A Salady Remedy for Sunburn

We spent the day at a water park today.  It was 35°C.  The inevitable happened.

It’s not like I was trying to get sunburnt, because honestly, who tries to get sunburnt?  I have been slathering myself with factor 30 minimum all week.  Boo you, skin, man up!

Anyway, when I was 17ish I went to Lindos, in Rhodes with my mum, her BFF and my sister.  If you haven’t been to Lindos, then you simply must, it’s beyond heavenly.  But perhaps wait until Greece have sorted out their money troubles first.

I digress.  My sister has the fairest skin of them all.  Seriously, she’s like Snow White, but with strawberry blonde hair instead of ebony (though she does dye it, so the ends are kind of ebonyish).  The first couple of days we were in Lindos, she got SO burnt.  She could barely lie on her back, her skin was red raw, she wept every time she moved (this may or may not be true).  Mum’s BFF said that tomatoes help take the heat out of the burn, so we smushed some up and put them on her back.  I can’t remember if it worked but that sprung to mind when I was putting my dress on after a day of flumes, sun worshipping, and trying to coax my daughter into letting up her limpet hold in the swimming pool.

As soon as we got back, I grated some cucumber and squeezed the pulp and juice from a tomato and had Ross smear it over my back.  He then went to empty the bins (not a euphemism, you grubby lot) and pick up a baguette whilst I lay on my front and thought serene thoughts for half an hour.  I have to admit, having grated cucumber and smushy tomatoes on my back did feel rather spectacular, all cool and refreshing.

You might be wondering why I thought to turn myself into some kind of human salad, well, here comes the science part… concentrate: 

Cucumbers contain potassium, sulphur and silica, all of which have a cooling effect on your skin.  The same way that putting slices of cucumber on your eyes helps reduce puffy redness, the same goes with sunburn.

Tomatoes contain a carotenoid called lycopene, and results from a study suggest that people who eat a lot of this have slightly less risk of sunburn.  Well, I don’t know about that; and neither do I care much, but what I do know is putting tomato pulp on my back today took the heat right out of my skin.  It’s still a bit tender to the touch, but it definitely helped.

One large, very ripe and juicy tomato should do it, along with at least a quarter of a cucumber.

  • Grate the cucumber into a bowl, and keep all the juice.
  • Chop the tomato in half and squeeze through your fingers into the same bowl, again, reserving all the juice.
  • Mix together and have someone kind smear it over your sunburn.
  • Leave on for at least half an hour before rinsing off.
  • Use a cool toner on the area once dry and then moisturise.  I recommend Dream Cream from Lush (it’s full of lovely stuff), and any one of their lovely toners. Pop them in the fridge a bit beforehand for an extra soothing treat.

So I’ll definitely be employing that method again, even if I do look like a salad for half an hour or so.  Why not give it a try, alongside your usual sunburn remedies?

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  1. Greece is not meant to get over its money troubles, there is a bigger political picture.

    Got to Greece now if you have the chance, or in six weeks time if you like it less hot.

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