Can You Really Use Cucumbers To Treat Sunburn?

Let's face it, sometimes a sunburn is inevitable and we have all been there! A sunburn might occur if you've fallen asleep on the beach or didn't re-apply your sunscreen, or perhaps because you simply decided to skip the SPF for a day.

Sunburn happens with excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, which can cause swollen, irritated, and painful skin ranging from mild to severe. Sunburn can also cause painful blistering, and according to Medical News Today, sunburn is a risk factor for skin cancer.

Unfortunately there is no cure for sunburn, only prevention and symptom management. Typically, OTC treatments, like pain relievers and hydrocortisone cream are recommended to ease the discomfort of a sunburn. According to Good Housekeeping, there are also some natural remedies that can help soothe the inflamed skin, like aloe vera, potatoes, oatmeal, and cucumber.

Dermatologist and psychiatrist, Amy Wechsler, tells HuffPost that cucumbers can be used to help soothe sunburnt skin, and the vegetable also offers up some other advantages for your skin.

Cucumbers for soothing sunburns

According to Dr. Wechsler, cucumbers contain vitamin C and caffeic acid, ingredients that combat inflamed or irritated skin, as well as potassium, sulfate, and vitamins A, which help soothe sunburns. Dr. Wechsler suggests placing thin cucumber slices on the affected areas for 15 minutes and then applying a moisturizer. She shares with Huffpost that the antioxidant ingredients in cucumbers have hydrating and anti-aging benefits for your skin, a good reason to use them for sunburn relief.

Laurisa Truemper, holistic health coach and skin expert, tells Well+Good that she recommends blending a cucumber to a "smooth consistency" and liberally applying it to the sunburned areas of the face and body. Truemper also suggests placing sliced cucumbers over the eyes to help relieve the damaged delicate area — the eyelids

While cucumber is suggested to help relieve uncomfortable sunburn symptoms, the best way to protect your skin is by prevention. Using the right SPF, wearing wide brimmed hats and sunglasses, as well as staying in the shade, are the best ways to protect your skin from sun damage (via Medical News Today).