Never Put Vinegar On A Sunburn. Here's Why.

Summertime comes with an increase in outdoor activities, which means more exposure to the sun's harmful UV rays and more sunburns. If you're one of the millions of unlucky people who end up with a painful reminder of why sunscreen is so important, beware of one of the popular new sunburn remedies that's been making its way around the internet. While it might be cheap and easily available, you're better off putting vinegar on your salad than on your sunburn.

Vinegar is essentially just acetic acid. It can be made from fermenting alcohol with special bacteria that convert sugar into acid (via Bon Appetit). You can make it from anything alcoholic. In fact, if you've ever left a bottle of red wine open on the counter for too long, you've probably already made vinegar without realizing it. In health and wellness circles, vinegar is a popular remedy used to aid in digestion, heart health, and management of type 2 diabetes (via Healthline). Many of the claims that have been made about vinegar benefits have at least some science to back them up, but putting acid on a sunburn? Not only will that cause more pain, but it could actually damage your skin even more.

Don't get burned by bad advice

Vinegar is acidic, with a pH somewhere between 2 and 3 on the 0-14 scale. Putting acid on your skin can be risky because of the potential to damage skin's protective barrier that keeps moisture in and environmental irritants out. When you get a sunburn, UV rays damage the DNA in your skin cells. Your skin reacts to this damage by becoming inflamed, swollen, and red (via Skin Cancer Foundation). One of the last things you should put on sunburned skin is something that will cause even more damage. While most vinegar is fairly dilute, applying vinegar to inflamed skin could cause a chemical burn on top of your sunburn (via Insider). Be especially careful to keep vinegar away from peeling or blistered skin, or you'll be in for even more pain.

Unfortunately, applying vinegar to a sunburn isn't the magical cure that everyone was hoping for. Your best bet is still to try and avoid getting burned in the first place. But if you did have a little too much fun in the sun and your summer look is more fiery than just glowing, there's plenty you can do to help ease the pain. Using a cold cloth or taking a cool shower can provide some temporary relief. Aloe vera and anti-inflammatory over-the-counter medicines can help reduce inflammation. And whatever you do this summer, make sure to drink lots of water to stay hydrated while you're out having fun.