10 super-effective, all-natural sunburn remedies (from stuff you probably have at home).

It's a blue summer day by the lake and, in spite of your efforts to be careful in the sun, you still end up with a sunburn. (Hey, it happens). 

10 super effective, natural remedies that can bring relief and help heal your skin fast... 

Remedy #1: Slip into a cool, silky coconut milk and lavender bath. 

Lavender is well known for it's soothing properties in aroma therapy, but the same holds true for the skin. On the skin, lavender can help calm a sunburn. When you combine the nourishing oils and fat in coconut milk with lavender, you have a marvelous remedy for sunburned skin. But this recipe doesn't stop there. In addition to lavender and coconut, this recipe also uses cornstarch and baking soda which give bathwater a luxuriant silkiness that further helps sooth a sunburn. 

2 cups organic coconut milk
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup baking soda
1/2 teaspoon lavender essential oil

While the tub fills with cool water, pour the coconut milk into the bath and let it mix under the running water. Add the baking soda, cornstarch and lavender oil, letting the running water agitate and mix the ingredients together. Lie back and soak for at least 15 minutes. The water should feel cool enough to sooth your sunburn, without feeling too cold. Now that you've tried this special milk bath, you might like to try remedy #3 as an after bath treatment. 

Remedy #2: Un-bake yourself with baking soda and cornstarch. 

This remedy is a variation of the above milk bath. It combines only baking soda and cornstarch. Baking soda helps balance the pH of your skin, which can promote healing; and the soft, soothing feel of cornstarch can help calm the heat of burned skin.  

1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup cornstarch 

Add the baking soda and cornstarch to cool bath water and immerse yourself for at least 15 minutes. When finished, pat your skin dry. Once dry, apply moisturizer or try the following aloe and lavender remedy.

Remedy #3: Sooth with lavender and aloe vera gel.

You might try this after either of the above baths, or just on it's own. This recipe uses the soothing properties of lavender essential oil with the moisturizing and healing power of aloe vera. Aloe vera is especially good for sunburn because it has the unique ability to help the skin repair itself. Aloe also contains the antioxidant vitamins A and C, as well as several beneficial minerals. 

1/2 cup (or more) pure aloe vera gel 
1/2 teaspoon lavender essential oil  

Mix the aloe vera gel and lavender in a bottle and shake well. Apply with your hands to sunburned skin and allow to air dry. Try this cool twist: Try making this remedy into ice cubes that can be rubbed over the burned skin. Or just refrigerate for some cooling comfort. 

Remedy #3: Cool and calm the skin with cucumber.

Cucumbers contain anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce swelling and calm the skin. Chilled cucumber is the perfect remedy to red hot skin.

1 or 2 fresh chilled cucumbers
Cotton balls (optional)
Food grater, or food processor, or juicer (all optional)

There are a few ways you can apply cucumber to a sunburn. 
  • Rub cold slices of cucumber directly over sunburned skin. 
  • Use a food processor to create a smooth pulp that can be applied to the skin and rinsed away after 15 minutes. 
  • You can juice the cucumber and rub it over a sunburn. This last method is my favorite, because the juice can be allowed to dry as opposed to having to rinse it away, like the pulp. 
Whichever method you choose, cucumber is an effective treatment for a sunburn.

Remedy #4: Encourage healing with vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar helps balance the skin's pH, which supports healing. Also, vinegar acts as an antiseptic. Use organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar that has been wood-aged, as opposed to other kinds that may have been aged by way of a chemical treatment. Bragg's is a good brand to use.

1 part unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1 part cool water
Paper towels or clean cheese cloth

Mix the vinegar and water in a bowl. Dip a few paper towels, or pieces of clean cheese cloth, into the solution then apply them to skin. Leave them there for 15 minutes.  

Remedy #6: Yogurt, it's not just for eating. 

Yogurt made with full-fat milk is very nourishing to your skin. It can also perform that helpful balancing act of evening out the acidic/alkaline equilibrium our skin needs to stay healthy. 


1 to 2 cups full-fat, plain yogurt (learn how to make your own yogurt here)


The easiest way to treat a burn with yogurt is to simply rub a light layer over the area with your hands. Allow yogurt to remain on your skin for about 20 minutes, then rinse and pat dry.  

Remedy #7: Milk, it's not just for drinking. 

Like yogurt, full-fat milk is nourishing to the skin and acts as a natural moisturizer. When applied to the skin and allowed to dry, the protein in milk creates a protein layer over the skin which can promote healing and relieve the discomfort of a sunburn. 


1 to 2 cups full-fat milk
Cotton balls


Using the cotton balls, apply cool milk directly to skin and allow to air dry. Rinsing is not advised, as you will rinse away the protective protein layer formed by the milk.

Remedy #8: Witch hazel, nature's magical potion. 

Witch hazel is a liquid distilled from a the bark, leaves and twigs of the witch hazel plant. The magic of witch hazel comes from naturally occurring "tannins," that when applied to the skin, can help reduce swelling and repair damaged skin. Witch hazel is also a natural antiseptic which can rid the skin of harmful bacteria and help promote healing. 

1 Bottle of witch hazel
Cotton balls

To treat a sunburn with witch hazel, douse one or more cotton balls with the clear liquid and apply directly over the skin. Allow the skin to air dry. The process of evaporation will help cool the skin, too. 

Remedy #9: Potatoes, a comfort food for your skin.

Raw potatoes are well known for their ability to sooth minor cuts, scratches, bites and burns. That's because the juice of a potato contains anti-inflammatory properties. 

1 or 2 clean raw potatoes
Blender or food processor
Pieces of gauze or clean cheese cloth

Simply dice up one or two clean raw potatoes (peel on is fine) and process in a food processor with just enough water to create a smooth liquefied pulp. Submerge pieces of gauze or clean cheese cloth in the wet potato pulp and lay them over your skin. Allow to remain on the skin for at least 15 minutes.   

Remedy #10: Take time for tea.

Peppermint and chamomile tea can both reduce swelling and inflammation of the skin. This remedy is a nice way to cool a burn. It uses a spray bottle and cool herb tea.


5 Peppermint tea bags
5 Chamomile tea bags
1 Quart of boiling water
Spray bottle


Boil the water and pour into a quart size container with all ten tea bags. Let it steep for twenty minutes. Cool the tea in fridge or freezer to room temperature (don't forget about it if you put it in the freezer, or you'll have a tea popsicle). When the tea is cool, pour some in the spray bottle and use it to moisten and calm your sunburn.

Final thoughts...

Soothing a sunburn can be difficult, but with these 10 effective home remedies, you can hopefully calm that burn and feel better fast. What other sunburn remedies do you use? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.

Until next time....

Joy--Fearless Farm Girl,

"Farm girl: it's a verb, because it's what you do."

1 comment:

  1. Hi there! I've read many posts about sunburn home remedies, and I can tell that yours is very valuable. When we finally escape the icy grip of winter, we tend to greet the summer by spending an excessive amount of time outside. Activities like hiking, camping, and all things outdoors are the most popular way of passing the time. See more http://survival-mastery.com/med/health/home-remedies-for-sunburn.html