The summer months are a time for swimming, outdoor activities, days at the beach — and sunburns. If you forgot to thoroughly apply sunblock before a day outside in full sun exposure, you're likely to find yourself with a painful, red, itchy burn. Fortunately, there are a number of effective home remedies for relieving uncomfortable sunburns. Vitamin E oil, for example, can be used to treat the affected area and help heal the skin.
How to Use
Vitamin E oil is generally sold in gel-capsule form, with the capsule protecting the oil inside. Prick a vitamin E oil capsule open with a pin and squeeze the oil onto the affected area of skin. Work the oil into your skin gently, being sure to thoroughly cover the entire area. You can also eat vitamin E oil to help heal your body from the inside out, as, when ingested, it will reduce inflammation and skin damage. The recommended dosage is five capsule per day for one to two days; consult your doctor before taking supplements of any kind.
Why It Works
The reason sunburns are so damaging to your skin is because exposure to ultraviolet rays produces free radicals in your body. Free radicals are unstable molecules that steal electrons from your healthier molecules to stabilize themselves. Antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, provide electrons to free radicals, saving your healthy molecules from becoming depleted, MotherNature.com explains. Ingesting antioxidants is helpful, but to protect your skin, a topical application is more effective.
Vitamin E oil isn't the only home remedy that can provide relief from a painful sunburn. Two cups of apple cider vinegar added to a warm bath will soothe large areas of sunburned skin by helping to balance the skin's pH factor. A 1/4 cup of baking soda can also be added to a bath if you don't have apple cider vinegar. Yogurt is another topical skin healer. Make a compress using yogurt and cheese cloth and apply it to the affected area. Aloe vera is another soothing skin cure; a small amount of lavender oil will take the sting out of a sunburn and promote healing, according to Botanical.com.
A single bad sunburn is usually enough encouragement to take good care of your skin the next time you find yourself planning a day outdoors. Always apply sunblock with a high SPF rating that offers full-spectrum protections against both UVA and UVB rays. Reapply sunblock every hour, more often when swimming. Be sure to use waterproof sunblock for days when you'll be swimming.