Sunburn Remedies

Last Modified on Feb 21, 2014

While most individuals agree that a sun kissed glow makes an individual appear more healthy and vibrant, the truth is that the sun damages the skin. Even more than just a tan, a sunburn is the result of overexposure to the sun without adequate protection. Aside from simply avoiding the sun, several remedies exist for treating a sunburn and avoiding further complications with the condition.

What is Sunburn?

Sunburn can be described as the red, painful appearance of skin following sun exposure. While the severity of the burn typically affects symptoms, common indications of sunburn include pinkness or redness, skin that feels warm or hot to the touch, pain, tenderness, swelling, fluid-filled blisters, headache, fever and fatigue. Sunburn is caused by overexposure to ultraviolet light.

Home Remedies for Treating Sun Overexposure

The focus of treatment for sunburns centers on reducing inflammation and pain. Natural treatments also protect the skin from further damage and replenish vital nutrients in the skin. Apple cider vinegar, aloe vera and coconut oil are among the best treatment options.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a natural anti-inflammatory agent. When applied to a sunburn, the substance naturally soothes the skin and reduces pain. The vitamins and minerals in apple cider vinegar also help replenish lost nutrients in the skin to speed recovery.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is an especially effective treatment for sunburn. The substance contains a variety of vitamins, including A, C and E as well as folic acid and choline, which replenish and rejuvenate the skin. The substance also contains several amino acids and fatty acids that function to relieve inflammation and redness.

Coconut Oil

Coconut is effective for treating a variety of health conditions including sunburn. Coconut oil contains a unique combination of fatty acids that relieve inflammation and revitalize the skin. The moisture that coconut oil offers also prevents peeling that commonly results from sunburns.

Sunburns are often painful and can cause additional peeling of the skin, future wrinkles and other unhealthy skin conditions. However, natural treatment options relieve the pain associated with burns and prevent further damage.


Apple Cider Vinegar11 YEAS
Coconut Oil6 YEAS

Aloe Vera

Print Treatment
Full Page View
Email/Share This

Aloe Vera Treatment for Sunburn

Herbal Remedy Instructions:

  • You'll Need: Fresh Aloe Vera

Aloe vera applied directly from a broken stem of the plant will soothe and protect sunburned skin for immediate relief. You can also use commercial aloe vera gel.

[YEA]  05/01/2008: Jamie from Nova Scotia, Canada: "Aloe plant helps to get rid of sunburn. the actual aloe plant all you have to do is cut a peice off the full plant. Rip it open and apply. put it on as soon as the area get red it should work to get rid of it faster."

Apple Cider Vinegar

Print Treatment
Full Page View
Email/Share This

Apple Cider Vinegar Sunburn Remedy

Home Remedy Ingredients:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
  • Cotton Ball

Soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and apply it to the burn to experience quick relief. ACV also kills potential pathogens that could infect an open blister. The apple cider vinegar will soothe the skin and help it return to its normal condition more quickly.

[NAY]  04/21/2013: Jordanna from Tel Aviv, Israel: "I'm a big fan of apple cider vinegar, so when I saw it listed as a cure for sunburn, I wanted to try it. I used it only on the right side of my body, and left the left side untouched so I could see if it did anything. The ACV made no difference."

04/22/2013: Gert from South replies: "Were you doing this to prevent sunburn? I thought it was for relief after you are sunburned. It works for that pain, as does coconut oil. To prevent sunburn, take astaxanthin ( 1 every day). I've been taking astaxanthin for arthritis and haven't burned for years--I don't do anything else and am in the garden or creek many hours a day."

[YEA]  07/13/2011: L. Farmer from Peoria, Az: "I managed to fry my thighs despite my liberal use of sunscreen yesterday. I remember hearing about this site, so decided to look for sunburn remedies. I am generally fairly skeptical of these sorts of things, but decided the only risk involved in me trying the ACV remedy for a sunburn was me smelling like a pickle. So, I gave it a shot. I'm happy to report that although it wasn't a 100% cure, it sure took away most of the red and most of the pain. I was quite amazed. I have survived MULTIPLE sunburns in my lifetime, but have never found such quick relief! I'm a believer! Long live ACV!"

[YEA]  06/26/2011: Tiffany from Honolulu, Hi: "ACV is absolutely amazing, my younger sister had an absolutely horrific sunburn after a day out with her friends family, blistered on the entire upper half of her body, me and mother have never felt so awful for her. We tried aloe, lidocaine, cold towels, and when we saw this site we had to try it. She said she felt so much better she can actually sleep now. I thank you guys so much for the help! Instantly relieved with one light coat. <3"

[YEA]  06/13/2009: Raul from Dallas, Texas: "I just got a horrible sunburn from washing cars to get money to go to summer camp so i looked up some cures and it took me to this site. Since ACV is the most popular one i decided to try it and it worked perfectly i started feeling relief instantly. Although i do smell like a pickle. i would also recommend trying the coconut oil."

