Summer’s here and the time is right for sunburns, bee stings and bug bites. Although optimal skincare demands avoidance of the sun, even with proper protection, the skin could get sunburned in outdoor play. Tend to the skin with a few at-home remedies for sunburns, bites and stings.
Sunburn happens, even with the best sun protection. It usually occurs from not reapplying sunblock or wiping it off. If diligent use isn’t adhered to, sunburned skin is the result and it is painful. Martha Stewart has a skin-cooling soak to sooth a sunburn, however it isn’t immediate sunburn relief as the concoction needs to be prepared a day prior to use. Sunburn isn’t planned. But, if you are a fan of the DIY queen, then “combine a cup of powdered milk with 10 drops of lavender essential oil. Shake the ingredients in a jar and let sit for a day before pouring into lukewarm bath water.”
ActiveBeat put together a list of the “10 Best Treatments for Sunburns” with items that are found around the home or easily attainable.
- Oatmeal compress: Wrap ½ cup of dry oatmeal in a gauze and run under cool water. Apply to sunburn skin every few hours.
- Cold compress: Use a cloth soaked in cold water or wrapped around ice to cool the burn.
- Yogurt: Leave yogurt on the skin for five minutes and rinse in the shower.
- Witch Hazel: Apply a few drops on a towel, cotton ball or swab directly to sunburned skin.
- Baking soda bath: Take a cool or lukewarm bath with baking soda for temporary relief. Use on stings also, see below.
- Hydrocortisone cream: Use at least one percent hydrocortisone cream as a topical treatment to soothe sunburned skin.
- Apple cider vinegar: Use in bath water or on a cotton ball as an astringent.
- Teabags: Teabags reduce the swelling and pain on sunburned eyes.
- Aloe Vera gel: Either from the pharmacy or from a plant, Aloe Vera relieves and heals sunburn skin.
- Water: Sunburn dehydrates the skin and water helps to heal from the inside out, so drink up.
Bug bites and stings are par for the course during the summer. WholeLiving has outlined five natural remedies to soothe bug bites and stings using clay, baking soda, essential oils, plantain, and tobacco.
- Clay: Use a red or green powdered form of clay found in natural food stores and mix with a small amount of water or peppermint tea to create a paste. Apply directly to the bite or sting.
- Baking soda: Form a paste of water and baking soda and apply directly to bite or sting to relieve the itch. If you have multiple bites and/or stings, put a few tablespoons in the bath and soak for 15 minutes.
- Essential oils of lavender, peppermint or tea tree: Apply alone; mix with baking soda for increased effectiveness or use with honey for “additional disinfectant properties.”
- Plantain: Use this fresh or dried herb mixed with water and applied directly to infected area.
- Tobacco: Mix a small wad of loose tobacco with apple cider vinegar or water and apply directly to bite until the swelling is down.
While the above sunburn, bug bite and sting remedies are natural and effective summer skincare, the best way to treat is to prevent. Use sunblock, wear hats and sunglasses, dress in layers, apply sun protection and avoid direct sunlight when the sun is at its peak. Also, use bug repellant to avoid bites and stings. Try these all-natural bug repellants made from essential oils, water and vodka.