Q: “Is there anything, besides aloe vera, that is good to put on a sunburn?
Burned in Wenatchee
A: Yes, aloe can be a helpful way to soothe sunburned skin and speed healing, but there are more options.
First it is helpful to understand we do need some direct sun exposure. Getting out in the sun without anything blocking the sun from touching our skin is important. Sunlight allows us to make our own Vitamin D, however, it is also important to avoid sunburns. Everyone is different in how they respond to sun exposure. Some might have just a few minutes before they begin to burn, and others a few hours.
Here are some general tips to enjoy your time in the sun and reduce your risk of sunburns:
- Start slowly with your sun exposure and gradually increase your time out. This allows you to find your personal sun limit and minimizes your risk of burning.
- Increase your intake of healthy fats. Learn more at this post here.
Some examples are:
-Butter from pasture-raised cows, goats, and sheep
-Tallow from pasture-raised beef and lamb
-Lard from pasture-raised pigs
-Cold pressed olive oil (ideally eaten raw)
-Cold pressed coconut oil
- Eat more antioxidants like dark berries, green leafy veggies (learn how to prep your greens here), and green tea.
- Avoid chemical sunblocks and sprays, which are highly toxic and interrupt hormone function. If you need sunblock, choose versions with zinc oxide or titanium oxide. These do not absorb through the skin and will not interfere with your hormone balance. Check out EWGs sunscreen guide here.
- Cover up. After you have reached your sun limit, consider moving to the shade, and putting on sunblock or clothing. Wear large hats, long-sleeved shirts, and pants.
If you do get burned, try these natural solutions to speed your healing:
Castor oil can help reduce pain and boost healing. Pat into your skin every few hours.
Take a bath (cool or warm water is fine) with Epsom salts to calm the burn. You can also mix 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt in 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Keep it in the fridge and spray yourself as needed or every few hours. Make sure to follow this up with your favorite moisturizer.
Add ½ cup baking soda and 1 cup of finely ground oatmeal to a tepid bath and soak for 20 minutes.
Mix 1 cup of whole milk and 1 tablespoon of honey then dip a clean cloth in the mixture and lay on the skin for 20 minutes. You’ll need to rinse off the milk later to avoid smelling like sour milk or being stalked by your kitties!
Make sure to drink lots of water and herbal tea (iced or hot) to reduce the dehydrating effects of sunburn.
I hope these options help soothe your sunburn quickly!