[YEA]  08/25/2008: Elaine from Coventry, Rhode Island: "I have been using apple cider vinegar to treat sunburns since I was a kid. My grandmother was a nurse and used this method to no avail. I use it full strength on a sponge or several cotton balls. When it dries you can rub on some aloe gel so you don't smell like a pickle! LOL Amazing the money you can save with home remedies! (Not to mention how things like this really impress the kids!)"

[YEA]  08/25/2008: Joyce from Joelton, Tn replies: "The ACV does work well for decreasing the misery of sunburn. My daughter doesn't like it because she said it keeps you from tanning while working it's good. Personally, I prefer to use anything that will prevent that miserable blistering and peeling, and do without any tan."
06/15/2011: Naomi from Dallas, Texas replies: "spray tans are cheaper and better for your skin in the long run"

[YEA]  06/10/2008: Beverly from Pikeville, Kentucky: "OMG!!!I just had to post this! Today I got a really bad sunburn. One of those that make you look like a lobster. I was hurting all over and found this site with acv as a cure. I bathed for twenty minutes in a tub of lukewarm water and 2 cups of apple cider vinegar. After I got out I covered myself in coconut oil and within minutes no more pain. It went from pain to a tingle and now -even though its still red-it doesn't hurt at all! TRY THIS IT WORKS!!!!!!!"

06/10/2008: Melly from Austin, Texas replies: "It is the coconut oil that removes sunburn pain. In fact if you used it for moisturizer, when exposed to sunlight for a long time even at the beach, you get a nice tan with no burn. It is very healing to the skin and internally too. Melly"

[YEA]  06/07/2008: Cyndi from Roethis, Austria: "I have always known ACV is good for sunburn, one cup in a tub of water and the sunburn is gone! So, when I was at work alone and severly burned my hand, I put ACV in a sink of water with ice cubes. I had to wait until someone else came into work before I could go to the hospital. On and off for about an hour I kept soaking my burnt hand in the ACV solution. When I arrived at the hospital my hand was bandaged and treated and I was told to return the next day to have this treament repeated. The next day I went back to the hospital and as the bandages were removed, the doctor was shocked! The deep red welt, the blister and all signs of a burn were gone.I had only a pink line. When I explained I had used ACV and ice, the staff were amazed! It truly worked a miracle, where I would have had a scar and therapy, I had onle one day of discomfort. I thank my mother for this."

[YEA]  07/20/2007: Karen from St. Louis, MO: "Apple Cider Vinegar ...I use it for sun burn relief. It doesn't smell the best but it alleviates the pain."

[YEA]  07/17/2007: Patrick from Conowingo, Maryland: "Hello, I've been visiting your site for a while, but I would like to be added to the "YEA'S" on a few home remedies.

Cayenne Pepper for Sore Throat. This is how I first found your site. Nothing is worse than a sore throat, last year I had a killer sore throat with no other symptoms. After reading about cayenne pepper I decided to gargle it. Gargling a teaspoon of cayenne pepper in about 6 oz of warm water every couple of hours did a great job of healing my sore throat really quickly. However it was really nasty and made me dry heave a couple times. I just discovered a new sore throat yesterday. This time I am simply warming up about a cup of water in the microwave, adding some honey for taste, and dashing in a good amount of cayenne pepper (3-4 dashes). I am not gargling with it, because I'm just not good at gargling, So I let each sip sit in the back of my mouth a bit and then I swallow it. It actually taste pretty good. It's like tea with a little kick!

Apple Cider Vinegar for Acne. My wife has always had trouble spots for acne right on her cheek next to her ears. Apple Cider Vinegar is the only thing that has had a real effect. She applies it once or twice a day, with a cotton ball. Great results. We also just received Apple Cider Vinegar capsule that we can take to avoid drinking it. They are available at GNC, but we order them online for cheaper.

Apple Cider Vinegar for Sunburn: I recently went boating and got sunburn on both my ankles from sitting funny. When I got home both ankles seemed to have about the same amount of burn, however the right ankle was hurting me slightly more at the time. I decided to try an experiment. I applied Apple Cider Vinegar to only my right ankle and left the left ankle untreated. I simply applied Apple cider vinegar with a Cotton ball 2 or 3 times a day. After the first night, my right ankle was in a great deal less pain than my left ankle. I kept applying it to my right ankle and by the second day there was no pain at all, while my left ankle was severely painful and sensitive to touch. I stopped applying apple cider vinegar to my right ankle after about 3 days because it just didn't hurt, My left ankle continued to hurt until day 7 when it the skin started peeling. The skin on my right ankle did not start peeling until day 9. Everyone should try this to convince themselves that Apple Cider Vinegar really works!"

[YEA]  10/25/2012: Dave from Minneapolis, Mn replies: "After reading these posts on Apple Cider Vinegar as a remedy for sunburn, I ran downstairs to apply it to mine. I burned pretty bad after foolishly spending 8 minutes in a tanning bed (having light skin & not tanned or had much sun exposure in months), forgetting to bring with me to the tanning salon my usual jar of Virgin Coconut Oil (which I usually lather on before tanning). I've looked like a lobster since and it's painful to even wear clothes.

