Who among us hasn’t suffered the red hot ache of a sunburn? Forgetting to put on sunscreen can usually lead to a pretty bad burn. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of a sunburn often include pink or red skin that feels warm or hot when you touch it, pain and tenderness, swelling, and sometimes a headache or fever if the sunburn is extreme enough. 

Since any exposed area of your body is at risk for sunburn, it’s important to protect yourself. When sunburns occur, they can make even the smallest daily activities extremely painful such as wearing clothing, showering, or even sleeping (via Tri-City Medical Center).

There are many ways to treat a sunburn. Some of the most common remedies for a sunburn are aloe vera, a plant that contains a soothing gel inside; coconut oil; and oatmeal — remember those chickenpox days? However, one of the most surprising remedies for a sunburn is hidden right in your pantry: black tea.

How black tea can be used to treat a sunburn

For many years people have been using black tea to treat irritated and damaged skin, like sunburns, due to its high level of antioxidants (via Insider). By releasing the tannins in the tea bags, black tea has the ability to remove heat, pain, and the stinging a sunburn may cause.

According to Allure, the process for releasing the tannins is easy. Simply drop two tea bags in a cup of room temperature water and let them soak for a few minutes. As the tea steeps, the water will grow darker. This is your indicator that it’s ready for application. Pull the tea bags out of the water and apply them to any area with a sunburn for a few minutes.

The natural anti-inflammatories in black tea will help any swollen or reddened skin and provide some relief to any discomfort you may be experiencing (via Allure). Next time you head to the beach, perhaps bring a couple of tea bags with you just in case!

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