So you slathered on sunblock, but somehow, someone in your family still baked like a lobster? Try these 10 great remedies for soothing a sunburn, all recommended by our readers. Many of them require only ingredients you already have somewhere in your home.
1. Aloe Vera Gel
Well known as a skin soother, aloe is one of the most commonly recommended and effective sunburn remedies. "Aloe, aloe, aloe, and more aloe," Jennifer M. recommends, and Kellie T. agrees, "Aloe vera gel would be the best!"
Vinegar for sunburn? Absolutely! Numerous readers recommend applying a vinegar-soaked cloth (often apple-cider vinegar) to sunburned skin to ease the heat and sting. As Jodi K. shares: "I swear by vinegar! I know it sounds nasty and painful, but every time I've gotten a sunburn, I dab on white vinegar with a washcloth. It takes the sting off the burn — the heat of the burn — right out of your skin! It will also keep you from blistering or peeling if you haven't already. Seriously, give it a try!"
Oatmeal is an easy at-home remedy for sunburn, as Cara S. shares: "When my husband had a really bad sunburn, I sponged him down with a washcloth filled with oatmeal. The oatmeal soothed the pain and stopped the itch." Rori C. adds, "If you have any Aveeno Oatmeal Bath packets on hand, those are great."
4. Vitamin E
"You might want to try some vitamin E," recommends Jessica K., one of several moms who advised that vitamin E in various forms can aid your skin's healing process. Either pop open a vitamin E gelcap and apply it to the area, or find a cream with vitamin E at the drugstore.
5. Baking Soda
Yet another of baking soda's many household uses is relieving itchy skin caused by a sunburn. Corena U. relays, "A bath with baking soda and/or [a] cold shower can be helpful when the itching starts."
Who knew that your favorite cheap snack could double as a sunburn soother? Elaine E. explains: "Plaster it on, and let it dry, and then wash off with warm water. The yogurt draws the heat of the burn. It does work, and it's cheaper than lotions."
"I found Noxzema works the best for sunburns," says Iris H., one of many moms who recommend this trusty face cream for sunburn relief. "Just put it on, and let it dry, wash it off, and do it again," advises Ashleigh L. "It saved me from second-degree sunburn when nothing else would."
Cornstarch is yet another sunburn remedy you probably have right in your cupboard. "Cornstarch feels great on sunburned skin," shares Jenna B. "It dries the moisture [and also] cools it and soothes it."
Another natural remedy for sunburn is cucumber. As Bethany E. advises: "Keep a cucumber in the fridge, and keep slicing bits off and smoothing over your burns with the cool slices. Get some more once it warms up."
10. Pain Reliever
If you or your child is badly burned, you may want to supplement other natural remedies with a pain reliever for more comfort. Dawn K. advises, "Give her some Tylenol or Motrin to help her pain at bedtime, so she can sleep."