'Quick fix' sunburn treatments you should avoid as they could do more harm than good

We’re all about the TikTok hacks to try and make life better and easier for us, but some of them can do more harm than good, especially when it comes to sunburn – according to a health expert

Sunburn can be painful, but some of these tips will make it worse (Stock Image)

With the sun reaching scorching temperatures, sometimes you may miss a bit of your skin with suncream, but there are some things you should never try to lessen the pain.

A number of social media users have been sharing tips that they claim are ‘quick fixes’ to cure sunburn on TikTok.

And if you’re feeling tenderness and have blisters, you might be tempted to try anything to feel better.

But it’s worth doing your research before giving anything a go.

As first reported by Bristol Post, Stephanie Taylor, Health and Wellbeing Expert at StressNoMore has shared her thoughts on some of the weird viral hacks circulating to prevent and get over sunburn.

There are many myths surrounding treating sunburn (Stock Image)


Getty Images)

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Mouthwash is usually used to prevent gum disease and leave your mouth feeling minty fresh, but one TikToker revealed she fills a spray bottle with Listerine and sprays it directly on her sunburn to calm the stinging sensation…that just sounds extremely painful.

Stephanie Taylor said: “This is a very bizarre and extreme way to relieve the pain of sunburn and is absolutely not a fail-safe method. While the menthol or eucalyptol in the mint flavours may have cooling properties, it’s the 26.9 per cent alcohol content in the original flavour, plus ingredients such as benzoic acid, that are problematic.”

She explained how repeated or prolonged exposure to either chemical can result in drying or cracking of the skin as well as redness and itching, which would leave people back at square one – yikes.

Witch Hazel

This substance is usually used to treat itching, pain and swelling, and can even be used as a spot treatment, but one user has been recommending witch hazel to cure sunburn.

The TikToker puta witch hazel into a bottle and sprays all sunburnt areas and reveals that the solution has tannins in it to take all the burning out of sunburn altogether.

“Not a bad hack to use,” Stephanie admitted. “Although, rather than putting the witch hazel in a spray bottle, I would recommend pouring some onto a clean cloth and gently applying it to the affected area.”

Some of the TikTok hacks will hinder rather than help (Stock Image)



White Vinegar

Similarly, vinegar is useful for other things such as adding flavour to recipes or for cleaning. However, some TikTok users have resorted to using it on sunburn, arguing a vinegar bath can help.

Stephanie was quick to debunk this myth: “Absolutely not. Vinegar has extremely high acidity and PH levels of around 2 or 3.

“By putting undiluted vinegar on your skin, it can damage the skin’s already fragile barrier and result in more pain and inflammation, plus potential chemical burns if exposed to bare skin for too long.

“This would really sting and can cause extra pain and discomfort for those suffering from extreme sunburn”, she added.

Sour Cream

In some extreme cases, TikTok stars have been scouring the contents of their fridges for items to apply to their sunburn.

One user instructs others to spread sour cream all over their sunburn and leave it on for an hour to eliminate traces of sunburn.

Health expert Stephanie said more could be done, and advised: “While one of the main active ingredients in sour cream is lactic acid, which can naturally remove dead skin to promote new skin cell generation – there are better ways than using something straight out of the fridge.”

She said it’s best to stick to traditional products containing ingredients that soothe and relieve pain caused by sunburns such as aloe vera, coconut oil or soy-based moisturisers and keep hydrated.

You can even put your after-sun or moisturiser in the fridge for that cool hit.

Sunscreen Contouring

You’ve all heard of contouring, but some people are sunscreen contouring.

Users are revealing they only put SPF 30 sunscreen on the high points of their face. Convinced that the lower SPF will naturally contour the face, users believe the areas will become more bronzed, leaving you ‘snatched’.

Many people believe this to be incredibly dangerous for the sensitive skin on your face, including Stephanie. While this may have some short-term effects for facial tanning, the long-term effects could be dangerous and result in skin damage, early signs of ageing or even skin cancer.

“In the summer, apply SPF 50 sun cream or moisturiser to your face every day to protect your skin from sun damage. This won’t prevent you from tanning but could prevent long-lasting and irreversible skin damage,” she said.

More advice can be found on StressNoMore and Melanoma UK about staying safe in the sun.

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