It’s time to soak up some Sun, as long as you’re armed with the right sun burn remedies
We know, for someone living in North India that is asking a little too much, at least at this time of the year. In fact, most Indian’s who have been brought up to fear ‘tanning’, loathe the idea of stepping out in the Sun no matter how hot it is, unless of course they’re on Bondi Beach or the coast of Amalfi.
But we also know how good the Sun is for us. It triggers the release of serotonin, uplifts our mood, adds to our bone health and keeps us healthy. According to a WHO report, getting about 5 – 15 minutes of sunshine three times a week is essential for getting vitamin D. Another study by Environmental Health Perspectives states that people who live in areas of low sunlight are in fact more prone to cancers than people who live in areas where there is more sun. This is because sunlight actually has cancer preventive benefits when taken in moderate amount.
But sometimes, we do catch a few too many rays and even for those of us who are above the ‘tanning’ bias, a sun burn can be a painful reality. No matter how much Sun block with 40+ SPF you douse yourself with, too much time in the sun will hurt in the end. This applies also to those with darker skin tones, which naturally filter the harmful effects of the sun’s rays. While they may be less prone to Sun burn, no one is completely immune to the damage.
So what’s the solution? Over the counter SPF creams are one less than ideal option. Why, because these are laden with chemicals, and good ones can be quite expensive. The best way to protect your skin, while you enjoy the sun, is to use natural sun protection remedies to strengthen your skin from within, so it can resist the onslaught, and keep your skin cool.
Here is a list of a few and natural sunburn remedies, we have out together, that can help you do just that!
#1 Staying in at the hottest hour.
Yes, it sounds like the obvious thing to say, but just by avoiding going out when the sun is at its harshest, between the timings of 11: 00 am to 3:00 pm, we really can prevent a lot of skin damage. Prevention is always better, cheaper and easier than cure, so why not?
#2 Keep yourself hydrated
Even though staying hydrated is a good thing to do at any time, when you’re out in the sun, it’s great idea. A sunburn is basically your skin loosing water very quickly, becoming completely dry. So when you start feeling too hot, start sipping water immediately and keep taking liquids at intervals. Coconut water, watermelons, and other liquids with electrolytes are even more helpful.
#3 Eat or Apply these foods
Turns out bugs bunny was doing the right thing all along, munching on those carrots constantly. Carrots contain beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant that keeps the skin healthy and acts against free radicals. Lizette Borelli from medicaldaily.com writes, beta carotene also protects the skin from excessive UV radiation and sunburn, acting as an added shield from sun damage. So, that’s definitely a great food to consume after a long day in the sun.
Cucumbers provide an instant relief on par with store bought products and hence is the one of the top choices for cooling scorched skin. According to studies, cucumber has antioxidant properties and even anti wrinkling agent, a definite side effect of skin damage. Medical News Today, a leading online journal on health, mentions the surnburn alleviating properties of cucumber.
How to use- You either cut the cucumber in slices and keep it on the skin, or blend it and apply the paste. Cucumber juice is a great way to keep yourself hydrated and keep the burns at bay.
All the wise people know of the amazing Aloe! You can apply it to your skin, your hair, drink it in a juice, add it to a smoothie, or simply eat it. Abundantly found, and a favoured house plant, it is great for cooling your burned skin. You can also add it to your cucumber paste and enhance the cooling effect. Extracting the gel requires care, and a special technique, so make sure you do it properly. Here’s a video that can show you how:
The protein film in the milk helps keeps the moisture in and reduce further discomfort, while the cooling sensation brings relief. It’s one of the best natural sunburn remedies you can use. Add a pinch of turmeric to it for additional analgesic properties.
How to apply – Soak cool milk in a cloth or gauge and cover the skin with the cloth. You can also dab cotton balls in the milk and dab them on the skin. You can also use plain cool unsweetened yogurt, in place of yogurt. While the coolness helps the skin relax, the probiotics in the yogurt helps restore the skin and when applied for 20 – 30 minutes (or till dried) and washed off.
Coconut oil seems to do it all. Applying coconut oil to your sunburn will absorb the heat and cool you down, calm the itch, and keep your skin hydrated. Because of its moisturizing properties, coconut oil will keep the skin from peeling or drying further. An article in huffingtonpost.com also confirms the sunblock properties of this oil. Because of its natural SPF, using it before you leave for your day out in the sun, will provide an additional shield too. Make sure that it’s organic virgin coconut oil. Cold pressed oil will be even better. This is another natural sunburn remedy that’s good for your skin.
The thing to remember in summers is to prevent the sunburn but not the Sun. The Sun is great for you, if you only remember to put the right stuff in your body and help your skin become more resilient. Again, eat light but wise. What’s more summers can be a great opportunity to try out new things, for example jazz up your look with a trendy hat, or use the heat as a great excuse to carry a cute umbrella.
Have any other natural sunburn remedies? Share them with us!