Can You Really Use Baking Soda To Treat A Sunburn?

There's nothing like soaking up the sun on a warm summer day, but it's very easy to get a little too much sun. How quickly you burn can vary from person to person; the American Skin Association warns that someone with lightly pigmented skin can get a sunburn in as little as 10 minutes. Even if you wear sunscreen (as you should — even indoors), people often forget to reapply it throughout the day, which means they can still get a sunburn.

If, despite your best efforts, you end up getting a sunburn, you're probably going to be in for a rough couple of days. Sunburns can hurt not just after the initial burn, but can also lead to your skin drying out and even peeling (via Healthline). Ouch.

You may have heard of some of the home remedies commonly used to treat sunburns, such as tomatoes, potatoes, and even apple cider vinegar. You might have also heard that baking soda can be used on a sunburn, but does it actually work?

Baking soda can help soothe the pain of a sunburn

Surprisingly, baking soda can be used for more than keeping your fridge smelling fresh. Per Good Housekeeping, this kitchen staple can help ease the pain of a sunburn. Don't apply the dry powder directly to your skin, though. Instead, you should dissolve a few spoonfuls in water, let some cotton balls soak up the mixture, and then use the cotton balls to apply the solution to your sunburn. This should help you feel better by balancing out your skin's pH levels.

UFHealth recommends soaking your entire body in a baking soda bath. Just add a few tablespoons to a cool tub of water and hop in. Baking soda can also help relieve the itchy skin that so often accompanies a sunburn by acting as an exfoliant.

Baking soda may help with a sunburn, but remember that the best thing to do is avoid getting a sunburn in the first place, so slather on that sunscreen!