Whenever you're outside, you should wear a sunscreen with at least an SPF 30 and reapply every 2 hours. With that said, even the most devoted sunblock wearers have slip-ups every now then and get burned. If you have a severe sunburn (a burn that has caused blisters, nausea, or extreme pain), head to the doctor. But for minor sunburns, try a few of these sunburn hacks to help soothe pain and itchiness and also help prevent your skin from peeling.
1. Apply cold yogurt on your burn for 10 minutes to help your sunburned skin heal.
Pick up a cold plain yogurt, which contains a lot of probiotics that will help restore your skin's natural barrier, and spread a thin layer over your sunburn. Let the yogurt sit for about 10 minutes, and then gently dab it off with a cold rag.
2. Sprinkle cornstarch on yourself or your sheets to ease the pain while sleeping.
When you have a terrible sunburn, even lying down on your sheets at night hurts. Dust a bit of cornstarch on your body or sprinkle it on your sheets before heading to bed to create a barrier between the fabric and your skin and to help minimize the painful friction.
3. Take an oatmeal bath to soothe itchy skin.
Grind a cup of old-fashioned oatmeal in the blender or food processor and pour the oatmeal grinds in a bath full of warm water before getting in. The oatmeal will help calm any inflammation and soothe itchy skin.
4. Spread a thin layer of raw honey on the affected area to help reduce infection.
Raw honey, a natural antiseptic, can help heal damaged skin. Carefully spread it on the area, cover it with gauze, and let it sit.
5. Lather your skin with a milk-based lotion on your sunburn to keep your skin moisturized.
The fats and protein in milk can soothe a sunburn by creating a protective film over the skin, but if you're not into the idea of soaking your body in a bath full of milk, try a milk-based lotion instead. A couple of days after getting sunburned, your skin will start to dry out, which can lead to irritation and cause the skin to peel. It's important to keep your skin hydrated during this period and the use of a milk-based body lotion is a good way to do so.
6. Wear loose clothing while your skin is healing.
Tight clothes can irritate sunburned skin, so if you have to head back to the office after a long weekend in the sun and don't want to exacerbate your itchy issue, wear loose-fitting clothing to let your skin breathe and help it heal faster.
7. Chill your aloe vera gel in the refrigerator or a bucket of ice before applying it to bring down your skin's temperature and help prevent your skin from peeling.
One of the best remedies for a sunburn is to lather your skin with aloe vera gel, and a way to make it feel even better is to chill it beforehand to instantly ease some of the painful heat.
8. Pour aloe vera gel into an ice cube tray and freeze it overnight to make extra-soothing aloe cubes.
Take your aloe vera chilling a step further and freeze the gel into ice cubes overnight for a super-cooling sensation that will also help reduce the swelling. Either wrap the cubes in a thin towel or wait for the cubes to melt a little before placing on your burn (you shouldn't put frozen things directly on a burn).
9. Soak a small washcloth in a pot of cooled black tea and dab it on your sunburn to relieve some of the sting.
This tip is great if you're traveling and can't bring an entire bottle of aloe vera with you on the airplane. Instead, pack some black tea bags or grab some of the free ones that hotels usually offer, and make your own sunburn remedy. To do so, brew a batch with several tea bags and set it aside to cool. Once it's a comfortable temperature, soak a washcloth in the concentrated tea and lightly pat the rag over your sunburn. The tea will help bring the heat out of the burn and alleviate painful stinging.
10. Crush aspirin into a powder and add a bit of water to create an anti-inflammatory paste.
Crush a few aspirin tablets, which will help reduce inflammation, and add the powder to a bit of water to create a paste-like texture. Spread the mixture on top of your burn, and gently rinse it off after a few minutes.
11. Lay a baby wipe on top of your sunburn to temporarily cool the area.
Take a baby wipe and place it on top of the burned area. Baby wipes are gentle on skin and can temporarily cool a sunburn.
12. Drink lots of water and take ibuprofen as soon as you realize you have a sunburn to reduce the pain and swelling.
Your body can lose a lot of water when your skin is sunburned, so drink up and take the recommended dosage of ibuprofen for the first 48 hours to reduce swelling and redness.
13. Add a bit of baking soda to lukewarm bathwater to soothe uncomfortable skin.
Sprinkle baking soda into a tub of warm bath water, and soak for a few minutes. The baking soda, which has a higher pH, will help balance the lower pH level of your sunburned skin and will help relieve the uncomfortable feeling.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.