It’s that time of year when many people are getting out in the sun for a fun boating trip, a family hike, a Disneyland trip, or an outing of any kind with friends. You have to be really careful when it is so hot, the sun is closest to the earth in the Southwest here for the next few months. You can really get red skin if you are in the sun too long.
People usually try aloe vera to heal a sun burn fast. And that is definitely a good natural remedy. Aloe vera or any of the other cactus leaves like prickly pear are helpful too. And there are a few other completely different natural remedies listed in this post.
My husband burned his hand with spilled boiled water once. It looked pretty serious, possible 2nd or 3rd degree burn. I went outside and got one of the bunny-eared prickly pear cactus leaves from the cactus growing outside of our house at the time. I took off all the pokey spines and sliced it in half lengthwise and laid the wet insides next to his burned hand. Then I got a first aid cloth bandaid to wrap that and help it hold in place. He went to bed with that on and in the morning, his hand looked 80% better and he didn’t have pain anymore.
When I was growing up, my mom always put regular white vinegar on bad sun burns and they reversed quickly. I’d be burned one day, she’d do the vinegar treatment and the next day it was a tan with no peeling. The trick is to liberally apply the vinegar as soon as you find out that you have a sunburn. I don’t know if it would work if you tried it days later. I’ve heard negative things about it. But, it worked for us.
Then, I read somewhere about how the essential oil of lavender can also heal sunburns, so I got some. It’s very strong stuff and very good for the skin. My son had been outside during the summer without a shirt doing some active outdoor stuff with the guys one time and got some severe sunburning. He was in a lot of pain.
I told him about the lavender oil and he was willing to try it. We put it on his skin straight, not diluted. It really helped him feel a lot better quick. However, he still peeled later I think. Since then, all my kids really use up my lavender oil whenever they get a sunburn. They seem to like it better than aloe vera. It soaks in fast and is not like a gooey gel. For bad sunburns, it relieves pain, helps the redness go away, nourishes and heals the skin.
I have found out that you don’t have to use up all your lavender oil so fast, you can dilute it with extra-virgin olive oil and it is still really powerful. I’d probably make up a batch of 1/2 cup olive oil and 1 tsp of lavender oil. That way you don’t keep running out of the stuff, since it is kind of expensive at about $10 for an ounce (2 Tbsp). The larger bottles are more cost effective, you get a lot more oil per each $10 worth. I get the Now brand at the health food store; it’s cheap and good quality.
My family likes the lavender oil treatment best. And it’s also helpful for acne. It’s very effective for burns and is my family’s first choice. If you are on a budget, you can try the vinegar. My farm-girl mom always got good results with that. Of course, aloe vera is the popular, well-known remedy, but most people don’t know that other cactus plants are beneficial too.
The important thing is to only use natural ingredients on your skin. We have enough pollution to deal with in the air, water, food, and homes without putting toxic chemicals on the skin also that soak into the blood stream and affect our health.