Summer and warm weather are just around the corner and, for some of us (shout out to the Irish readers), we need a little more help when it comes to protecting ourselves from the sun. Did you know that common household foods could become your best friend when avoiding or curing sunburn?
From bathing in oatmeal to boiling lettuce, here are eight easy ways to cure sunburn.
How It Works: Potatoes are a great way to fight sunburn. Starchiness from the potato will take out the sting and relieve your pain.
Apply: According to Liana Bonadio from NutriCentre, if you cut the potato into thin slices and apply as a dressing, it will reduce pain and accelerate healing. Be sure to repeat the process every few hours.
2. Green Tea
How It Works: This may be the oldest trick in the books, but the real reason why green tea works so well and is used so often is because of the tannic acids.
Apply: Nutritionist and founder of Nosh Detox Geeta Sidhu-Robb suggested that green tea helps prevent a sunburn, so adding two cups of green tea to your diet is very beneficial, but if it’s too late, soaking two bags of tea and laying them on affected areas will reduce redness and burn.
How It Works: Besides oatmeal being one of the best food options (#teamoatmeal), oatmeal helps with that nasty burn. Oats are high in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties which soothe burns, itchiness, and irritated skin.
Apply: The first option for utilizing oatmeal is a fun one — grounding up oats and adding them to a bath will help draw out the sting and soothe skin. If bathing isn’t for you, you can fill a cheesecloth or similar material with oats and apply the compress every two hours. Geeta Sidhu-Robb suggests that if you apply oats liberally (make sure to not resue the oats) to the affected area, it should cool the skin and remove the sting.
How It Works: Guavas, like oatmeal, are high in antioxidants and vitamin C. Having an antioxidant-rich diet will prep your skin for UVA rays. Geeta Sidhu-Robb says that Vitamin C and antioxidants will help with inflammation and skin damage after a burn.
Apply: Incorporate guavas in your summer diet and you’ll be good to go.
#SpoonTip: guavas make an amazing syrup component.
How It Works: According to Dian Dincin Buchman, Ph.D., cucumbers can relieve the sting from sunburn so effectively that they are on par with drugstore relief items.
Apply: Slice cucumber and squeeze the juice into a mixture of glycerin and rosewater. Dab onto affected spots for immediate relief.
How It Works: Natural painkillers found in lettuce will help with the pain from sunburn. According to Geeta Sidhu-Robb, typically anything with green leaves helps protect from the sun because they are packed with antioxidants.
Apply: Boil lettuce leaves, then let broth chill in the refrigerator. Dip cotton balls in chilled broth and apply to sunburnt skin.
How It Works: A study out of Texas A&M University showed that the ellagic acid found in pomegranates helps with prevention of sunburns and protects you from UVA and UVB rays.
Apply: Make sure you incorporate pomegranates in your daily intake of fruit.
#SpoonTip: Pomegranates are a great salad topping for summer salads.
How It Works: Milk creates a protein film on your skin that will help ease the discomfort of your sunburn.
Apply: Dr. Francesca Fusco, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, suggests doing a milk cloth soak. Rub milk into skin with a soft cloth for 15 to 20 minutes ever two hours.