I am – even if I say so myself – a bit of an expert in sunburn remedies and sunburn relief as I have had to learn over the years to deal regularly with severe sunburn, blisters and peeling.
I am actually super careful in the sun but I have the palest of peelie-wallie Scottish / Irish skin and have lost lots of my pigment to vitiligo so I get sunburned very easily. And when I do get sunburned it is bad sunburn with blisters.
Over the years I’ve tried all sorts of sunburn remedies and sunburn relief treatments and found some surprising natural remedies that bring much more quick relief – and stop blisters better – than any of the after sun products I’ve ever bought including on the delicate skin on our face.
So I’ve put together for you a list of my best homemade sunburn remedies that give instant sunburn relief and treat blisters.
I really hope they help you treat your sunburn effectively. For more tips do check out my other simple natural remedies.
12 Natural DIY Sunburn Remedies
Treating sunburn quickly involves three basic steps:
- Cooling the sunburn
- Calming sunburn inflammation
- Preventing & treating sunburn blisters and preventing infection
How To Cool Sunburn
The first thing we need to do to treat sunburn quickly is to cool the skin effectively to stop it from burning. As with all burns, tepid to cool water is the answer. Submerge the burn – or bathe it – for as least five to 10 minutes.
It’s really important NOT to use cold water.
If you’re at home, the single best thing to do is get into a cool to tepid bath containing some of the anti-inflammatories I’ll take you through below. If that’s not possible just get some cool – not cold – water on the sunburn fast.
Calming Sunburn Inflammation
Inflammation is actually our body’s way of protecting itself but sometimes with things like sunburn and mosquito bites our bodies over react, so as well as cooling the sunburn we want to calm the inflammation.
The best, quick remedy I have found to calm sunburn inflammation and relieve really painful, bad sunburn is to add oats to your cool bath.
Oat Bath For Sunburn
I absolutely swear by an oat bath for sunburn and only wish I had discovered it earlier. If you have access to a blender:
- Grind a small cup of oats (any kind)
- Then blend well with a cup or so of water
- To make an oat milk
- Then add the milk to your cool bath
If you don’t have access to a blender just chuck a few handfuls of oats in the bath. It won’t be as effective but it will help.
You can also add anti-inflammatory herbs to your oat bath.
Herbs That Calm Sunburn Inflammation
A number of common herbs are natural anti inflammatory anti-histamines and have natural antibiotic powers that can help prevent infection. So try adding all or any of these herbs – dry or fresh – to the bath:
- Thyme : it is easy to grow thyme from cuttings
- Oregano : it is also very easy to grow oregano from cuttings.
- Rosemary : and you can also grow rosemary from cuttings
Some people recommend essential oils for sunburn but I have to confess I’m a bit sceptical and prefer to use the real thing.
If you don’t have access to oats or a bath, these other natural remedies can provide quick relief for sunburn inflammation.
Other Quick Natural Sunburn Remedies
Aloe vera is very commonly recommended as a natural remedy for sunburn and I do think it can help, but not always.
If you haven’t cooled the skin effectively – as above – I’ve found it can actually make the burn sting as much as chemical after suns lotions. I would only apply to a very small area first to see how you react.
I’ve found that these common natural ingredients in our fridge which are all natural antihistamines give me more quick relief and better help prevent peeling as they all provide a moisture that can be easily absorbed by our skin:
- Natural, sugar free yoghurt
- Coconut oil
- Natural yoghurt blended with cucumber
The last one sounds a bit weird but it also really helped me with heartburn and reflux from an inflamed stomach.
OK so we’ve cooled our sunburn and calmed the inflammation but what about really bad sunburn going into blisters?
Well – from my lifelong battles with the sun – I’ve got two amazing quick natural remedies that can prevent blisters on bad burns and prevent blisters getting infected. One of them I warn you is weird but it works!!
Preventing Sunburn Blisters
The two best quick ways I’ve found to prevent sunburn blisters are:
- Natural honey
- And raw potato
I have to confess I don’t know the exact science of why potato helps treat bad sunburn – and in fact other burns – but in my experience it truly can prevent blistering of bad burns.
To use these natural sunburn treatments:
- apply a small amount of natural honey to the cooled burn under a cloth dressing and leave over night
- simply hold slices of raw potato on badly burned areas, including the face for instant relief or grate the raw potato and squidge it into a sort of poultice and hold it on the burn or like the honey apply under cloth dressing to hold it on.
Both of these natural treatments for sunburn blisters sound messy but they are unbelievably powerful. I once – accidentally!! – poured hot oil all over my hand and was able to prevent any blistering by cooling in tepid water and then applying a raw potato poultice!!
So there you go 12 natural remedies for quick relief from bad sunburn including peeling and blisters. I really hope they help. Please do share them if they do.
For more health tips do check out all my other natural remedies that cover:
- Coughs & Colds
- Gut Health
- Pregnancy & Babies
- Common Childhood Ailments including lice, worms & verrucas
- Menstrual Cycle Problems
- Sleep Remedies