Natural Sunburn Relief Tips from Seed
My 25 year background in skin care has shown me just how important protecting our skin from UVA and UVB rays truly is. I practice what I preach. I wear sunscreen. I moisturize. I remove my makeup at night.
I am human, though, and I make mistakes. Yesterday was one of those days. It was unusually hot here. I finished up my work after lunch and noticed that the outside temperature was 96 degrees. I was skimming the pool and made sure to put on more sunscreen before jumping in.
I was so comfortable just floating on my raft. Floating around just relaxing felt so good! I planned to be in the water for about an hour when my 14 year old jumped in. We had a blast playing baseball with a beach ball and pool noodle, making a whirlpool, and playing games. If you have a teenager, you will understand what a treat it is to enjoy one on one time just having fun with that child who normally would rather be doing something else. This extra time together during the pandemic has been a gift, because there is much more family time. We had so much fun — and before I knew it, I had been in the water for nearly three hours.
I was careful to reapply my sunscreen everywhere — but I neglected my back. And boy did I learn my lesson. I now have a blistering sunburn on about 40% of my back and it is incredibly painful. In addition to being concerned about the potential for lasting damage and cellular changes done to my skin, I am finding it hard to get comfortable. This was preventable, though.
I cannot change yesterday’s mistake, but I can help alleviate the pain and I thought I would share how you can, too, should you finding yourself in need of some sunburn relief.
What is a sunburn?
This seems pretty self explanatory, doesn’t it? We all understand the term “sunburn.” A sunburn is an inflammation of the skin that is caused by excess exposure of UV rays. Sunlight is the main offender of sunburn, but artificial sun lamps like those found in tanning beds is another. This excess exposure is greater than your skin can handle, so it tried to protect itself by producing melanin.
Those with fair skin (that would be me) tend to be more vulnerable, but those with dark skin tones also need protection. Anyone is susceptible to sunburn. Those with fair skin tend to burn much faster, but it is so important to remember that UVA and UVB rays can cause skin damage to everyone.
Sunburns can range from mild to blistering and it can take a good 24 hours for the full effects to be apparent. My skin was pretty pink by dinnertime last night. At bedtime, it was really sore and a deep pink, and by morning, I had blisters. Pain & redness are not the only symptoms of a sunburn.
- Swelling and tenderness
- Skin color becomes pink or red
- Fluid-filled blisters
- Skin may feel hot to the touch
- Severe sunburns can cause fever, nausea, and a feeling of fatigue
Natural Sunburn Relief
I know that most people think about applying aloe vera gel to their sunburns. This is one possible remedy. I actually have found others that I find more helpful.
I brew black tea, let it chill, and put it into a spray bottle. You can spritz this on the skin or apply on a washcloth like a compress. Why? The tannins that are found in tea help reduce inflammation. Tannic also is also believed to be helpful for minor burns.
For me, Lavender is the best sunburn remedy. Let’s talk about Lavandula Angustilfolia, or Lavender Essential Oil. It is one of the most commonly known essential oils and also one of the most versatile. It is also one of the most well-researched oils in terms of its myriad benefits.
We often associate Lavender Essential Oil with being a relaxing, stress relieving oil. It soothes our senses. While Lavender Essential Oil does have these benefits, there are others that we often do not hear as much about. One of these is its ability to soothe burns.
Several credible studies have shown that Lavender Essential Oil promotes in wound healing. In fact, when Lavender is applied topically to wounds, they tend to heal faster.
According to a study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, there are two constituents of Lavender Essential Oil, linalool and linalyl acetate, which act as a local anesthetic.
- Lavender is anti-inflammatory
- Lavender may act as a pain reliever
- Lavender may help speed wound recovery
- Lavender may help promote skin tissue healing
How to use Lavender to alleviate the symptoms of sunburn
I mentioned earlier how soothing to the skin lavender can be when applied topically. Here at Seed, we use 100% pure Lavandula Angustifola in our lavender products. Did you know that some companies use lavender fragrance oil and not REAL lavender? It's true. Be sure you are getting the real deal.
Something that I personally have found helpful is to take a cool bath with our Lavender Sage Body Wash. It is ultra gentle and creamy and feels so good against the sunburn. In addition to the skin soothing lavender, you will be able to enjoy the cooling and anti-inflammatory benefits of Clary Sage Essential Oil.
You can also spritz on some skin soothing goodness with our Lavender Sage Body Oil. Step out of your cooling bath and you can gently spritz this on to your skin.
I also recommended using our Lavender Sage Body Lotion to help nourish your skin. This is especially important when you have a sunburn. Your skin needs that moisture and you may also find that this helps lessen your peeling. This lotion is formulated with shea butter, green tea, and other skin-pampering ingredients to help keep your skin soft, smooth, and feeling soothed.
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