Weekend Beauty Hack: One DIY Sunburn Cure to Rule Them All

Alle Connell
DIY sunburn cure

Photo: Ganovsky Vladislav

We live for the weekends, and what better time than Sunday to relax, rejuvenate and get your beauty game on point? These are the best easy beauty hacks to help you look—and feel—your best in the week to come.

As much as we love a good long weekend, there’s no doubt that the 4th of July leaves our skin a little worse for wear. Too much fun with friends in the summer sun means that it’s easy for us to be less than vigilant with the SPF. And the result? Sunburns. *screamface emoji*

But never fear: if you got too much sun this weekend, we’ve got your ultimate DIY sunburn treatment. This treatment reduces redness, swelling and soreness as it restores moisture and helps your burn heal really quickly. It’s basically our tried-and-true miracle cure for too much sun. Here’s how to fix your sunburn, and get gorgeous, soft skin at the same time.

Step one: Prep.

Whether your skin is lobster red or just a little pink, there’s no denying that sunburn freaking hurts. Your first step is lessening that pain; soak a cotton washcloth in milk (2% is best, and it has to be dairy, not soy) and gently press it against the sunburned area. You can even leave the milk-soaked cloth on your skin for up to ten minutes to really lessen the sting—just be sure to wash it well afterwards so that it doesn’t start to smell. Rinse off in a cool shower and marvel at how much better your skin feels already.

MORE: The Best Sunscreens to Pack This Summer.

Step two: Mix.

Now that your skin is cooled and refreshed, it’s time to mix up an awesome DIY sunburn-curing treatment. Please note that this should only be used on sunburns that are red; if you have lots of swelling or blisters, please consult a doctor. Skin safety first!

You will need…

1 fresh papaya (contains lots of AHAs to repair dryness and tightness).
1/4 cup honey (a powerful anti-inflammatory and humectant for hardcore rehydration).
1/4 cup aloe vera (to soothe and protect skin; gel or fresh is both fine).
1 aspirin tablet (for pain relief).

Puree the papaya in a blender until smooth, adding the honey and aloe vera until your mask achieves a thick (but not runny) consistency. Crush the aspirin and mix it in well. Chill in the fridge for ten minutes, or until very cool.

(This concoction will keep for a week in the freezer if you have leftovers; just fill up an ice cube tray and defrost your mask-cubes as needed.)

Step 3: Apply!

The best thing about this mask is that it’s not just good for soothing and healing sunburned skin, it’ll make your entire body feel totally luxurious. So you can choose your own body mask adventure here: either apply it just to your burns for targeted relief, or slather it from your collarbones to your toes for a full-body at home spa treatment. Either way, this can be messy, so we recommend applying it while in your shower or bathtub.

Let the mask sit on your skin for 15 minutes. It may tingle a little, which is fine—that’s the AHAs in the papaya working—then rinse clean with cool water. Marvel at how soft and smooth (and remarkably un-sore) your skin now feels. We’ve noticed that using this mask once a day dramatically shortens the healing time of our sunburns, as well as cutting down on how much peeling we do afterwards, so feel free to repeat as needed until you are no longer lobster-red.

Bonus: This full-body mask is amazing to use throughout the summer, even if you’re not sunburned. Just skip the aspirin, apply weekly and enjoy the most radiant skin of your life. Now get out there and have the best week ever!

MORE: Finding the Right SPF for Your Face.