Few experiences are as relaxing as getting out for a walk or a trip to the beach on a bright, sunny day. But despite our best intentions, it is common to suffer from an uncomfortable sunburn. Effective protection against ultraviolet (UV) exposure requires knowledge of what to look for in sunscreens. Without protection, sunspots are a very common result of skin damaged by overexposure to the sun’s rays. So, here are facts and natural remedies you can use to soothe your skin and help with the discoloration that excess UV exposure causes.
8 Facts About Sunburn and Skin Sunspots
Here are a few facts about sunburn and skin spots.
1. Damage Occurs From UVA and UVB
There are two bands of ultraviolet radiation that affect your skin - UVA (Ultraviolet A) and UVB (Ultraviolet B). When buying sunscreen, look for labels that indicate protection from both UVB and UVA rays. Most sunscreens that include the term “broad-spectrum protection” offer defense against both.
2. UVB Rays May Be Good For You
UVB rays are also known as the ‘tanning’ rays. In the right amount, they’re good for you as they penetrate into your epidermis, the top layer of skin, to stimulate vitamin D production and produce melanin, the skin pigment that tans and protects your skin.
3. Excessive Ray Exposure Leads to Damage
Get too much UVB and you get sunburned. Frequent burning does more than make you blister and peel. It can lead to squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma, two of the most common forms of skin cancer.
4. UVA Rays Are the Most Damaging
UVA rays penetrate deep into your dermis, or lower layer of skin, and overexposure is linked to the deadly form of skin cancer melanoma.
5. Know SPF Language
SPF tells you how much longer your skin will take to burn. An SPF 20 sunscreen takes 20 times longer to redden than skin without sunscreen.
6. Be Discriminatory Toward Certain Sunscreens
Avoid sunscreens that contain toxic chemicals, such as avobenzone, fragrance, oxybenzone, parabens, or vitamin A in the form of retinyl palmitate (when exposed to UV rays, it releases skin-damaging free radicals).
7. Look for Sunspots
Sunspots occur on areas of skin regularly exposed to the sun and may appear darker or lighter than your normal skin tone. They can also be flat or raised, may cause a slight itching, and can have a scaly appearance.
8. Be Aware of Blisters
Blisters are a sign of severe skin damage. These can be carefully drained, but do not peel the skin off to avoid infections and further discomfort.
Natural Sunburn Relief and Remedies
The following natural home remedies offer relief for sunburned skin.
Aloe Vera calms burns and soothes skin. You can find fresh aloe vera gel at most health food stores or right off the aloe vera plant in your home. Apply the gel to your skin before and after peeling as this will encourage faster burn healing. It also helps heal sunspots on your skin by stimulating cell regeneration.
Coconut Oil contains fatty acids that moisturize your skin, plus it contains vitamin E that helps repair and nourish your skin.
Milk, like coconut oil, has fatty acids that act as a moisturizer. It also cools your skin affected by sunburn and lightens sunspots. Take a gauze pad, dip it in milk, and dab it directly on your burnt skin or the sunspot you want to heal.
Sandalwood and turmeric paste is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy for burns and inflamed skin. To use this salve, combine equal amounts of these herbs together with a little water to form a paste. Apply to your sunburn for 15-20 minutes, then remove and clean the area with cool, clean water.
Witch hazel is an astringent that delivers extended relief from inflammation. Apply often by dipping gauze or cotton balls into the liquid and wiping onto the affected skin.
Soothe Your Skin with Ozonated Olive Oil
A great remedy to boost the healing process of sunburns is ozonated olive oil. Olive oil improves the speed of burn healing and can help keep wounds clean.[1, 2] Ozonated olive oil like Global Healing's Skin Therapy delivers both olive oil and oxygen to the skin. This combination calms nerves and reduces the swelling and redness of a sunburn as the oil and oxygen stimulate growth of skin cells for faster healing. Here’s what a couple of my customers have said:
“I use it as a night cream daily; for quicker healing of wounds due to improved circulation, on sunspots and sun-damaged skin.”
“After nearly a month of daily usage, her skin lightened, evened out, and the sun damage spotting on her upper cheeks have faded.”
Do you have experience using ozonated olive oil or other natural remedies for sunspots or sunburns? Share your thoughts with the community below.
- Najmi M, Vahdat Shariatpanahi Z, Tolouei M, Amiri Z. Effect of oral olive oil on healing of 10-20% total body surface area burn wounds in hospitalized patients. Burns. 2015 May;41(3):493-6. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2014.08.010.
- Edraki M, Akbarzadeh A, Hosseinzadeh M, et al. Healing effect of sea buckthorn, olive oil, and their mixture on full-thickness burn wounds. Adv Skin Wound Care. 2014 Jul;27(7):317-23. doi: 10.1097/01.ASW.0000451061.85540.f9.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.