DIY Sunburn Remedy: Black Tea Bath

Get more sun than you bargained for this spring break? It happens to the best (and palest) of us. If even just one sunscreen re-application slips your mind, you risk coming back to Happy Valley a little less J. Lo and a little more lobster than you’d hoped.

If you got a little too carefree over break and are paying the price with a sunburn, Valley has a DIY remedy using an easily found ingredient you might already have in your pantry — black tea!

Black tea contains tannic acid, a natural ingredient that has been confirmed by dermatologists to relieve sunburn and speed up the skin’s healing process when applied directly to the burn. In some cases, those who have used black tea to cure sunburn have reported the burn completely gone and a golden tan in its place by morning.

Sound too easy? Follow these steps below and find out for yourself!

What You’ll Need

Any brand of black tea bags
A bathtub (and some bleach to clean it with afterwards)
An old towel you won’t mind parting with

What You’ll Do

1. Draw a warm bath. It’s important that the water isn’t hot as it can further irritate the burn.
2. Add enough black tea bags to make a very dark and strong tub of tea. The number of tea bags needed will depend on the size of your bath. Add enough tea so that your bath looks more like black coffee and less like iced tea.
3. Soak and relax, but only from the neck down.
Hang out for as long as you can in your giant teacup! Make sure all of your sunburned body parts are submerged in the bath, but hold off on your face for the moment. Strong black tea can have a dark staining affect on your hair, so especially if you have a lighter hair color, keep your head a safe distance above the bath.
4. Skip the rinse. 
Lastly, make sure you don’t rinse with regular water once you’ve finished soaking. You want the tea to soak into and stay on your skin for as long as it can, which is why we recommend trying this remedy out before bed. Pat yourself dry when you’re finished and expect your towel to be permanently stained with tea.
5. For a sunburned face
If your face is also feeling the heat from a bad sunburn, brew a small mug of strong tea in addition to your bath. Then, using a cotton round, apply a few “layers” of black tea onto your face and neck, waiting about 15-20 minutes for it to soak in and dry between layers. After draining your bath, you may notice a ring of discoloration left behind, especially if you have a ceramic tub.

Use any bathroom cleaning product with bleach as soon as you’re done to avoid any permanent discoloration.


Let us know if you try out this DIY and tag us on social media @ValleyMag.