Herbal remedies for sunburn

Sunburn is a problem that has been with us throughout history and as a result, populations around the world have come up with some very effective ways to treat it. Using the right herbal remedies will reduce immediate pain and irritation and help to prevent aching from developing over time. It will reduce peeling and help your skin return to normal more quickly.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is easy to grow at home. To use, simply pluck fresh leaves from your plant and squeeze out the juices, which can be applied directly to the skin.

Alternatively, use a prepared aloe vera product. It can be purchased in pure form and using it this way reduces the chances of your skin becoming further irritated. This remedy works to soothe and moisturise your skin and is especially effective on skin that is peeling. It’s safe to apply in quantity anywhere on your body.
Use as often as needed, reapplying if skin starts to feel dry and irritated again.


Naturally soothing, lavender makes inflamed, hot skin feel cooler straight away. It also has antibacterial qualities that reduce the risk of damaged skin getting infected.

Add a few drops to a warm (not hot) bath and have a long soak to soothe your skin. Don’t use soap, which could make the sunburn feel worse.

Add a few drops to a cold compress and gently massage the affected area. Be careful not to further damage the skin surface.

Mix a few drops into an aloe vera lotion and let it soak into your skin for a more intensely cooling effect.

Witch hazel

Witch hazel reduces inflammation and there is some evidence that it helps to reduce long term cosmetic damage to the skin caused by sun exposure.
You can use both leaves and bark to make a liquid to treat your skin. Simmer 5 to 10 grams of the mixture in around 250ml of water.
Gently massage the liquid into your sunburned skin using a cool compress. This will calm the skin and reduce the irritation caused by swelling.
Witch hazel can safely be combined with aloe vera or lavender for a treatment that tackles several symptoms of sunburn at once.

Black tea

Sometimes herbal remedies can be found in the most unexpected places. The same black tea that you drink can do wonders to help your sunburn
Black tea works because it contains a lot of tannic acid and theobromine, which cool the skin. It also contains catechins which help with skin repair.
Soak several teabags in hot water until it turns really dark. Add ice to cool it before applying it to the skin. Bear in mind that the cloth you use will be permanently stained, and keep hair out of the way or it can be accidentally dyed.
Don’t wash off the tea. Let it soak into your skin and stay there. If you go to bed afterwards, your skin will feel much better by morning.


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