10 Sunburn Remedies That Actually Work | Soothe Sunburn Fast

February 26, 2024

Sunburn Remedies

There is no better way to spend your days in the great outdoors, whether you are hiking up a mountain or lounging on the beach. While you are enjoying long hours outside, though, your skin is at risk of getting sunburned. Fortunately, you can keep the good times rolling with these home remedies for sunburns.

Close-up of a sunburn marks on a woman's back

How to Soothe a Sunburn

Whether you notice the redness or the pain first, you should work quickly to limit the symptoms of your sunburn. Here are a few things you can do to soothe a sunburn.

Get Out of the Sun

Find some shade as soon as you start to see the redness or feel the heat from your burn. You want to protect your skin as quickly as possible to prevent any more harm to your body. If there aren’t any tall trees nearby, use an umbrella, a towel or anything else that will provide the cover you need.

Drink Water

Drinking water is one of the best things to do when you first develop a sunburn. Since sunburns transfer fluids from your body to your skin, you’re more susceptible to becoming dehydrated. Drinking extra water during the height of your sunburn and for the days after can help you replenish liquids and help your body heal more quickly.

Hop in a Cold Shower or Bath

If you can withstand a frosty chill for a few minutes, take a cold shower or bath. The cold water will work wonders to decrease your body temperature and reduce inflammation. A couple of minutes is all you need — more than that may cause your skin to dry out. If you aren’t a fan of cold showers, you can swap them out for cold compresses or bags of ice to cool the burn.

Apply Aloe

Aloe is a tried-and-true remedy that will soothe your sunburn almost instantaneously. This succulent is known for its moisturizing, cooling and anti-inflammatory effects, providing the much-needed relief you are after. Gently lather it on your burns and let it dry so that your skin can soak up all of its qualities.

If you are prone to sunburns, keeping a stash around the house or in your travel bags might be beneficial to stay prepared. You can easily find aloe gels in most stores. You might also want to purchase it in plant form, breaking off a leaf and squeezing the healing gel right onto your skin. Plus, these plants look great sitting on tables or hanging as decorations in your home!

Take Medicine

If you think you have spent too much time in the sun without sunscreen, you may want to take aspirin or ibuprofen. These pain relievers can help to minimize the swelling, redness and sting of the sunburn. The key to using these over-the-counter medications is starting as early as possible to limit your reaction, even if you don’t see any redness.

Woman's shoulder with sunscreen  lotion in shape of sun.

Get Creative

Unfortunately, your sunburn is here to stay for a couple of days at least. If the traditional sunburn remedies aren’t doing the trick or you want to find a way to soothe your sunburn without aloe, you can always try some of the following strategies.


While you’re brewing your morning tea, make sure to set aside some of your brew for your burn. Black tea has been a go-to home remedy solution for a long time, proving extremely useful in healing inflamed and damaged skin. The tannins from the black tea can aid in reducing the pain and the heat, helping you get back to feeling your best in no time. All you have to do is soak some tea bags in cold water. Steeping the teabags for two to five minutes should do the trick. Once they are ready, you can place the bags onto the sunburned areas or soak a washcloth in the water to pat the solution on your skin.


If you’ve ever been to a spa and been given cucumbers, you know the powerful analgesic effect they provide. Although, instead of placing them on your eyes, you can use them on your sunburn for much-needed comfort. They’re loaded with antioxidants and minerals like silica, potassium and magnesium — perfect for treating irritated skin.

You can put your fresh produce to work in a couple of different ways. If you want to ease your discomfort quickly, you can slice your cucumber up like you would for your summer salad and throw the pieces on your burn. After a couple of minutes, flip them like a burger to keep things cool.

If you want a solution that lasts a bit longer, you can create a cucumber puree with a blender and some aloe vera. Slather it on your shoulders, arms, legs or any other sunburned area and wait for the cukes to work their magic.

Baking Soda

Alleviate the pesky itching sensation with an accessible product stored in your cupboards. As your sunburn progresses, there’s a good chance it might start to peel — and get itchy. Baking soda is an alkaline substance with antiseptic qualities that will realign your skin’s pH balance, reduce puffiness and dampen the need to itch.

Fill your bathtub with some cool water and throw in a couple of spoonfuls of baking soda. You’ll want to soak in this mixture for 15 to 20 minutes. After you climb out, let your body air dry for a couple of minutes to give the baking soda time to absorb further into your skin. If you aren’t a fan of baths, mix some baking soda with water in a bowl to create a paste you can rub over your sunburn.


You might not think about rummaging through your fridge after spending all day in the sun, but it could save your skin. Plain yogurt is chock full of useful enzymes, probiotics and lactic acid that will exfoliate your skin and decrease the appearance of blistering. Unflavored Greek yogurt is your best option since it isn’t filled with sticky sugar or fruit flavoring that could further bother your skin.

Apply a heap of chilled yogurt all over your sunburns, sit back and enjoy an uninterrupted pain-free relaxation. Leave it on for five to 15 minutes before washing it off with room-temperature water. If this method soothes your sunburn, try reapplying yogurt every two to four hours to minimize burn effects.


Oatmeal is for more than just delicious desserts or hearty breakfasts. It is also a fantastic solution to provide you with exceptional burn relief. This home sunburn remedy will trap moisture to hydrate your skin, which is crucial to minimize any peeling or dry and flaky skin. Different types of oatmeal exist, but finely ground colloidal oatmeal is the perfect type to relieve rosy, stinging skin. It’s brimming with anti-inflammatory properties, creating a protective layer around your skin to promote repair.

With regular rolled oats, blend about a cup until you have a fine powder. You can create a paste by adding milk and honey, or you can pour the oatmeal powder into a bathtub with lukewarm water. Whichever method you choose, you should let the solution sit on your skin for around 20 minutes to receive the full effects of the oatmeal.

A micrographic showing creative sunburn remedies. The remedies are tea, cucumbers, baking soda, yogurt, and oatmeal.

Book a Sunny Vacation With Kampgrounds of America

Of course, prevention by using sunscreen is always the best remedy for a sunburn. However, with these tips and tricks in your back pocket, you will have the confidence to enjoy some much-needed fun in the sun. If you are looking for a vacation destination in North America, KOA is ready to help. We have over 500 locations across the United States and Canada, providing uninterrupted access to virtually any environment you have been dreaming about.

Find a campground and book your stay with us today!

About the Author: Kampgrounds of America

Kampgrounds of America is the largest system of open-to-the-public campgrounds in the world, with over 500 locations across the United States and Canada. Founded in Billings, MT in 1962, KOA’s family of campground brands – KOA Journey, KOA Holiday and KOA Resort – today serve more than a million camping families each year. KOA is dedicated to “connecting people to the outdoors and each other” by providing people with a variety of camping experiences and the information they need to make the most of their camping trip. Read more of their camping and travel resources by visiting

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