Does it seem like every time it happens you have to learn how to treat sunburn all over again?
If you grab the store-bought skincare products to treat sunburn, it’s no wonder you’re confused. You may forget which product you used the last time you needed it—because we sure hope getting sunburned is not a regular occurrence.
Of course, like the saying goes, the best offense is an even better defense—and that’s surely the truth when it comes to sunburn. Just don’t let it happen in the first place, right? Especially when there are so many effective SPF products out there. But we’ve all been there—stranded under that unrelenting fiery ball just long enough to know what’s happening to our skin. It ain’t pretty.
But we’ve all been there—stranded under that unrelenting fiery ball just long enough to know what’s happening to our skin. It ain’t pretty. So instead of crying and running for the drugstore chemical sunburn relief products, if you knew there were a few items in your house pretty much all the time that could help take that burn away, we’re betting you wouldn’t feel so lost the next time it happens.
How to Treat Sunburn Naturally
- Aloe probably sounds right to you for treating a burn, and it most definitely is an excellent choice. The cooling gel inside the aloe plant’s leaves can take away the sting and speed your skin’s healing time.
- Vinegar: If dousing yourself with vinegar seems counterintuitive because of its acidic bite, you’ll be happy to know that it quickly alkalizes, which may make your skin feel calmer. Note: you may feel an initial sting with vinegar depending on how badly you’re burned, but it should subside quickly.
- Witch Hazel: A great skin astringent, witch hazel also helps to lessen the burning sensation and speed your skin’s recovery time. Use a soaked cotton ball to gently dab the affected areas.
- Oatmeal: One of the powerhouses in the kitchen is also a powerhouse in the bathroom! Oatmeal is incredibly soothing to irritated skin. Credit can go to the polysaccharides in oats that both coat and spur skin healing.
- Cucumber: Smash up a cuke or lay thin slices over burned skin to help cool and hydrate. Works really well on the delicate skin on the face, neck and shoulders.
No matter what the season, it can seem like dry skin always finds a way to your face and hands.
Flaking, cracking, redness, and itchiness are hallmarks of dry skin, but there are lots of other symptoms to be on the look out for that you may not be aware of including tightness, rough feeling or looking skin, fine lines or deep cracks, greyness or ashy tones (particularly noticeable on dark skin).
What Causes Dry Skin?
Weather often plays a role in dry skin—cold winter air combined with forced indoor heating can lead to dryness, or hot summers under too much sun, for example. But if you seem to constantly be battling dry skin, it’s likely there are other factors at play, such as using water on your skin that’s too hot (guilty!), washing your face or body with harsh soaps or scrubs, irritating skin care ingredients, like alcohol, and even your overall health.
How to Reverse and Prevent Dry Skin
In most cases, it doesn’t really matter how you got dry skin—you just want to get rid of it. But not all skin lotions or moisturizers are created equal—nor are they all necessary! Here’s what you need to know to take care of your dry skin naturally.
- Cool Water: As noted above, those hot showers may not be doing your skin any favors, especially when other factors are to blame too, like the weather. Try cooling your shower temps off or washing your face with cool water instead of hot.
- Oil Treatments: Just like hair loves a good oil sesh, skin can benefit from it greatly, too. Pure olive oil is a great hydrating and moisturizing treatment for dry skin. Slather oil on the face, hands, or body, and let soak in for a good ten minutes before rinsing off. (Pro tip: lay on an old towel you don’t mind getting greasy.)
- Sugar Scrubs: Exfoliating that dead, dry skin off is key to delivering moisture, and oily sugar scrubs are a great way to slough off the dead skin and deliver moisture.
- Eat (More) Healthy Fats: Dry skin can be related to not eating enough healthy fats such as omega-fatty acids found in oils, nuts, and flax seeds. Try adding a few teaspoons of hemp seeds or flax seeds to your diet a day.
- Hydrate: A thirsty body is a dry one—and that means your skin, too! Make sure you’re drinking lots of water every day. Need a reminder? Set an alarm on your phone. Really.
Image: Katie Tegetmeyer