I actually don’t think I was sunburned in this photo, but since I am sitting outside, I probably was 5 minutes later. I have been a redhead on planet Earth for 26.5 years and still can’t go a single summer without roasting my skin to borderline poisonous proportions. I blame my whiter than white tractor-loving Dad and his “you do realize China OWNS us” and “subprime mortgages ruined America” values.
I’ve learned that the trick to wearing sunscreen is to apply it every 4 minutes, but that still doesn’t stop me from burning to a crisp every summer.
It wasn’t until last summer that I discovered the best way ever to get rid of a sunburn fast. Like, really fast. I’m talking “OH SHIT I AM A LOBSTER AND GETTING MARRIED TOMORROW HOW CAN I FIX THIS ASAP” fast.
If you’re fair-skinned like me and it’s inevitable that you will fry your skin all the way to next Friday at least once in the coming months, try these two easy and natural remedies.
1. Apple cider vinegar bath. OK I know, this sounds weird and stinky and like the last thing you’d want on freshly burned skin. However, I was really desperate last summer after getting charred at an outdoor event and would have eaten regurgitated cat food if it meant my sunburn would go away. Fortunately I didn’t have to do that.
Instead, fill your tub with lukewarm, coolish water (warm enough for comfort, cool enough that it won’t burn your skin) and add a cup or two of apple cider vinegar. Soak in this for 10-20 minutes to help calm swelling and take the edge off the pain. Gently pat your skin dry with a towel. The sooner you do this after getting burned, the quicker you will feel relief and start to heal. If you don’t want to soak in the bath, you can also spray a 50/50 solution of ACV and cool water on your burn, or soak a cloth in the solution and gently wipe yourself down.
2. Coconut oil. I’ve always used aloe on sunburned skin, which feels great but doesn’t really moisturize or prevent peeling. After last year’s apple cider vinegar bath, I rubbed a 50/50 solution of aloe and coconut oil all over my burned skin and noticed the redness going away in a couple hours. The next day it was almost completely gone and for the first time ever, there was NO peeling phase at all. I even had a slight “tan” left behind, which is shocking for someone whose legs are practically a mirror. Coconut oil works just as well on its own, I just like mixing it with aloe for the cooling sensation.
Of all the things I’ve used to get rid of a sunburn, these two remedies are definitely the fastest and most effective. Replenish from the inside with lots of water and electrolytes and you’ll be the fairest bitch in town again in no time.