I don’t know about you, but when I get a sunburn I immediately layer on aloe vera or aftersun lotion. But there is a definite downside: I am a lotiony, sticky mess that has to stay still and veg out. Alas, how to fix this? According to the web, there is a better and cheaper way of helping your sun damaged skin! Black Tea. (I literally tell people that tea can fix anything. I stand by that statement!!) Black tea is full of many health properties that when applied to the skin can help repair and soothe sunburns.
I really wish I knew this sunburn remedy two weeks ago when my face swelled because of a sunburn. In fact, the thought never crossed my mind that black tea could help the affected skin heal but it honestly makes sense. But before I go any further in this post, please (please, please) wear sunscreen when outside. Getting a sunburn permanently damages your skin and can affect you later in life. But on those days where the sun wins, here are two ways to use black tea as a home sunburn remedy.
Using Tea (The Drink):
Step 1: Fill a Pitcher with warm (not hot or boiling) water and steep 3-4 (the more you steep the more concentrated the tea will be) black tea bags for about 10 minutes or until the water is a deep red-brown color.
Step 2: Let the water cool down to a lukewarm temperature. You could even put the tea into the fridge to allow it to cool and feel better on burned skin.
Step 3: Put on a bathing suit….or your birthday suit. I would do this part in your shower or bathtub as it could get slightly messy.
Step 4: Then get a soft washcloth and dip it into the tea pitcher. Apply a layer on the affected skin and allow it to dry on the skin. Reapply if necessary.
**It might be best to do this method before bed when your skin heals. If all goes well, your burn should be slightly or significantly better than it was. If the area is extremely large (think the entire front of legs, back, etc), you could run a lukewarm bath and fill the tub with 5-8 tea bags and then soak in the tub. I would not rinse after soaking in the tea bath, allow the tea to really soak into the skin.
Using Tea (Teabag):
Step 1: Unwrap two black tea bags and stick them in a cup of lukewarm water for about 1 minute.
Step 2: Get into an area where you are not afraid to make a mess! I would recommend the tub or shower where you can just rinse off everything after.
Step 3: Take tea bags out of the cup of water and put the damp tea bags on the affected area and leave on for a couple of minutes at a time. You should notice smoother skin after and hopefully less inflamed skin.
**Again, this would probably be best done before bed. If the area burned is smaller, I would use this method. But if you need a large area covered (ie. your entire back), I would use the first method.
Why Black Tea?
Black tea contains tannic acid which has been dermatologist verified to help soothe sun damaged skin and remove the “heat” you feel from the burns. Catechins found in tea help prevent and repair skin damage, which is especially needed when you get a sunburn.
PLEASE be safe this summer. Wear hats. Sunglasses. Sunscreen. The whole shebang. Your skin retains the damage and it sometimes can cause issues later. Your skin is always more important than a tan that only lasts a little bit! Okay, okay. Tangent done. Be kind to your skin and as always, Happy Brewing!