Apple Cider Vinegar – Not Just to Consume! Surprising Remedy for Sunburn Healing

As most of us have heard and even possibly experienced, apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been rumored to have a great deal of health advantages. For many years, people have been reaping the benefits of this "cure-all" kitchen essential. However, during these sweltering summer months when the sun’s rays are super strong, did you know that ACV can help with healing skin from sunburn?

  • But first, I want to strongly express that we shouldn’t be hiding from the sun. So, please do not be scared from actually spending time in the sun, as I once was! In fact, there are even particular times of the day that are much better than others, when the ultraviolet B (UVB) rays are present. UVB rays are typically out between mid-day hours and UVB rays are the ones that creates the possibility of Vitamin D being synthesized on your skin. To read more on this, please see my article Let’s Talk About Sun Baby. 

So, let’s talk about sunburn and how ACV is helpful if you happen to experience sun-burn. After spending too much time in the sun or even spending time only in UVA rays (typically in the morning hours and the early evening hours), sunburn can result. An excess of blood-flow to the exposed skin site causes redness and swelling. When the melanin pigmentation in your skin can no longer be produced fast enough to protect you from UV rays, your skin cells trigger a UV stress response. This stress response generates new cells to grow and replicate, which ultimately has the potential of leading to skin cancer. 

Let me re-iterate something - the harm comes from the stress response from TOO MUCH sun, NOT from adequate amounts of sun exposure (without burning) when the UVB rays are present. Again, PLEASE read my article Let’s Talk About Sun Baby to understand this further and also to find out exactly when the UVB rays are present in your part of the country/world.

Personally, I strategically am mindful of when the UVB rays are out and consciously get sun time then. I can literally FEEL the benefit of GOOD sun time!

Ok, back to sunburn! As we know, the consequences of a sunburn can be painful! Leaving you itchy, peeling, and in pain, not only is it not fun but sunburn is a sign of the body being STRESSED from too much sun exposure. 

In the past, when I have been irresponsible with sun (yes, I admit it has happened and even when I was super careful), I leaned towards aloe and in the past couple years, coconut oil. However, in the past year, I have discovered a better way to heal skin from sunburn. Apple cider vinegar! (ACV) 

You may be skeptical about this –I surely was! But, here’s the deal. ACV is an anti-inflammatory agent. It helps in balancing the pH levels of burned skin, which promotes healing. It can help prevent peeling and blistering caused from sun damage.

Here’s what you will need: 

  • Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (like Bragg) (You can also get this on Thrive Market for less!)
  • Clean washcloth
  • Organic coconut oil (like Nutiva) (You can also get good coconut oil Thrive Market for less!)
  • Optional Essential Oils – Lavender and Peppermint (therapeutic quality only)

Here’s the method: 

  • Take raw apple cider vinegar and dilute it, with cold water, in a bowl.
  • With a clean washcloth, soak the washcloth and dab it directly to the affected skin area. Let your skin be very wet; let it soak into the skin.
  • After your skin is dry, liberally rub on coconut oil to the affected area. As an additional measure, consider adding lavender essential oil and peppermint essential oil – be sure to only use therapeutic essential oils on your skin. (Also, be sure the essential oils are diluted – for example a couple drops of each to an ½ cup coconut oil.)

You could even make an ACV spray for this! Or, if you are sun-burned over a large amount of your body, consider bathing in a solution of apple cider vinegar and bath water. Simply pour a cup of ACV in a bath, and soak in there! 

You will be amazed at the difference this makes in both time duration and severity of sun-burn. I have seen this work wonders several times with me, including an awful sunburn obtained when my northern-climate skin experienced TOO MUCH tropical sun this past March. Here’s also pictures of a recent experience with this method. You’ll see how the burn went from a bright ANGRY red to a dull pink/light brown/tan! 
So, there you have it. Another tool for your toolbox if this happens to you or someone you know! 

And remember, don’t HIDE from the sun, but get regular sun during the good sun times and use a non-toxic sunscreen like this one if needed for long periods of sun exposure! 


Tori Cox