photos/post/graphics: Kristin Ess

Let’s start this post off by saying you should always try and avoid being in the sun without proper protection in the first place. See HERE. But sometimes you just can’t plan for it and you can unexpectedly find your skin baked beyond belief-especially if there’s an overcast. One of the girls in our office turned a nice shade of lobster over 4th of July. I remembered something we used to do as kids when we’d get burned and I must admit– out of all of the home remedies I’ve ever tried, this one has been the most consistently relieving. It takes away an incredible amount of the stinging pain that comes with a burn and here’s how it’s done:

  1. Tea bags aren’t very big, so you can’t cover a lot of sunburned skin with individual bags. Take 8-12 BLACK TEA bags (I’ve used Earl Grey and plain black and both have worked well), cut the strings in the middle + tie them all together.
  2. Soak them in black tea concentrate. (Concentrate: add 6-8 tea bags in 1 cup of boiling hot water and let steep for 3-5 minutes. Pour this concentrate into a jar and let it cool to about lukewarm and then add your tied tea bags to the jar. Let those sit for another 2-3 minutes.)
  3. Fan the tea bags out on your shoulders, face, back, wherever it stings the most. Personally, I prefer that the tea bags not  be hot or cold but room temp to lukewarm.
  4. If you’re skin is extra sensitive from the burn (you may want to check in with your doctor), put the tea bags in a soft t-shirt that you’re willing to ruin. Dip the t-shirt in the concentrate.

Leave the tea bags/t-shirt on the skin until you feel it has soaked up the majority of the moisture from the bags/t-shirt. Do these compresses over and over until the pain dissipates (typically 5-10 compresses will do the trick) and take an aspirin to keep inflammation down.

Here’s another formula from last summer for those of you who prefer to go the aloe vera route! What’s your favorite way to relieve a nasty sunburn?