Getting enough sunlight is an integral part of optimal health because it helps your body not only create vitamin D, but it enhances ALL of our vitamins, minerals, co-factors and anti-oxidants. It’s why many natural health experts highly advise safe sun exposure for everyone.
It is a great idea to expose yourself to the sun, but don’t lay out like a salmon on a grill.
Caucasians should spend just five to 15 minutes per day, and work up.
People with darker complexions will need to spend more time in the sun to get adequate exposure (more on that later).
But what if you accidentally overexpose yourself to the sun?
Try These Easy Home Remedies for Sunburn
Most people take a painkiller to relieve sunburn, but this isn’t the only thing you can try. In fact, it’s one of the worst things you can do. Huffington Post listed several natural sunburn remedies that may be helpful if the burn has already set in:
- Aloe vera – Aloe vera gel fresh from the plant can speed up the healing of sunburned skin. It also has a cooling effect that can provide temporary relief from pain. Aloe is amazing for skin in general and is the base of a many natural skin care products.
- Eat a diet rich in orange foods – like sweet potatoes, oranges, carrots and the like. Orange foods have nutrients that support skin health.
- Apple cider vinegar – Taking a vinegar bath is a well-known home remedy for sunburn, because vinegar is an antiseptic that helps cool your skin as it evaporates. Add two cups of vinegar to your cool bath water for relief.
- Baking soda – Although there are no studies that prove baking soda has any effect on sunburn, many people have found great relief when using it. Baking soda creates an alkalized environment that soothes your skin. It also has antiseptic properties that may alleviate itching and even work as an exfoliant. To use it, mix it with water to make a paste, and then use clean cotton balls to apply the paste to the affected areas. You can also add half a cup of baking soda to a tepid bath, and then soak in it.
- Milk – Cold milk can help soothe the pain and itching caused by sunburn. The best way to use it is to add it to a cold compress. Yogurt is also said to have a similar effect, although there are no scientific studies to back this up.
- Raw honey –Honey has antibacterial properties, and can help heal wounds. The best type of honey you can use is Manuka honey, which has anti-inflammatory properties as well.
- Tomato – Cut a fresh tomato in half and then rub the fleshy inside on your skin to help relieve sunburn. Tomatoes can also help prevent sunburn when applied before sun exposure. This is most likely caused by their rich lycopene content, which helps reduce the sunburn caused by UV radiation.
- Oatmeal – Oatmeal is said to have anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve pain from sunburn. Simply make a fresh batch of oatmeal, cool it in the fridge, and apply it to the affected areas.
More Natural Ways to Protect Yourself from Overexposure to the Sun
If you are going to stay out in the sun a long period of time, then you should use a safe all-natural sunscreen that is free of harmful chemicals. Check out the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Sunscreen Guide to find out which sunscreens are safe to use.
You should also ensure that your body is primed to have the best defense against overexposure to the sun’s harmful UVA rays. Here are some simple tips:
- Consume a healthy diet rich in antioxidants. This is a useful strategy that not only provides your body with the resources to help counter damage from exposure to harmful UV radiation, but also helps ensure that you stay healthy. The best sources of antioxidants are fresh, raw, unprocessed foods, especially colorful organic vegetables.
- Wear a cap with a visor when you go out in the sun. This will protect the sensitive areas on your face, such as the skin around your eyes, from direct sunlight. It is also a good idea to carry an umbrella when going out during the day.
- Wear light, cotton clothing. Cotton clothing provides you with about SPF 15.
About the Author
Elaine R. writes for Mercola. At present, she is researching how sun exposure benefits people’s overall health. She does not encourage everyday use of sunscreen, as it hinders vitamin D production. She believes that getting vitamin D from safe sun exposure is better than taking a vitamin D3 supplement.