Guest Post: Summer Sunburns

Kate Tietje August 10, 2011

Guest Post by Kara of The Primal Home

Summer is now in full swing and we’re all out playing, working in the garden and soaking up the vitamin D. However a summer day can quickly become unpleasant if you’ve stayed out too long and develop a sunburn.

While you’re out enjoying the sunlight remember to monitor your skin. If you turn slightly pink or feel a burning sensation it’s time to cover up or head inside.

Many people are reporting that they don’t burn as easily when they improve their diet, myself included, although there are no studies to confirm this. Be sure you are eating real, whole food and you should see improvement not just in your skin but your whole body.

If you do get a sunburn here are some simple home remedies you can try:


Aloe is probably the most common sunburn remedy. Split one of the fatter long green leaves in half lengthwise and collect the gel to spread over the sunburn. You can also place the split leaf directly on the burn or buy the gel at a natural food store. Aloe relieves pain and inflammation.


Vinegar prevents blisters and peeling. It will also remove the sting but beware it’s a bit stinky! Apply by making a cooling compress or add 1/2 cup to the bathwater.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is cooling and will help the skin retain moisture. Dissolve in water to make a compress or add 1/2 cup to bathwater.


The fat content of milk is soothing to sunburns so be sure to use whole milk and not skim. Make a compress and apply for 20 minutes every 2-4 hours. Be sure to gently wash the area with clean water when you’re finished so you don’t develop a sour smell.


The tannin in tea helps the healing process. To use, brew a very strong tea and make a compress or add several tea bags to the bathwater. Be aware that tea will stain.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has anti inflammatory properties to heal and soothe inflamed skin however it’s probably best to wait a day or two before you apply coconut oil. There is some evidence that applying oil right after a burn will trap the heat making it worse.

Sunburn Smoothie

Don’t drink this! It’s for your skin. Place sliced cucumber, aloe and vitamin E in a blender and process until smooth. Apply to sunburned area to cool, relieve pain and moisturize.

If you have a sunburn remember to drink plenty of water and stay inside to avoid further sun damage. See a doctor if you experience chills, fever, blisters, rapid pulse, dizziness or nausea. This is not intended to be medical advice. Please consult your doctor before trying any home remedies.


Kara is a stay at home mom to 3 children. She blogs about healthy living and raising a family without grains or processed food at The Primal Home.

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Kate is wife to Ben and mommy to Bekah (8), Daniel (6), Jacob (4), Nathan (2), and Caleb (born June 2015). She loves to spend time with her family, and run her business full time from home. Her family is alternative and loving it!


  1. I have found in the last three or four years that if I apply aloe before I go out (and regularly reapply if I stay out a long time) I might burn a little, but it doesn't hurt much and I don't peel. Of course, I continue to use it if I have burned.


  2. A REALLY great remedy is butter! The vitamin F in the butter counteracts the vitamin D! You can basically prevent sunburn by eating a lot of butter after you know you've gotten a lot of sun! It's a very tasty remedy! :)


  3. I am very excited after being on our real food diet for a year or more that although we have previously sunburned, this summer we haven't! I attribute this to our diet full of real animal fats like butter, lard, bacon fat, etc. Now we come home from a couple of hours at the pool a shade or two darker, but no fiery red!!


  4. Arual- Great tip with the aloe, thank you!

    Rachel & Crystal- I've noticed an improvement when I started to eat good fats as well. I think there really i something to that.


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I’m Kate, mama to 5 and wife to Ben.  I love meeting new people and hearing their stories.  I’m also a big fan of “fancy” drinks (anything but plain water counts as ‘fancy’ in my world!) and I can’t stop myself from DIY-ing everything.  I sure hope you’ll stick around so I can get to know you better!

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