The dragon boating and junk season is officially starting in Hong Kong! There's nothing like getting out and catching some rays now that the sun is finally out, but those intense training sessions and 9 hour junk trips can and often do result in severe and painful sunburns.
Here are three very simple, all natural sunburn remedies to apply at home. You're bound to have the ingredients for at least one of these already in your fridge!
1. Oatmeal Gauze
Oatmeal is a delicious food that can also be used as an excellent way to soothe serious sunburns. Its light texture, gentle touch, and natural healing abilities make it invaluable as an all-natural sunburn treatment method. Creating a simple gauze out of oatmeal by following these simple steps:
• Use slow-cook oatmeal, rather than instant, as these are all-natural• Lay out a strip of gauze and place the oatmeal on top• Wrap the oatmeal in the gauze, completely trapping it inside• Hold the gauze under a faucet running cool (but not cold) water• Collect the water that gathers after running through the gauze in a small container• Soak a compress in that liquid after throwing away the gauze• Apply the compress directly to the sunburn for 10-15 minutes• Repeat as necessary every two hours or so
This compress will help alleviate the pain of the burn and promote natural healing. It will also add vital vitamins and nutrients to your skin to accelerate the healing process even further.
2. Skim Milk Compress
Making a compress out of skim milk gives your skin access to important vitamins and minerals, including protein and calcium. These natural items promote skin health and reduce the pain and injury caused by sun burn. Make a skim milk compress by following this process:
• Pour one cup of your milk in a pan• Add another four cups of water• Stir in a handful of ice cubes• Soak your compress in this mixture• Apply the compress to your sunburn for 15-20 minutes• Remake your solution, if necessary, and re-apply after two hours
You want to use skim or fat-free milk because it will give you a higher concentration of the vital vitamins and nutrients you obtain from milk. However, you can use two-percent or regular milk in a pinch.
3. Boiled Lettuce Leaves
While oatmeal and milk make a lot of sense as an all-natural sunburn compress, lettuce might surprise you! However, lettuce actually contains plenty of vitamins and minerals and is usually less expensive to purchase than oatmeal or milk. Making a compress out of lettuce leafs takes a little more work than the other compresses, but not much:
• Boil water in a medium-sized pain• Place five lettuce leaves in the water• Wait for about five minutes and remove from heat• Cool the mixture in the fridge for three hours• Carefully dip cotton balls in the cooled liquid• Press the cotton directly to your sunburned skin
You can also soak a wash rag in this solution and apply it to your skin for a similar effect. It all depends on the severity of your sunburn and how intense you make your solution. Weaker solutions should use cotton balls, as they absorb more liquid than wash rags.
Don't forget to use only the gentlest skin care afterwards on your delicate, sunburnt skin. Most soap, shampoos, and bubble bath solution are filled with chemicals that can dry your skin and irritate your sunburn. Try to avoid them when treating your sun burn and instead take a bath in cool water and rinse yourself with a rag to stay clean - or use all natural body care products =)! Make sure to avoid scrubbing your skin, as this will only cause more pain and irritation. Air drying may be necessary in this situation, as well, because towels can further irritate your skin.
Sunburns don't have to derail your summer. Using these simple remedies and avoiding irritating your skin can get you back out in the sun in no time at all - but don't forget to keep reapplying your sunscreen!