Sunburn hurts! But then, most of us underestimate the sun's cruel power at least sometimes. Luckily, there are natural sunburn pain remedies that can help reduce the sting, soreness, and blisters that happen after too much outdoor summer fun.READ MORE
What exactly is sunburn?
It’s your skin’s reaction to damage caused by the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. For some people it can happen in as little as 10 minutes. The first sign is usually redness from dilating blood vessels — your body’s automatic response when it registers the need to begin cell repair. Next, skin starts to lose moisture. (That’s what causes the feeling of tightness that comes with sunburn.) Slowly, your skin cells start to thicken in an effort to stop UV rays from penetrating deeper layers of tissue where they could damage skin cell DNA. Finally, peeling is the body’s way of getting rid of the sun-damaged cells that are at risk of becoming cancerous.
So is sun exposure always a bad thing?
No, in fact there are a number of health benefits associated with short sunbathing. For example, doctors have known for years that sunlight improves bone health. That’s because Vitamin D — which regulates calcium absorption — is manufactured when sunlight hits the skin. More recent studies indicate that vitamin D may also improve brain function. Reputable studies have shown that controlled sun exposure may also lower blood pressure, lessen symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, boost growth in young children, and even help suppress an overactive immune system.
Then why all the talk about the dangers of sun exposure?
Because people don’t generally limit their time in the sun to 10-15 minutes per day. And they do not protect their skin with a good sunscreen. The sun can be a dangerous friend. For starters, it can hurt your eyes by damaging the retinas and contributing to the development of cataracts. Premature fine lines, wrinkles, and saggy skin are also sun-related problems. We associate them with aging, but exposure to UV rays definitely impacts how early they appear. Because the sun depletes your body’s water and salt levels, it can produce heat exhaustion. Left untreated, this exhaustion can lead to life-threatening heat stroke. Of course, skin cancer can also result from long-term sun exposure. And because the damage develops over years, the older you are, the greater your risk of developing skin cancer. No wonder natural sunburn pain remedies are gaining popularity!
Can a sunblock really help? And how do you choose the best one?
Absolutely! When it comes to building a wholesome relationship with the sun, you should use a high-quality sunscreen daily, all year round. Here are some tips to guide your shopping choices.
1. Choose a product with an SPF number between 30 and 50. Studies show that higher SPFs do not provide additional protection and may even expose you to more ultraviolet rays instead of fewer!
2. Look for a sunscreen that offers both UVA and UVB protection. That’s because they safeguard your skin from different damage: UVB is for sunburn and UVA is for skin cancer.
3. It’s best to use a lotion or spray. Some SPF products come in towelette and powder form, but they usually contain chemicals that are considered toxic and linked to lung damage.
4. Don’t forget to reapply! This is vital for proper skin protection. Follow the directions and re-apply when necessary!
9 All Natural Sunburn Pain Remedies
If sunburn leaves your skin severely blistered, call a doctor. Otherwise just try to relieve the inflammation and reduce damage to deeper layers of your skin. These 9 all natural sunburn pain remedies can help:
Hydrate! Drink at least 1 tall glass of water every hour to help compensate for the fluid your body has lost.
Take a cool bath or shower. It actually cools body temperature.
Don’t use soap. That will only make the burn feel worse.
Apply an herbal sunburn spray or gel. Choose one with all-natural ingredients (like menthol, clove, licorice, lavender, or cucumber). Menthol is especially helpful because it not only relieves the sting, it actually cools the skin and helps it heal.
Cold water compresses help. Do this for 15-20 minutes and you’ll feel the difference! (Add a few drops of witch hazel to the water for some extra cooling effect.)
Spritz with belladonna water. Add 50 drops of this homeopathic tincture to a cup of water, blend, and apply as a spray mist for fast, soothing relief.
Pick up an aloe vera plant. The thick juice inside its leaves has excellent anti-inflammatory properties. Slice one open and squeeze the sap right on the burns. It will speed healing and relieve discomfort.
Plain yogurt is good, too. Packed with probiotics and enzymes, it promotes healing. Plus, its cooling properties really relieve the pain. With clean hands, put the yogurt directly on burned areas for 5-10 minutes. Then rinse with cool water.
Moisturize your skin. This will combat inflammation and help revive damaged cells. Once the burn begins to subside, use chemical-free products to hydrate your skin and nourish it with vitamins and antioxidants.