Summer is all fun and games until someone gets burnt.
Like Kim Kardashian, we've all experienced a sunburn after enjoying ourselves a bit too much under the sun's rays, jumping in and out of the pool, or forgetting to apply sunscreen.
"We live in Canada! How hot can the sun really be?!?" is your logic.
Newsflash people: the sun is hot. And if you don't apply the number one beauty product you need this summer (read: sunscreen), then you're just asking for trouble.
According to Paleo Hacks, the protective effects of melanin, the pigment that gives skin colour, are lost when we spend too much time in the sun. This results in an increased blood flow, which in turn leads to inflammation (a.k.a. a sunburn).
Now, we won't shame you if you neglected to slather yourself in SPF. But what we will do is tell you how to relieve that burn ASAP.
Of course, after-sun products are fantastic for minimizing burns, but you don't always have those products on hand. So here are 10 DIY remedies for curing your summertime sunburn:
1. Coconut Oil
According to Rapid Home Remedies, coconut oil is great for nourishing dehydrated skin and replacing the oils your skin lost due to the sunburn. But as Bustle states, it is best to wait a day or two before applying, as your skin needs time to recuperate from the sun damage.
2. Aloe Vera
A classic sunburn remedy, aloe will bring relief to your fiery skin and reduce redness, but unfortunately, it won't speed up the recovery process. However, that's not to say it's not good for the soothing aspect.
If you are purchasing aloe vera gel from your local drugstore, avoid formulas containing alcohol or perfume, as Fashionista advises. Alcohol can sting and dry out a sunburn, something you definitely don't want.
After munching on your morning cereal, soak a clean cloth in a bowl of milk, ice cubes and water, and apply it to your sunburned area. According to Self, milk has a soothing, anti-inflammatory effect on the skin thanks to its fat, protein and pH level. And the colder your milk bowl is, the better, as that will constrict blood vessels and reduce swelling.
After steeping your cup of morning loveliness, apply tea bags to your sunburn. Tannic acid and theobromine, both fire-extinguishing elements, are found in green and black teas, according to Paelo Hacks. Tea also includes catechins, which help repair the skin.
Need to see the healing effects? Check out this Imgur user and her results:
Got a bad sunburn yesterday. Last night I used an iced black tea compress. This is how my back looks this morning. Needless to say, this is how I will treat sunburns henceforth.
Although it may be sticky, honey is known for repairing damaged cells. As Dr. Weil points out, honey is soothing, antiseptic and healing. However, you shouldn't be using honey from the supermarket for your sunburn. Instead, apply a medicinal honey, such as manuka, to your affected area. After 20 minutes or so, hop in the shower and rinse off.
Not only are strawberries a fabulous choice of fruit in your sangria, but they're also a great treat for your burn. According to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, strawberry extract protects against UVA rays with its photoprotective properties. And First Home Love Life notes the yummy berry also has tannic acid (yes, the same as tea!), which will provide relief once applied to the damaged area.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
Vinegar? Sounds scary. But really, it isn't! You just need to make sure you have a diluted solution to avoid any painful effects. Either apply the vinegar to the skin with a washcloth or add to your cool bath water. Bustle also states that an easy way to apply the solution is by mixing 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar to a spray bottle of water and misting your skin.
Cucumbers, with their antioxidant and analgesic properties, are great for skin that is inflamed, as pointed out by Dr. Cynthia Bailey. If you have a blender and chilled cucumbers kicking around, you're in luck. Simply blend the veggie into a paste, slather on your burn, and feel the cooling relief.
9. Baking Soda
Baking soda and water are your friends. As Discovery Health Journal notes, mixing the two together and applying it as a lotion on your painful area will not only ease the pain, but it will also moisturize the skin. Simply apply with a cloth or cotton pads for about five minutes, and then rinse.
Whether it is taking a cool (not freezing) shower to bring down your skin's temperature or drinking numerous glasses to stay hydrated, water is key to relieving and healing a sunburn. Your body is left deprived and dry after excessive exposure to UV rays, so make sure you're constantly refueling.
Note: While these tips are useful, you should see a doctor if you have a severe sunburn that causes blisters, nausea and extreme pain.
And for next time, to avoid those nasty sunburns, check out 10 of our fave sunscreens below!