds unbearable. Sunburn is essentially radiation of the skin. Aloe vera to helps the burn heal faster. Also, try applying chilled Eucerin Calming Cream. Other than our natural remedies, consider anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprophen; these medications help block the release of interleukins, the skin's sunburn cytokine, and therefore reduce the amount of redness and pain. If you have severe sunburn with high pain/fever, heavy blistering, or it does not improve, call a determatologist or health professional.

When I was younger I spent a

When I was younger I spent a day in my parents garden tending the weeds. I had applied sunscreen and took a break during the hottest part of the day and reapplied sunscreen. I want to get an awesome tan while getting the work done so I wore a bikini top while I worked. At the end of the day my back was blistering red.
My parents tried a remedy from a friend. You put ice in a bag with vinegar and a tea back and applied moist towels with either vinegar or milk. It took the sting out and made the burn at least tolerable.
I suggest you get a long sleeve silky feeling shirt or a shirt that help block bugs and UV rays (Cabala's had those. Wear it part of your exposure time especially when you know you will be outside for long time frames.

I just got sunburned

I just got sunburned yesterday and we rubbed aloe Vera on it, it only helped a little so today we tried even stronger sunblock but it didn't work so we just said screw it lets take a break from the pool and stay in so now it burns like crazy and idk wut to do but I need serious help or I will kill someone from pain!!!!! It's mainly on my face, shoulders, and chest/stomach area!!!!!

This sounds intense. We are

The Editors's picture

This sounds intense. We are not health professionals, however, we know the pain will last a couple days. In these two days: Take pain relief. Also apply a hydrocortisone cream early on. Take cool baths or applying cool, wet compresses to sunburned areas several times a day. Adding 2 oz of baking soda to a tubful of water may help. Drink extra water.
DO NOT apply any other sprays or ointments which may trap the heat. Continue to apply aloe--they are types with pain relief. 
Also, we find that using cider vinegar really helps. Applied full strength, cider vinegar will relieve and help prevent blisters from sunburns and minor burns.

thanks a lot for posting...

thanks a lot for posting... Coz i am suffering from face burned , i was using a facial cleansing then i stopped it ... now the burning skin appeared..

thank you so much me and my

thank you so much me and my brother got back from swimming and we got a bad sunburn and it hurts like cray

My hand white paches is there

My hand white paches is there but doctor teling sun burn pls give me solution

There are different reasons

There are different reasons for white patches on the skin. Here is a good page from the NYU medical center and hope this helps:



Link to help with white patches on skin

The link took me to the website that had no information about the white patches on skin.

what the home or natural

what the home or natural remedies for sunburned dark skin?

Dark skin is less likely to

The Editors's picture

Dark skin is less likely to get sunburned, however, the same need for sun protection and the same natural remedies on this page apply.

I speak from painful

I speak from painful experience, nothing feels better than a cool shower on sunburned shoulders. Having Irish skin, I am indefensible from the wrath of UV rays. If I don't marinade myself in sunscreen, I end up like a piece of fried chicken. Every summer, I say to myself "I'm fine for now, I won't be out too long." And I do pay the price.
My advice, I find that anyway to let the heat escape takes the burning agony right out of my skin. A cool shower right when you get home can't be beat. A cold bath is even better, you can literally immerse yourself into the refreshing relief. A cool cloth on the burn is not a bad idea either.
We can all agree that sunburns are torturous while sleeping. If I have a bad burn, I just sleep shirtless. An easy solution. Keep the burned skin bare and free of painful friction.
And in the future, remember the pain of your burn and put on more sunblock.

The one I use on myself and

The one I use on myself and my family is 1/4 Cup of cold cream with 4 drops of lavender oil and the juice of 1/2 grated cucumber. Or for smaller areas, such as ears, slice open a cuke and rub on the affected area.

I live in the Desert

I live in the Desert South-West, so aloe is everywhere, it works for healing the skin. What I usually do is apply a black or green tea infusion to take the burning away, works fast & then later apply the aloe to keep the skin soft & moisturized.

I've tried many of the ones

I've tried many of the ones listed but the one that works the best for me and one that isn't listed is applying egg whites to the burn. It is my hands-down favorite and really really works. Amazing coolness and healing almost immediately. Apply and let dry. Apply more if needed. Works on scalding and regular burns as well.