We’ve all been there. There I stood. Heat radiating off my shoulders like hot coals ready to toast a marshmallow. That nagging thought circulating in my mind, “I shoulda known better…” as I faced my lobster-red shoulders, neck & upper back in the mirror.
Yes, you guessed it. I got sunburned.
I enjoy moving my body doing various things around our acreage to move my body this time of year. Two weeks ago, I spent several hours working outside with my Favorite Handyman, but neglected to think to ask if we were going to be in the sun or shade so I could properly prepare. I’m sensitive to a lot of sunscreens & lotions. I only use them when I know I need to, preferring to stay in the shade or dappled sunlight,.
Wincing as I dried off after my shower, I reached for the lotion. I pondered just how painful the next few days bra straps and clothes were going to be. Or how off kilter my body thermostat would be throughout the night with a hot upper body & cold feet & ankles. Then a thought crossed my mind: Vinegar.
Vinegar? Does it really work as a sunburn treatment?
A few days before, a co-worker mentioned she uses vinegar when she’s had too much sun, sharing, “It takes the heat right out” of the skin. She soaks a washcloth (or several depending how much skin is affected) and lays it right on the skin. Leaving it for several minutes.
I thought to myself, What do I have to lose? A few minutes (or possibly hours) of smelling like pickles? I’d take it if it worked.
I didn’t have enough vinegar to soak the 4 washcloths it would’ve taken. So I doused one washcloth & gently dabbed my reddened skin over & over for about 15 minutes.
I was pleasantly shocked. Within 5 minutes, I comfortably donned my short-sleeved PJ shirt without feeling the trapped heat I normally would have. The smell only lingered about 10 minutes after I stopped dabbing and I slept well that night with loose socks on like I normally do. No hot flashes. No painful turning over in the middle of the night.
WOW! This really works!
The next morning I gave myself another treatment before I dressed for church as I felt the heat start to radiate again. By the time I left the house 45 minutes later, the excess heat was gone (as was the smell). I did one last treatment that night before I went to bed (3 total treatments), and I only blistered a tiny little bit at the top of my shoulder-where my bra strap usually sits.
1st time ever I didn’t blister with a sunburn! Leaving me free to give my grandsons piggy back rides the following weekend as we strolled through the Des Moines Farmer’s Market.
It’s the Simple Things
I’m so thankful my co-worker shared this tip! Vinegar did take the heat right out of my sunburnt skin. Why? I don’t know. I’m sure there’s a scientific explanation & a quick internet search will probably tell me all I want to know about it. All I know is I had to share it with you!
While preventing sunburn is best, sometimes little tips like these can make a real difference in people’s lives. With the start of the long holiday weekend and lots of potential for scalded skin, I thought I’d share my experience with you in case you need it too.
As I thanked my co-worker for sharing this gem of information, it brought to mind how it really is the simple things we’ve known for years that work the best in most situations.
Things like praying often, eating well & moving more. Things like baking soda & vinegar, fresh air, sunshine (without overdoing it), journaling, getting enough sleep, real relationships with people, treating others with kindness – as children of God. Including ourselves.
Wishing you a very Happy, Sunburn Free 4th of July weekend!