Country Lore: Vinegar, the Natural Sunburn Remedy

A reader shares some family lore about what might seem an unlikely natural sunburn remedy.

| June/July 2009

I started law school last summer and thus went from spending 20 to 40 hours per week outside to only 20 to 40 minutes a week. During my between-term break, I needed to catch up on some yardwork. I completely forgot to put sunscreen on the first day and, after about eight hours outside, my lily white skin had turned tomato red.

My wife thought I would be in misery, but I remembered a natural sunburn remedy from my mom that has been part of our family lore for generations: Use vinegar to season a tan.

After getting out of the shower, I applied some vinegar (any type works, but apple cider vinegar seems to be the best) liberally to all the affected areas. The next morning I had a couple of pink spots left on my face, but everywhere else was tanned as if I had spent a careful week with sunblock. I was in no pain whatsoever.

Though I would never recommend forgetting the sunblock, vinegar is an incredible first-aid remedy for dealing with a sunburn.

Jeramee Sikorski
Battle Creek, MI

Aastha Mehra
10/7/2013 6:40:21 AM

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Star Glover
7/14/2012 1:05:52 AM

Is the vinegar supposed to sting a lot when applied? Also, can I use a moisturizer after? Thanks a bunch for the tips!

5/30/2012 9:04:04 AM

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