Sunburns: how to basic

[Reading time: 3 minutes]

I am an extremely pale person, let’s start there.

A couple weeks ago I went to the beach with my friends to celebrate a girl’s birthday, and being the smart person I am I forgot to put sunscreen on my shoulders. I thought “no problem, I’ll just wear my t-shirt, stay under the beach umbrella and call it a day”

Twenty minutes later I was red, everything hurt and suddenly the idea of going to the seaside without sunscreen did not seem so clever after all.

This is why I’m leaving my usual format to list you all the remedies you can use if you find yourself in my situation

  • Potatoes: Not really the most orthodox remedy, but surely one of the easiest to do. Potatoes have been known as a pain reliever for years, and are great for skin irritation, scratches, bites and burns.

What: 2 potatoes, a knife and cotton pad (or really whatever you find, even a facial tissue), a blender

How: wash the potatoes, cut them and put them in a blender (you don’t have to peel them, but if you really feel the need to, go ahead) and blend until they become quite liquid. If you find them particularly difficult to blend, add a little bit of water. Once blended, soak the cotton pad and apply to the sunburn.

  • Milk: This is extremely useful if you are sunburnt and have an empty fridge, the coolness of the milk will soothe the burn, while creating a barrier to protect the skin while it heals

What: Chilled milk and a soft washcloth

How: Easy, pour the milk over the cloth until it’s soaked, squeeze it to let the excess drain off, then apply to the burn. A good thing would be soaking a couple cloths and putting them in the fridge, so that when the one you are using becomes room temperature you can change cloth and continue enjoying the cold sensation.

  • Mint: you knew it would come back, it’s such a versatile herb that not even an entire article could explain everything about it. This is a little bit more complex, but super effective

What: Boiling water, 5 green tea bags, 3 cups of fresh mint leaves, a soft cloth

How: Bring the water to boil, add the tea bags (cutting the strings and the tags) and the mint leaves, cover the pan and let everything sit for about an hour to get everything out. Strain and chill so that it is not burning hot when you apply to your skin (that would kind of defeat the purpose). When it’s nice and cold soak the cloth with it and apply to the burn.

These are the most effective ways to soothe the skin after a bad burn. Aloe gel is also very effective and I suggest you always have some in your bathroom, but if you find yourself desperate for something that will heal your sunburn, these are the easiest alternatives. I obviously recommend avoiding this situation and using sunscreen, but I know that this is not the first nor the last time I will end up with my shoulders on fire, so now at least I know what to do, and hopefully, you too.





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