Fire extinguishing after sunburn. There’s really no miracle cure that will give you baby skin in 5 minutes. But there are a number of natural remedies that can improve the situation. It’s worth maximising your body’s regenerative potential. How?
In the late afternoon, if it’s still sunny, it’s worth sunbathing at sunset. In the late and early sun, there is still relatively little or zero UV and proportionally a lot of IR, which promotes regeneration and internal water production. Restful sleep in the evening would be the most important. Early to bed, in a dark, cool bedroom. And the next morning, be outside at sunrise.
Evening blue light protection can also come in handy at this time to maximise melatonin levels. So early bedtimes, blue light protection software and glasses can only help here too.
Stay hydrated! You can try drinking water, but perhaps even better is to boost our internal water production in the mitochondria with a fat and protein rich dinner. Fats produce about twice as much deuterium-reduced water as carbohydrates. It doesn’t hurt to have a little collagen to rebuild the damaged skin, the best source of which is bone broth, for example. With this superfood, you can only win.
Consuming light absorbing compounds! The jolly-joker DHA can also come in handy here, so it’s (also) worth eating seafood at this time. Spices (turmeric, pepper, oregano, basil… feel free to use them). Some green vegetables can also be useful for their chlorophyll content.
One of the home remedies is to apply cold water to sunburned surfaces. Now there’s something to that… There is now a serious scientific basis for the clever use of cold. I wrote about it in my book Beyond Paleo or in my articles. Why not take a cold shower after a sunburn, or for the more advanced, sit straight in an icy water bath. Cooling the skin’s surface is an excellent anti-inflammatory, it also boosts mitochondrial energy production and regenerative potential because when we heat up we produce IR light, which increases the internal water layer.
Aloe vera is in the category of “no harm, but maybe even works”. It has long been used to regenerate the skin’s surface, although scientific research does not really support this. Similarly, applying a cold compress of chamomile vapour can relieve symptoms through its anti-inflammatory effects.
Sunburn can also heal itself with time. The question is how long and with how many unpleasant symptoms. We can turbocharge our regenerative potential by doing the above practices.
- Barolet D, Christiaens F, Hamblin MR. Infrared and skin: Friend or foe. J Photochem Photobiol B. 2016;155:78–85. doi:10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2015.12.014
- Puvabanditsin P1, Vongtongsri R. Efficacy of aloe vera cream in prevention and treatment of sunburn and suntan. J Med Assoc Thai. 2005 Sep;88 Suppl 4:S173-6.
- Maenthaisong R1, Chaiyakunapruk N, Niruntraporn S, Kongkaew C. The efficacy of aloe vera used for burn wound healing: a systematic review. Burns. 2007 Sep;33(6):713-8. Epub 2007 May 17.
- Feily A1, Namazi MR. Aloe vera in dermatology: a brief review. G Ital Dermatol Venereol. 2009 Feb;144(1):85-91.
- Srivastava JK, Shankar E, Gupta S. Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future. Mol Med Rep. 2010;3(6):895–901. doi:10.3892/mmr.2010.377
- Tubaro A1, Zilli C, Redaelli C, Loggia RD. Evaluation of antiinflammatory activity of a chamomile extract after topical application. Planta Med. 1984 Aug;50(4):359.
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