Health Education

The 10 Best Sunburn Remedies We’ve Ever Heard of

SingleCare Logo for author page By | August 10, 2015

Everyone has experienced sunburn at one time or another — and found themselves desperately searching for relief from the discomfort and pain. Read on for ten effective remedies to get you feeling better in no time.

It’s happened to all of us: you were careful to put on plenty of sunscreen when you got to the beach, but after a long day of relaxing in the sun, you get home and quickly realize you missed a few spots. The next thing you know, your skin is peeling and it hurts just to lie down.

Even the most careful person occasionally stays out in the sun for too long. Fortunately, there are ways to relieve your sunburn at home. Here are ten wallet-friendly methods to cure your pain without leaving the house.

1. Water

Water falling into a glass.
Marc Wellekötter/flickr

While it may be your skin that feels dry, it’s easy to forget that sunburn dehydrates the rest of your body as well. Drinking plenty of water is the most overlooked (and most important) thing you can do after the sun has done its worst. While stocking up on water, avoid liquids that dehydrate, like alcohol.

2. Apply a Damp Cool Towel to Your Sunburn

Doing this for ten minutes every couple of hours will lower the temperature of your skin. It will also reduce the burning sensation that results from too much fun in the sun.

3. Aloe Vera Ice Cubes

Some people freeze Aloe Vera and apply it directly to the skin to both soothe and cool their sunburn. To learn this nifty trick and try it out the next time you’re feeling fried, check out this handy wikihow article.

4. Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel is an underrated over-the-counter remedy that can be found at most grocery stores. When applied to the skin, it relieves irritation, reduces inflammation, and lowers your risk of infection.

5. Cold Milk

Guy Montag/flickr
Guy Montag/flickr

If you’re looking for a quick sunburn cure without running to the pharmacy, dip a towel or compress into milk and rest it on your sunburn. This home remedy will lessen the temperature of the burn, while the protein in the milk will create a protective layer around the damaged skin.

6. Oatmeal Bath

An oatmeal bath is a great and natural way to treat your damaged skin, according to Pop Sugar. A quick bath in a tub of oatmeal and water for ten minutes is enough to feel the mixture’s cooling effects. Also, make sure the bath water is cool or warm, and not hot. Now, about the cleanup…

7. Yogurt


Used up all the milk? Other tricks may be hiding in your fridge. While yogurt is obviously a tasty, healthy treat, it can also be a used as an instant salve for sunburn, as Sprouting Healthy Habits reports. With all of its healthy bacteria, calcium, protein, and zinc, rubbing yogurt onto your skin several times a day can bring relief.

8. Baking Soda

If you have some baking soda sitting around your house, try spreading some on the tender area before spending any money on other treatments, as Discovery Health Journal advises. Baking soda, when combined with water to make a paste-like substance, has a cooling effect and can help to draw heat out of the burn.

9. Cucumber

A sliced cucumber.
Karen and Brad Emerson/flickr


Back to the fridge for cucumbers! They’re not just for spa facials and infused water: many people swear by cucumbers as a remedy for sunburn. These “cool” vegetables provide immediate relief for irritated skin when applied directly.

10. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever

If you’re really feeling the burn, any NSAID (Ibuprofen, Advil, Tylenol, etc.) will not only lower your discomfort, but reduce inflammation, making it that much easier for your red-hot skin to recover.

These at-home remedies should relieve your sunburn in a matter of days. However, if you’re suffering from a fever, chills, or intense pain, the best thing to do is to call a doctor. If you’re uninsured or worried about high out-of-pocket costs, look to SingleCare as a resource for affordable treatment.

SingleCare lets you shop for the specific procedure you need without paying a single cent until you’ve been treated. By pre-negotiating rates with partnered doctors, SingleCare provides its members access to savings of up to 50% per procedure.

Don’t let your health plan keep you in fear of summer fun — if your sunscreen doesn’t have you covered, SingleCare will.