The single most effective way to get rid of a sunburn

Well this is my first instructable, and is only going to be short because its an extremly easy and effective method to removing a painful sunburn. This method was recommended to me by my friends mother, who is a nurse and therefore MUST know what shes talking about. Turns out she did. I hope this helps many a painful sunburn to receed or dissapear.
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Step 3: Healing the wound

Once the water has cooled to a warm/lukewarm temperature, dunk the rag into the tea, and dab it onto the sunburn. DO NOT WIPE IT OFF! Leave it on and let it be absorbed into your skin. Once its dry, re-apply as necessary, but never wash it off. If you do this process before bedtime, you can go to sleep and give it time to work its magic. In the morning you can wash it off in your shower. The sunburn should be substancialy subsided or all gone, but remember: the sooner you can apply the tea after you get the burn, the quicker and more effective it will be.

Note: I had a severe sunburn and I also used the tea bags straight up, dabbing them directly onto my skin. You may use as many "coats" of tea as you want, but the more the better.
Wolfrick6 years ago
+1 This really works. . . we've used this method for years in my family. The stronger you brew the tea, the better it is. Also, drink some iced tea, too, and stay well-hydrated. If you get a really horrible burn, see if you can find loose tea at the store. Brew the tea leaves up in a small amount of water, then apply the cooled wet leaves directly to your sunburn. Something about the tannins help take the injury away, and cures it up really fast. I went boating in an aluminum flat-bottomed boat with no paint left, wearing shorts, and burned my legs beet-red one time when I was about 13. Tea really helped. ~W
bakdrft Wolfrick11 months ago
Drinking tea? doesnt tea have diuretic qualities? Making you dehydrated? So NO do not drink tea drink water to stay hydrated.
Not a nurse but knew that.
cindi593 years ago
I did this last spring when I forgot to put on sunscreen while gardening. I wasn't burnt to a blister state but was uncomfortable on my shoulders to sleep! I made 4 bags of plain lipton tea in a glass two cup measuring cup. I let it cool and started by dipping a washcloth in and after wringing (not completely, just to not drip) it out I dabbed. Instant difference! I was able to cool the burn enough to sleep. I left the tea in the cup and in the middle of the night when I got woke up in pain I did it again. The next morning the majority of the sunburn was gone. I did use the tea on the more burned part over the next day. Instead of days of soreness, I had one! My kids have done the same since! It isn't a cure of course but It sure helps!
sickdog743 years ago
It worked for me! Here's what it did: I used 4 tea bags (earl grey) in a large tea cup. Microwaved the 4 bags with water for 2.5 minutes. Let cool, swish around. You now have a very very very strong cup of tea. Dabbed on my sunburned face. Repeated every 45 minutes or so until bedtime. Probably did it 8 or 9 times before bedtime. In the morning, I was tanned but not burned! I went from lobster red to tanned in 12 hours!
drpepper8412 (author)  sickdog743 years ago
Congrats! I'm so glad it works so well for so many other people! =D
jrh1435 years ago
I just tried this remedy on a two-day-old lobster belly, and WOW! what a fantastic difference! Only difference: I didn't have earl grey tea, so I used what was on hand, which is plain old Lipton ice tea bags. I used seven of the small (not family size) bags. I got almost immediate relief from my constant itching, which was making me think I was going to lose my mind (assuming I had something there to lose in the first place). I have posted this remedy to another site (wiki answers, I think) with credit given. Thank you very much for your helpful advice!
I've been on instructables for a few months now and it took a wiki answers site to send me to this... and right when i needed it... my girl thinks i'm addicted but this site really does have a bit of everything.
drpepper8412 (author)  TorinMiasma4 years ago
Glad you found it! Once summer starts up, I always tend to get a lot more comments, so I'm glad it could help with one of the first burns of summer!
drpepper8412 (author)  jrh1435 years ago
Wow, thats wonderful! I'm so pleased that it worked that well, especially on an old burn! Could you send me the link to where you reposted the remedy?
Just wanted to add that this remedy did NOT keep the burn from peeling. I currently look like a two-toned leper. I am still quite pleased with the instant itch relief this remedy gave me, but does anyone out there know how to keep burnt skin from peeling? Seems like I never go from honky white to tan without passing immediately through bright red and then peeling back to honky white + 1 shade darker. If I find the answer to this question "out there" I'll come back and post it here. Thanks again!
The best I've been able to do to keep a burn from peeling is to slather it in Oil of Olay type moisturiser (Mal-Wart's Equate brand works just as well). Every time the toasted skin starts feeling or looking tight, hit the moisturiser until the skin won't take any more. You'll be vaguely sticky for a couple of days, but if you've kept the skin well hydrated, the peeling should be minimal. Of course, if anyone's got a DIY method with comparable results, I'm all (slightly pink) ears. ;D
Sure! It is at:
Mine is currently still the last one on the page, signed John Hance. Thank you for the helpful tip! It is one I will be handing down to my kids and passing on to all my family and friends.
THE NURSE6 years ago
Please DO NOT take hot showers after a sunburn. This is a BURN and hot water can make it worse d/t nerve ending damage, u can't really tell how hot the water is. Cool water helps bring down the temperature of your skin. The tannic acid in the tea bag soothes the skin; this is a great remedy for any 1st degree burn. If you suffer a really bad burn seek medical attention, please!! Dehydration/burned skin is serious and u may need fluid replacement. Tea bag treatment is also great for itching burning feet!!!!
Today was hell for me. I had the worst sunburn itch. If you don't have blisters and your sunburn itches, a warm/hot shower works. Make sure the temperature isn't so hot as to burn you, but after the shower, the itch will be gone. I know because this just happened to me. Also of course, Aloe Vera and cold showers are good too.
drpepper8412 (author)  THE NURSE6 years ago
Thank you very much for this! Im glad that you posted this so people now understand how dangerous some of their other methods are.
HA988 days ago

