Natural Relief for Sunburn

Winter is officially over and I am sporting a mean farmer’s tan. Truth be told, I was sporting a super bright red sunburn, with blisters even, for a few days. Sigh. It’s been a long winter for my pale skin.

When I was a kid, I remember sunburn being so awful. I also remember being sprayed down with Solarcaine. Then there was the miserable night of trying to sleep with stiff, hot skin. 

Natural Relief for Sunburn

Typically, I ease my family out into the sun as summer comes along and just avoid the hottest times of the day. However, it was SO nice out and it didn’t feel that HOT. Yikes. I was wrong. Thankfully, the kids escaped the sunburn, leaving me with some red stripes.

When I realized just how red I was, I went for a few go to’s and was impressed about how well they worked. Not only was I able to sleep, most of the sunburn didn’t hurt, other than a spot on my neck which seemed to be the worst part.

Now, three days later, I don’t look red and I’m not peeling. I strongly believe the herbs, oils and salve did the trick .

Natural relief for Sunburn!
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1.) The first thing I did was mix some lavender essential oil with aloe gel and applied a THICK layer on the skin that was burned. I did this a few times through the evening until I had time to take a shower. This helped the skin from becoming stiff and also the lavender brought pain relief.

2.) After getting the kids in bed and the house taken care of, I decided I need to take a bath to soak my burn a bit. (You want to make sure you are not using hot water!!) Plantain is a soothing herb we often use for wounds here. It is also great for burns.

I decided to make a ‘tea’ bath and add lots of plantain. You can make a very strong batch of ‘tea’ in a large pan using fresh or dried plantain, making it nice and strong, then pour it in your bath. (Be warned, it looks a bit like swamp water)

Another option is to add dried and powdered plantain to your tub of water. This is what I did as I accidentally ordered powered plantain. It works very well, but makes your tub messy. (I like to order dried herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs.)

Natural Relief for Sunburn

I couldn’t believe how soothing this was to my skin. When I got out of the tub, my skin wasn’t hot or tight.

3.) After my bath, I let my self air dry as there was no way I was going to rub a rough towel over my burn! Yikes!

When I was dry, I slathered a thick coat of salve on my skin. If you don’t have an herbal salve handy, I’d put on a layer of coconut oil.

While I can’t say that I wasn’t a bit uncomfortable in a few spots, overall, I slept great and the next morning my burn was remarkable better.

I did this process again the next day and now, my sunburn looks much better, with no peeling. (Even where a few of the small blisters were)

I can’t say I recommend running out to get a burn because the best way to get relief from sunburn is to prevent it, but this process helped the healing of my skin.

What are your favorite remedies for sunburn relief? 



This is post is linked at Raia’s Recipes for Savoring Saturdays and Natural Family Today for Natural Family Friday.




*For the record, my thoughts and advice are only my experiences or what others have allowed me to share. We don’t claim to diagnose, treat or cure.*


  1. says

    My go-to sunburn relief has always been fresh aloe (or gel if I don’t have my plant handy). I like the idea of adding lavender oil to the gel. Thanks for sharing these ideas, and I will share this with my readers on Facebook at Refocus on Being! I look forward to reading more from you :)

  2. says

    I use coconut oil and at times I use colloidal silver. They both have a natural cooling effect. My neighbor has an aloe plant so I can always grab a piece here and there. Great tips. Pinning and sharing. =)

  3. says

    I remember as a kid, after the first day of the public pool being opened, we would all end up as lobsters. My mother would grab her huge jar of Noxzema and slather us all down with it. Of course, nowadays, I use lots of aloe…and do my best to NOT get burned~ (like that’s going to NOT happen with gardening and such!)

  4. says

    So needed this – I got a sunburn this past weekend! I used lavender oil, as well as coconut oil after and it’s seemed to have worked.

  5. says

    Years ago when I was a child, my grandfather would go to the garden and pick a tomato, slice it and rub the end pieces over my sunburn. You need to let the seeds and juice dry, then when it is dry take a cool damp cloth and remove the tomato from you shoulders. This is for those who don’t have aloe plants or other kind of creams on hand. Sounds weird, but it does work.

  6. Amy says

    Raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar is also great for sunburns. I soak a wash cloth in it and dab the burn. Helps relieve the burning and stinging. Milk also works too.

    • says

      Hi Amy! Now that you said that, I remember someone saying milk worked for a burn. :) I’ll have to try ACV sometimes, I always have that around.

  7. says

    My forumla for my sunburn instant relief cooling mist is saving my life already this summer. I mix aloe gel, witch hazel, peppermint & lavender essential oils in a small spray bottle and fill the rest with water, spray on burn for instant cooling relief. Aloe soothes and heals, as does lavender and witch hazel. The peppermint provides an instant cooling relief on hot burned skin.

  8. says

    I love this sunburn relief spray:

    1 part dried calendula flowers
    1 part dried marshmallow root
    1 ounce organic aloe vera gel
    12 drops lavender essential oil
    Cold water

    Combine in a spray bottle, shake, and spray as needed.

  9. says

    I’ve always used aloe and was happy to learn about other remedies like lavender. I’m not so sure about the plantain bath if it looks like a swamp! But, I guess it all depends on how bad the sunburn is… :)


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