I mixed the ACV 1/2 & 1/2 with water, soaked a smooth, thin rag in it, and wrapped it over my sunburn. Instant relief! ... and I've been using aloe vera gel & coconut oil for days (with some success, but not like this).

I do smell like a pickle & generally don't prefer the ACV smell, but having this much relief makes it easy to overlook. I'm grateful that a simple google search for sunburn relief led me here. :)"

[YEA]  Ruth Ann from Gordon, GA: "When I was young, my great grandmother told me Apple Cider Vinegar stopped a sunburn from hurting and peeling faster than anything. Boy when I cooked, I took a sponge, soaked it in vinegar and put it on the sunburn and right away it helped. I also poured it in bath water."

Avoid Aspartame

Approval Ratings

[SIDE EFFECTS]  02/16/2008: Rhonda from Anadarko, Oklahoma: "A few summers ago I began to have a severe reaction to the sunlight on my skin. Burning (as a chemical would), swelling, itching and then the days following the skin exposed to the sun would peel away. I thought I was having a reaction to a new sunscreen. After complaining to my mother, she reported once having the same problems. Her pharmacist told her she was experiencing an apartame overdose. I quit the diet stuff, and after a couple of weeks I was able to go back outside. What a relief to find out such a simple solution! I'm convinced the stuff is poison!"

[WARNING!]  04/27/2009: Terri from Pittsburgh, PA replies: "Aspartame is POISON. 19 years ago i started getting a rash when i was in the sun for any extended period. I went to the doctors and he was not able t figure out what was causing this. then my hair started falling out. i was sent to a dermatologist and after much lab work and other test it came back that i had developed Lupus. I was taking a number of different medications. In 2002 a friend emailed me an artical on aspartame and how it can affect lupus, MS, MD patients. I stopped using that poison that day. Over the next few months my test were showing signs of improvement. After a little more than a year i was off of all medication. i just had my yearly check up and everything is still great. STAY AWAY FROM THAT POISON"
[WARNING!]  06/17/2011: Goatherder2001 from Prunedale, Ca, Usa replies: "wait how can you stay way from aspartame its in yogurt, candy, soda, cookies, and good everything just not organic foods thank god. I looked for good food I have question how to get someone who loves the tastes of it... Get them off. I can't always struggle to store and tell them no. My dad is apartame adict oh the pains of trying to tell him no... Put that back is getting harder. I said no on ice cream which had aspartame sugar in it... I can't wait until organic ice cream actually hits the shelves in my home town."
05/06/2012: Stephanie from Ozark, Mo replies: "Aspartame is an excitotoxin, which basically means it's a highly addictive chemical that's designed to make your brain crave more. I personally can't stand the taste of it, it's bitter to me. I use stevia... all natural sweetener."

Baking Soda

Approval Ratings
YEA (1)

[YEA]  11/08/2008: Beth from Middle Earth, New Zealand: "My husband had severe sunburn around his neck (where the tshirt didnt cover). I made a thick wet paste of baking soda and water, applied it directly to the burn and left it there to dry. Immediately he had relief and the heat from the burn cooled down. When the paste dried, I reapplied more water to the dried baking soda and patting it all back until the pain was gone. I dont know the reason why baking soda works on burns but it does."

03/03/2011: Jeanie from Vancouver, Wa replies: "Wouldn't that just dry it out even more? The dangerous part of sunburn is how it zaps the bodies moisture. I would research this one a little more before doing it."
06/17/2011: Goatherder2001 from Prunedale, Ca, Usa replies: "here some links to help you with baking soda and what it does: sadly I only use it cook with sometimes and mostly when I am out I use baking powder to substitute it. (I like this one)"

Calendula Ointment

Approval Ratings
YEA (1)

[YEA]  03/20/2008: Candice from Victorville, United States of America: "Every since I was little we have always used vinegar after a bad sunburn it helps to take away some of the sting but last 2 summers ago I fell asleep in the sun at the beach (in southern California) and burned so bad that even vinegar didnt help. I had read previously in a health magazine to take vitamins, drink plenty of water and to apply Calendula ointment topically to the skin, desperate I tried it and it worked wonderful! It numbed the pain. I purchased it at my health food store for about $7, but it was money well spent."

Castor Oil

Approval Ratings
YEA (1)

[YEA]  08/26/2008: Sharon from Redding, California: "My daughter sunburned the shin's on both legs. They had 3rd degree burns. Big yellow blisters. She could not walk for about 3 days. I was told by an elderly man to soak gauze in Caster Oil and wrap her legs with the gauze and leave it for 3 days. The next day my daughter was able to walk. The 3rd day I removed the gauze and she was healed. Blisters gone. Her legs were just a shade pink. It left no scars. Awesome stuff."



Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.