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People Are Using Sour Cream To Treat Sunburn - And No


People Are Using Sour Cream To Treat Sunburn - And No

The sun might be hiding behind the clouds right now, but many of us still have a rather rosy glow (ahem...read sunburn) from a few too many days worshipping its rays.

Sunburn can be painful and distracting, so we get why people want to try every trick under the sun to soothe theirs, and get rid of it in the quickest time possible.

But when we saw that people were slathering sour cream on their bright pink limbs, we weren't the only ones who were a little bit dubious.

We first saw the hack on TikTok, as user @ shared her tip with followers, filming herself grabbing the condiment from the fridge, and pasting it all over her legs.



"So, the other day I got a really bad sunburn, so I thought I'd share a tip on how I got rid of it," she said.

"First I took some sourcream from the fridge and then I spread it all over my sunburn.

"I waited for about an hour to let it soak in and then I rinsed off the excess. About 24 hours later by sunburn was totally gone".

Nothing like a bit of dairy to ease the throb of sunburn... right? (Credit: TikTok/ @meghanlon)
Nothing like a bit of dairy to ease the throb of sunburn... right? (Credit: TikTok/ @meghanlon)

Similar claims have been made on Reddit, where one user swore by the method.

"So, just buy any brand of sour cream or use the one you already have at home and take a tiny bit (like, just a dab on your finger) and apply the sour cream to the burned areas until it is almost rubbed in. do this right before bed and let it absorb during the night," they wrote.

"When you wake up, your burned areas should be significantly reduced!"

There are similar suggestions on Reddit (Credit: Reddit/ u/dinaaa)
There are similar suggestions on Reddit (Credit: Reddit/ u/dinaaa)

However, speaking to Tyla, expert Stephanie Taylor, Health and Wellbeing Expert at StressNoMore, said that the tip is actually counter-productive, for a variety of reasons.

"Using sour cream as an alternative to traditional aftersun products is not a wise solution when looking to treat sunburn," she said.

"Sour cream can cool the taste buds after you eat something spicy, however sunburn isn't the same and will only remain cool for a period of time when outside the fridge.


"With increased bloodflow causing skin to heat up to high temperatures, when placing chilled sour cream on warm skin, the cooling effect will wear off relatively quickly."

She adds that there are practical issues to consider, too.

"Leaving it on for an hour or longer in temperatures over 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) will cause the sour cream to spoil and go sticky, inevitably creating a foul odour which will be hard to rid your skin of," she explains.

Plus, there's the obvious kicker - why stray to rogue household items when you've literally got a tonne of effective products that already exist?

Sorry, but this is for sandwiches and jacket potatoes (Credit: Shutterstock)
Sorry, but this is for sandwiches and jacket potatoes (Credit: Shutterstock)

"While sour cream does contain lactic acid, which can naturally remove dead skin to promote new skin cell generation, other products work as better, prolonged relief methods for soothing your skin and will be less odorous and sticky," she says.

"If you have bad sunburn, ingredients such as aloe vera, coconut oil and soy-based moisturisers have been clinically proven to be much more effective in moisturising the skin, prevent peeling and have natural cooling effects."

If it's the cooling effect you're after, Stephanie advises there's an easy trick which doesn't involve topping your skin with cream like a baked potato.

"Try sticking your aftersun products in the fridge if you're after an even more intense cooling effect - your skin will definitely thank you for it," she says.

So, errr.. that's that. We think we might leave our sour cream for dinner time.

Featured Image Credit: TikTok/ @meghanlon

Topics: Health, TikTok

Joanna Freedman
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