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How to Treat Skin Suffering from SUNBURN or WINDBURN

healing windburn and sunburn

All about sunburn

While it is important to get plenty of sunlight safely, you don’t want to get sunburnt.    

When sunburn occurs, your body tries to repair the damage by increasing the size of the blood cells around the affected area so that more blood can reach it. It also releases chemicals which leads to your skin becoming inflamed. If the sunburnt area can’t be repaired, your skin gets rid of the damaged skin cells by peeling.  Severe sunburn should receive medical attention as quickly as possible.


All about windburn

Windburn is a condition that refers to the burning and redness your skin might endure after spending time outdoors in the cold, windy air.  Your skin is susceptible to burning, even if it’s dry, cold and overcast. 

The symptoms of windburn are similar to that of sunburn. Your skin might be red and tender to the touch. You may also have a “burning” sensation.  As the redness fades, your skin might start to peel.  The symptoms occur when your skin loses its natural oils from extreme cold, dry air.  The wind itself can reduce the amount of natural protection your skin has against UV rays.  As a result, you may be more susceptible to the sun on a cold, windy day.

There are certain skin conditions that can increase your risk of windburn including rosacea and eczema.  

In addition, be aware that if you’ve had a dermatologic procedure carried out (such as dermabrasion or a chemical peel) your skin may be extra sensitive to the wind too. This is because such procedures remove the outer layer of your skin (epidermis).


Healing natural remedies for mild sunburn and windburn

One of the quickest ways of providing instant relief to your skin is by having a cool shower. You’ll also wash off any salt or chlorine if you’ve been swimming.

Or run yourself a cool bath and add some porridge oats.  The oats will react with the water and help soothe your sunburn or windburn.  If you don’t have any oats available, you can use cornstarch or baking soda instead

Aloe Vera can help to soothe the skin after minor sunburn or windburn.  The leaves of Aloe Vera contain a gel which has been used since Egyptian times to apply to sore skin and wounds.  It’s antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and helps hydrate skin as it has a high water content. It contains over two hundred ingredients which help give it its calming properties.  The easiest way to use the gel is to buy a tube of Aloe Vera and apply it to sunburn every few hours. It should start soothing your skin straight away and help prevent it from peeling.


Another remedy is this cucumber skin toner

This is refreshing and cooling for the skin and you will need:

  • 1 cucumber peeled and seeds removed.
  • 1 tsp witch hazel or apple cider vinegar.
  • 1 clean glass jar for storage.
  • 1 face cloth.

Fill a bowl with cool water and add the cucumber peels to infuse for 5 minutes.  A sprig of mint or lemon balm can be added.

Meanwhile place the cucumber and witch hazel or apple cider vinegar in a blender and mix to a puree before applying to the face and body with fingertips and massaging gently.  Remove with a face cloth dipped in the cucumber water. Pat skin dry gently with a clean towel.

Keep leftovers for a week in the fridge.

cucumber for toning skin

Another home remedy is Calendula Oil 

Use externally on skin that has been affected by the sun or wind to soothe and calm.  

You will need:

  • A glass jar with lid.
  • Dried or fresh calendula petals.
  • Olive oil (or other suitable oil such as coconut, grapeseed, almond).

Fill the jar loosely with calendula petals if fresh or half fill if using dried.

Pour in oil until petals are covered by 2cm or ¾ inch.  Ensure the petals remain beneath the oil and push down with a spoon if they rise.

Place the jar in a dark cupboard for two weeks, shaking daily.

Strain through muslin into a clean labelled jar.  To use, apply a little oil to your skin with your fingers.  This keeps for six months or more if stored in a cool, dark place.


Simply Body Oil

Once you have got the mild sunburn or windburn under control and healing, our own Simply Body Oil will ensure hydrated and glowing skin once more.  Ideally, keep it in the shower and apply when your skin is still damp – for maximum absorption.  Simply Body Oil will deliver long-lasting hydration while creating a protective layer to help prevent moisture loss.  Also use as needed throughout the day.

essential oils body oil