5 Weird Sunburn Cures That Actually Work

Rachel Krause
D. Sharon Pruitt/Pink Sherbet Photography/Getty Images

D. Sharon Pruitt/Pink Sherbet Photography/Getty Images

No matter how religiously we reapply our SPF, sunburns happen to the best—and most diligent!—of us, too. We turn to tried-and-true remedies like ice soaks and aloe vera in time of need, but these five household items may very well be the lesser-known cures we’ve been looking for. One can never have enough weird sunburn cures in their home at any given time.

Tomato Juice
When applied to burns of any type, fresh tomato juice alleviates redness and inflammation and soothes the skin. As good as it feels applied topically, consider this before the next time you head out to sunbathe: Thanks to lycopene, eating tomatoes can actually improve the skin’s ability to protect itself against UV rays, which means that your body can build a defense against those harmful rays. It doesn’t mean you’ll be able to skip sunscreen, but it can mean that you’ll be less inclined to burn overall.

They may very well be the most innocuous of vegetables, but it turns out that the starchy compounds in any ol’ potato can help take the sting out of a nasty sunburn. Just slice a raw (preferably refrigerated, for a cool boost) potato into thin slices and rub into sunburned areas.

Baking Soda
Baking soda can help your skin to regain its natural pH levels, balancing acid and alkaline levels for a more comfortable, if not entirely cured, sunburn experience. Baking soda can be harsh to skin, so you’ll want to indulge only in a 15-minute soak in a warm bath with an added 1/4-cup baking soda. It’ll soothe and rebalance the skin—just be sure to add a thick layer of moisturizer after.

Plain Yogurt
The probiotics that yogurt is known for help to restore the skin’s natural barrier, reinforcing healthy pH and neutralizing the sting of the burn. Greek yogurt is best, as it’s richer in those probiotics than most formulations, but any yogurt is fine so long as it’s plain and not sweetened. Apply a thick layer to your sunburned area and leave it on for 5-10 minutes, then wipe it off with a clean, damp towel and moisturize well.

Apple Cider Vinegar
No surprise here: Apple cider vinegar has revealed itself to be something of a panacea for a wide variety of skin and health ailments. Soak a towel in a 1:1 dilution ratio of apple cider vinegar and cold water and press onto your sunburned areas for an instant soothing and pH-balancing effect. If you have blisters, the antibacterial properties in vinegar will help to dry them out and fight infection, though—fair warning!—it’ll likely sting a bit.

Read more from Daily Makeover: The Best SPF for Every Skin Type