By Melissa Locker
Woman Sun Bathing on Beach with Sun Hat
Credit: kupicoo/Getty Images

As summer rolls around, most of us try to slather on the SPF every time we leave the house. Even the best laid plans to dutifully apply sunblock can occasionally go awry and we end up with a dreaded sunburn. Normally when that happens, we head for the aloe or soothing moisturizer. Turns out that we should be heading to the fridge instead.

Good Housekeeping reports that the best cure for a sunburn may be good old-fashioned milk. According to a Dr. Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, a board-certified dermatologist and dermatopathologist in New York, a compress soaked in cold milk "can actually speed the healing of your burn."

"The cool milk helps pull heat away from the skin," Dr. Mudgil told Good Housekeeping. "Vitamin A and D in milk are antioxidants, which can help assist healing the skin. The lactic acid in milk can help exfoliate some of the dead skin cells away."

If you haven't made it to the Piggly Wiggly to pick up a gallon of milk, plain yogurt will work, too. Just slather it on the burn and let it sooth your unhappy skin.

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The American Academy of Dermatology has a few non-dairy options, including cool showers or baths, taking an aspirin or ibuprofen to reduce swelling and discomfort, drinking extra water, and a thin coating of either aloe vera or an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream.

If your sunburn is so bad that your skin blisters, don't pop those blisters. Do as your mama always told you, and leave them alone. They help your skin heal and protect you from infection. And next time, wear your SPF.