Sunburn - Editor's Choice

Over the years, Earth Clinic readers have sent us many reports about their treatments for Sunburn. The editors at Earth Clinic consider the below posts to be some of the most helpful and informative and have named them 'Editor's Choice'. We hope that you will find this useful.

Baking Soda

Posted by Nadezhda (Charleston, Sc) on 07/11/2015
5 out of 5 stars

It's the best thing I have tried that actually works. I came to this website and tried this baking soda method of getting rid of sunburn. And I should say it worked out perfectly... You mix baking soda with a little bit of water, until it gets smooth. Then you put it with a cotton ball or your clean finger on the area where it's burned. Wait until it gets dried and then with a wet wash cloth pat it off. And just feel great!!! It doesn't take the color off, but it definitely takes the heat and pain off.


Posted by Simone (British Columbia) on 06/12/2015
5 out of 5 stars

Hi since summer is coming I thought some people might like this. It came from my daughter's Bubba. Many years ago I was burnt so bad that even a sheet on my skin was painful. She told me to brew some tea bags and let them steep. I used regular black/orange pekoe. When the tea is luke warm (too cold will make you tense up), have someone lightly squeeze the bag and dab all over. The moisture and tannins in the tea help keep the skin from drying out. The best part was there was no bad peeling and it turned into a tan faster.

Drink extra water to help keep your skin hydrated. You may want to do it a few times over a day or two. I have passed this on to others over the years with great results. Of course prevention is the best remedy.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Coconut Oil

Posted by Lauren B (San Francisco, Ca) on 05/10/2014
5 out of 5 stars

Apple Cider Vinegar & Coconut Oil for Sun Burn

This absolutely helped my horrible sunburn! I did the below routine 3x in 24 hours, and didn't even get to start it until 36 hours after sun damage. I noticed a slight reduction in pain/redness but the REAL help was with reduced peeling in the following 5 days. I KNOW from past experience I would have peeled much worse.

-Take 2 paper towels together, fold to the size of affected area
-Lay on a plate of ACV, let them soak it all up
-Place damp/soaked paper towels on sunburn
-Let sit for 20 minutes
-Lather in coconut oil after dry

Coconut Oil

Posted by London (Sandusky, Ohio) on 04/28/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Yes, Coconut Oil is really great for sunburns!! I had a big Jar of Extra Virgin Coconut oil sitting in my medicine cabinet. The other day, My 3 year old got a severe sunburn on her shoulders, face, and arms. For two days, I have been applying the Coconut oil on her skin, nightly, after her bath, and it's great!! It works. especially yesterday, my Mother and I noticed within a half hour after giving her the rubdown, the redness went away significantly, it was amazing!!

Sunburn Prevention Diet

Posted by Amber (Portland, Oregon) on 02/20/2009
5 out of 5 stars

This remedy is more of a prevention. Eating more raw foods, especially greens and foods high in antioxidants can actually promote less burning and faster bronzing. In addition, there have been studies that have shown an oil or extract from brocolli is an excellent sunblock.

I have experienced success in this as I practice a raw food diet. Last summer I was eating about 1 cup of brocolli daily, as well as lots of berries (most helpful are blueberries, I had about 1/2 cup per day). I am fair-skinned and tan pretty easily, but I have never tanned so fast and without any burning for about the past 10 years. I also started staying in the sun about 1/2 the time I usually lay-out, and I still tanned, better than in the past! I admit I lay-out in the peak hours, which I should probably discontinue to do. Anyway, I thought this was my imagination but I since read about this from others on raw food forums, and done some research online, specifically about these foods, on

I am not suggesting that anyone toss care to the wind and stay in the sun all day just because you have eaten these foods, but it is something to note. I mean, could you imagine that there are nutrients out there that help our bodies be more resilient towards the sun's effects? I suppose after learning this, it makes sense!

Perhaps during the summer months, one could add a brocolli salad (my recipe: blend brocolli in food processor: add garlic powder, salt and olive oil, sun dried tomato flakes and pumpkin seeds/'s amazingly good!) and a smoothie to thier healthy snack routine. It's healthy and it can't hurt!

Cocoa Butter

Posted by Saul (Corpus Christi, Texas) on 09/10/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I can remember a couple of years ago,my car broke down 3 miles from my house and my daughter was with me. So I grabbed the stroller and took off my over shirt to cover the front of the stroller to protect her from the sun. So by he time I reached home in the blazing sun was body was burnt. As I took my daughter out of the stroller to hold her, I saw how badly burnt I was. So I ran to the bathroom and searched for anything that might help. But there was only Cocoa butter. I had nothing to lose, put it on and by the end of the night, my sunburn was almost gone,and the best part was, my skin didn't peel or get itchy. (use immediately when aware of sunburn).