All right, everybody! Let’s reset how skin and summer relate. Men, don’t sneer at the skin-talk; it’s not just skin-deep.
Many optin in for the ready-to-apply lotion/cream/sunscreens (with a high SPF value) but with that also comes a lot of nasty chemicals, many of which are xenoestrogens. They bring in another slew of irregular, annoying chain of events (for men and women both, despite estrogen being a woman’s best friend) but we’ll keep that for another day. Let’s start making smarter choices and turn to natural sunburn remedies, but first let’s clear a few points.
- Men, getting a perfect tan is not about getting all fried and crispy. Ladies, that don’t even look a bit like you are blushing. Getting over-baked in the Sun turns you red allover, not just your cheeks. In fact, both look like giant lobsters with pale white showing where clothes covered the skin. At best, you’ll inspire others for good and help children add the word freak into their vocabulary.
- A sunburn will only give you splotchy and blistery skin; it never fades into a tan. Sunburn means there will be broken blood vessels and it’s no different than a regular burn. Sunburns also dehydrate you, so make sure you drink lots of water.
- Till the homemade remedies cure you completely, try to avoid the Sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you can’t, cover up as much skin as you can. Wear light-colored clothes.
- Be prepared for the pain and itch associated with sunburns and its healing. The skin tightens on the muscles, making movements difficult; then it starts to peel off. Much like a snake shading skin but in pieces, enough to announce your passage from your trail. Some will keep dangling to the last, but most of them will fall at the end. However, it depends if your skin will go back to its former color. The home sunburn remedies will help with that.
- Forget lathering up while your burn is still on. Soapy water and bubble baths will only dry your skin further and irritate it. A cool or room temperature bath is best when you are healing. Always pat yourself dry, don’t rub. Apply a natural moisturizer immediately after drying. Also be careful you don’t take any medicine that turns you sensitive towards sunlight.
Sunburn Remedies Fresh From The Kitchen
Caution: These home sunburn remedies may put your confidence on an overdrive and push you towards another lobsterization within no time. Best if you can avoid doing it again.
1. Potato paste
Chop and blend (with the peels) 2 potatoes in a mixer until they are liquid. Soak cotton balls (as thoroughly as you can) in it and put them on the sunburnt spot. Easier if you soak gauze.
2. Cornstarch/baking soda
Cornstarch has a cool, silky texture, so make a paste of it with water and put it on the burn(s). If there’s no cornstarch, try baking soda It will diminish the pain better and lessen the blazing redness. Cornstarch; however, heals better. Don’t forget to rinse both completely after things feel normal for the time being.
3. Cool milk compress
The theory is the coolness of milk easing the heat and the milk protein forming a layer to prevent further damage. Soak gauze (or a clean and soft washcloth) in chilled milk until saturated, drain the excess liquid off and drape it across your burn. Press gently to keep it in place and hold it till it warms up to room temperature.
4. Witch hazel, mint & tea
All are cooling and the tannic acids and theobromine are great painkillers with outstanding healing properties. Boil a liter of filtered water, take it off the heat and add 3 tablespoons of witch hazel, 50 grams of green tea and 3 cups of fresh mint leaves into it. Cover with a lid and leave it that way till it’s down to room temperature. Strain and chill. Soak cotton pads (or clean, soft cloth) in the chilled liquid and put it directly on the burn. Or, plain wash the burn with the extract.
5. Aloe Vera
Now, this is too cliched as a home remedy but also the most effective one, so can’t help but mention it. If there’s plant growing near your house, you will have it better.
Slit the leaves (don’t cut in two halves) down from the middle and spread them flat on the burn. Else, squeeze the gel out and slap it on the affected areas. This won’t spread like purchased aloe gel, so you’ll need lots to cover large burns. Maui Vera gel for sunburns works great as well.
6. Apple cider vinegar
It is controversial but some vouch for its effectiveness. Maybe that’s because it heals mild burns well when used after a cool/tepid bath/shower. A cup of the raw, organic variety in a sprayer works the best; else cloth or cotton balls, whichever your preference is.
Summing it up all
Cutting out choices 1 and 3, the rest can all be mixed together and refigerated for prolonged usage. Best if you make it once every week and apply choices 1 and 3 as a follow up to the mix following an oatmeal bath. Its polysaccharides coat the skin and speeds up healing. Just put a good amount of it in a clean, cotton sock and soak (not super-long soak) it in hot water. Mix this cloudy extract to the cold, bath water. Best if you can air-dry after bath.