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Is Tea Good For a Sunburn?

When it comes to healing that hot, irritating sunburn, people swear by many different remedies. While all of those treatments promise to help take care of your sunburn, one of the best options is actually tea! 

Tea can help you heal a sunburn. Tea is good for treating your sunburn because it has:

  • Antioxidants which help the skin to heal
  • Anti-inflammatory properties which reduce redness and inflammation
  • Tannins which help to reduce the heat

There are different ways you can use tea to help make your sunburn better. Learning the benefits of using tea on your sunburn, picking the right type of tea, and choosing the right method are all important for using tea to heal a sunburn successfully.

We’ll discuss all of this and more below.

How Does Tea Help a Sunburn?

Tea provides benefits to your skin and can help heal sunburn better than most of the other commercial sunburn relief products out there. Most products on the shelf just deal with one part of the sunburn, such as the pain of repairing the skin.

Tea can help treat all facets of the sunburn so you not only get the relief, but you also can repair the skin and more. 

Some of the benefits of using tea on your sunburn include:

  1. Antioxidants. Tea includes a lot of antioxidants that are good for the skin. After all the damage a sunburn can cause, having some healing power for the skin is necessary. 
  2. Anti-inflammatory. Tea also contains several anti-inflammatory properties. After a sunburn, the skin can get red and inflamed, which is part of what causes all the damage. The nutrients in tea can help prevent this. Add in the polyphenols that will cut out the redness, and soon you won’t even remember having the sunburn. 
  3. Reduces surface heat. Some sunburns get hot and are uncomfortable because of this. The tannins found in tea are great for reducing this too. 

These benefits combine to make a great remedy, which gives you some relief from the damage a sunburn causes. 

Which Tea Helps A Sunburn Best?

If you plan to use tea to help treat your sunburn, you will quickly see that there are as many different types out there for you to use topically as there are to drink, of course. The good news is that all types of tea work well to treat a sunburn

Sunburnt woman on a beach

However, each one will work a little bit differently than the others. Since all skin is a bit different, you may want to experiment to see what works for you. They all have skin-health boosters:

  • Green tea: antioxidants, tannic acid, polyphenols
  • Black tea: antioxidants, high caffeine, polyphenols
  • White: antioxidants, antibacterial properties
  • Herbal options:
    • peppermint (cooling and refreshing)
    • rosehip
    • chamomile (calming and relaxing)
    • rooibos (skin-boosting)
    • dandelion (detoxifying)
    • ginger (promotes collagen production and boosts circulation).

Some types of tea work better for certain types of sunburns too. Many times, black tea is the choice to go with severe sunburns because it has extra tannins that can help the skin heal faster than others. 

In some cases, combining different types of tea can be efficient as well. If you notice that a certain tea helps with a slight sunburn, but you also want some calming effects, you can combine something like chamomile and green tea to help give you some relief.

Herbal peppermint tea can have a very soothing effect when combined with green or white tea. 

How To Make Tea to Treat Your Sunburn

Before you can use tea at all to help treat your sunburn, it is important to brew and steep it properly. This will help you get exactly the right nutrients out of the tea to make that sunburn go away.

Brewing tea for a sunburn isn’t as complicated as brewing the perfect cup of tea. You do have some freedom here to decide how strong the tea needs to be based on the severity of your sunburn. 

  • First, determine how much brewed tea you’ll need for your treatment.  This will determine how much water and how many tea bags you’ll need, of course.  If it’s a small area, then a few cups of water and a few tea bags should be fine. You could also consider brewing a pitcher of tea to add to your bathwater.
  • Second, bring the water to a high boil. We’re not concerned about the taste of the tea, so it won’t matter if we brew it in boiling water. Your sunburn is going to be sensitive to heat, so make sure to let it cool down before using it. Don’t try to just put tea bags in cold water—the tea needs to be brewed properly to have many of the healing effects.
  • Once the water is boiling, add in however many tea bags you want. One tea bag in a couple of cups of water is not very strong but may work for a small sunburn. Most sunburns, however, will need two or three tea bags to be strong enough to heal well. The longer you steep the bags, the stronger they are, too. It is best to let the tea steep for at least five minutes before using it.

Different Ways to Use Tea for Sunburns

There are different ways that you can use tea to help treat your sunburn. The option you use after brewing will depend on several things, such as:

  • The severity of the sunburn
  • The size of the sunburned area
  • Your personal preference

Once you pick your tea, you have several options for how to use it, which we’ll discuss below.

Apply Tea Bags Directly to Your Skin

The first option is to just use the tea bags themselves. You just need to steep them using the method we discussed above and then apply the tea bag directly on the area that is affected.

It only takes a few minutes to accomplish your goal, though you may want to repeat a few times if the sunburn is severe. 

teabags on a white muslin background

Create a Green Tea Mist

Mountain Rose Herbs suggests combining green tea and peppermint leaf tea or a few drops of peppermint oil, to make a very cooling and refreshing mist when added to cool water. Just blend the ingredients into a clean spray bottle and shake to combine. For extra cooling relief, store the mixture in the refrigerator. 

Soak in a Tea Bath

Another option to try is a tea bath. This one is similar but will allow you to soak the area that is affected more than using the tea bags, so it’s a good option for larger burns. You only need a few cups because you will dump the tea in with your bathwater—you don’t need to brew a bathtub full of tea! 

Once the tea is mixed with the bathwater, hop in and relax. Five to ten minutes soaking in the tea can help heal sunburns that have taken over larger areas of the skin. 

Use an Iced Tea Compress

If the biggest issue with your sunburn seems to be the heat, then an iced compress will be the best option. The coolness helps stop the itchiness and irritation, and it only needs to be done for about 20 minutes. 

To do this, steep the tea normally and then pour into your ice tray and the freezer. Once frozen, you can add these cubes to a washcloth and let it set on the area affected for a few minutes. Do this once or twice a day for the best results. 

Mix Brewed Tea with Aloe

Using the strong tea you brewed, make a topical treatment by combining it with fresh aloe. Make sure the tea has cooled first, of course. This cooling mixture can be applied directly to the skin and provide instant relief.  

Using Tea to Treat Sunburns

Tea is one of the best options to use when handling sunburns in any area of the body. It helps treat sunburns by:

  • Reducing redness and irritation
  • Reducing the “hot” feeling
  • Helping the skin repair itself and promote fast healing

Sometimes, even drinking hot tea can help cool you down when your skin is sweltering. With all the choices in types of tea and how to use them, it will soon become your number one choice for healing all sunburns!

If you love tea as much as I do, pin this to your favorite tea-loving Pinterest board and pass it on for others to enjoy! Pinkies up!

Tea can treat a sunburn, especially if it's mixed with the cooling of peppermint.   Two teabags and a bunch of mint on a wooden table.