Summer is just around the corner, which likely means you’ll be spending most of your free time in the sun. Of course, sun protection is the most effective way to avoid sunburn, but sometimes the power of the sun can sneak up on us.
Exposure to the sun has many benefits, including getting Vitamin D, lowering blood pressure and battling depression, but it can also wreak havoc on our skin when we’ve enjoyed too much of it. In the case of the dreaded sunburn, there’s a natural, at-home remedy that you might already have in your kitchen: tea bags.
Tea is packed with antioxidants, contains anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic properties from epigallocatechin-3-gallate (or ECGC) and contains polyphenols that help reduce redness. Tea bags also have tannins and catechins, which eliminate the heat caused by sunburn and prevent and repair skin damage.
There’s an assortment of methods to use to treat sunburn with tea bags, depending on the severity of your sunburn. If you have an isolated area of skin that needs treating, try boiling a tea bag or two then letting it steep for about 20 minutes before placing it directly on the problem area. From there, let it sit on your skin and work its magic until it dries out. Alternatively, if your sunburn can’t be treated by one or two measly tea bags, consider soaking your whole body in a tea bath.Tea bags can be used both externally and internally to treat sunburn as an at-home remedy, so make sure to drink plenty of tea when sunburnt as well. You may be wondering what types of tea to use to best treat sunburn, and the answer is any and all tea will work. Different types of tea contain different ingredients, and while they’re all healing in their own way, you can use any variety of tea to treat the sun damage. For example, black tea like Earl Grey contains more tannins than other teas, which can help reduce the amount of heat radiating from your body when your sunburn is still fresh.
If you want a cooler effect on your damaged skin, freeze the tea into ice cubes and place on your skin for relief. Since mint is known for its cooling effect, use mint tea or add fresh mint leaves as another option to reduce irritation.