Works!!! Layed in the tanning bed and got burnt to the point where I was beginning to have bumps on my thighs and stomach (I'm a little allergic to the sun; also have fair skin). Got home and could barely walk, I was in so much pain. Looked this up, tried it, woke up with a darker stomach and thighs are almost fully healed! If you don't receive full relief in the morning, just continue to drink lots of water and lather burns with aloe Vera! Take some Benadryl before beginning the tea process and it'll take away most pain and you'll be out within 45 minutes so you get a good night's rest!!

randyhow17 days ago

placebo effect ???

adolan228 days ago
I'm trying this right now I'll tell you if it works when I wake up
SpringRobin3 months ago

How many times could I have used the good advice in this Instructible over the course of my life!! Well not too late to apply now. Thank for this great info!.

sarah965488 months ago
kmnb nhjmb
sarah965489 months ago
Please help my daughter is 9 and she has a massive sunburn shes peeling burning up and blistering I put on some things and she keeps putting on a cold rag.. please give me advice
cfmx9 months ago
so i got lobster-red on the back of my legs and small lower part of my bottom yesterday, including some spotting in the middle of my back (my swimsuit has a criss-cross tie in the back) and an hour or so after coming inside i found this and decided to try it out a few times before i went to bed. the immediate results was the reduction of heat and a little soreness, but when i woke in the morning, only a few places where there had been little sunburn had seemed to gotten better overnight. so: overall, for me, this didnt really help much with the redness, but did tremendously for the heat and pain. i'm wondering if maybe my tea wasn't strong enough? i put 4 tea bags in a bowl of give-or-take half a gallon of water. so tonight i'm going to use up the rest of what i have and make a stronger solution to see how it helps with the redness. thanks for this!
bwb1021979 months ago
Just tried it tonight. My sunburns were keeping me awake. Only read good things so excited to see what the morning brings!
sheilawalling9 months ago
2 Excedrin is the ONLY thing that relieves the pain from a sunburn!
messinger59 months ago
I use flax seed oil. I put it into a cheap spray bottle and can spray it on any skin irritation.
- My daughter went skiing and came home with a lobster red burnt face and a nose covered in blisters. Put on flax seed oil and the next morning almost gone.
- kids got in hot tub to soon after chemicals put in and I had 6 kids with full body chemical rash. Put on flax seed oil and next morning gone.
- I have always used it for sun burns. A mild sun burn can be cleared up by next day, Tan and no peeling. As Sun burn gets worse it takes longer to clear but I hardly have ever burnt and turn tan very quickly.
- I also use it for healing skin injuries. I had a chicken attacked by a skunk and thought it wasn't going to make it. I soaked the torn up flesh with flax seed oil put it in the coop and she healed up. I also use it for mine, my kids, and anyone else who has a skin issue ailing them.
hasully10 months ago
i've had my sunburn for 3 days now.. i've had to miss school for it.. i made the mistakes twice of a hot bath and hot shower.. no matter what i do even with aloe my skin is dry not peeling but really dry. any suggestions to fix that?
To put cream is the best way actually
grannyjones11 months ago
I wonder if this will work with white tea--I misplaced a whole box full,
and now they may be unfit to drink,
due to a possible invasion of icky small creatures.
dlovetsky11 months ago
The single most effective way to get rid of a sunburn.

Don't get sunburned.
I would like to know if someone tried to use this as a sunscreen? Maybe soak your skin before you lay out???
kachristie11 months ago
I tired years ago on my face that was badly sunburned, it was indeed very helpful! Try it.
kmajors1 year ago
I tried it hope it works!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
could we put the tea in a bath tub and soak in it if you are burned almost everywhere?
DanteKral1 year ago
Hi, does any tea work, I I got sunburned playing hockey and and I'm not sure I have black tea, so I'm just really curious.

Also, how do you deal with the pain from the sunburn, what's a good way to help relieve the pain.
MELODY34581 year ago
It didn't work for me I tried it last night and it is still burning.
I did it 4 times
DeeRilee1 year ago
This also works wonders on diaper rash!!!!!

Apply gently to clean, area of skin that is inflamed from diaper rash. Let the area 'air dry'......then replace diaper.
can someone please tell me about how long to soak the tea bags? soon please..thank you
read the full instruction... i think the longer you steep the tea, the better the result.;)
balvarez31 year ago
really helped me a lot,it so easy to do..every time we had our holiday outing i am so afraid to come out to sunlight because my skin got easily burn by the sun, that's why my friends keep calling me kill joy!! good thing i have this...

sun screen + this method = awesome trip to beach this next holiday!!

xoxo ;)
ROBusmc821 year ago
SO people i really need help.. I was outside in Arizona near a swimming pool... The only sun tan lotion i had on me was a sun stick... I used it, however still got sunburned and tried showering with the tea to get rid of the burn.. IT WORKED!
However i ended up with a two toned skin. I dont know if it was from the earl grey tea or the sun stick.. Its been over a month and it really hasn't change... Does anyone have any advice or info for me please.. I rather see what you have to say before going to a Doctor..


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