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This mom’s simple hack for curing sunburns goes viral, but does it really work?

POSTED July 11, 2018 8:29 a.m.
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A Texas mom found a quick way to soothe a sunburn, and it involves a product from dad’s side of the bathroom cabinet.

Cindie Allen-Stewart, of Mount Calm, Texas, found that using menthol shaving foam might be the key to soothing a sunburn in the immediate hours after the burn occurs on a back, according to BuzzFeed News.

She said she heard about the hack from her mother-in-law, who learned it from a doctor 40 years ago.

Her hack is simple: Apply the foam onto your body and leave it there for 30 minutes before rinsing.

"Menthol cools, even if you just put it on your skin and it's not burned it feels cool right away," Allen-Stewart told BuzzFeed News. "It feels comforting while it's on you."

If it still hurts the next day, apply the shaving foam again for another 30 minutes.

The Texas mother shared the tip in a Facebook post, which has now gone viral with more than 230,000 shares.

In an update to her post, Allen-Stewart said her husband has a sensitivity to aloe and can’t use it to cure a sunburn.

“Yes, aloe does help too, but I think this way with the shaving cream is a lot faster,” she wrote.

There’s no specific brand of shaving cream to use, either.

“It just has to be a MENTHOL FOAM shaving cream. Not gel! It can be any brand as we've used multiple brands and had the same result,” she wrote.

She said it’s important to still use sunscreen.

“Too much sun exposure can be dangerous and lead to cancer,” she wrote. “By no means am I endorsing going out without sunscreen! I burn with sunscreen as well and know of the hassle, but it is worth it to wear it!”

Dr. Jon Reitzenstein, a family medicine physician at AFC Urgent Care Grand Rapids, told WXXM-13 there’s no evidence to say the cream won’t work.

“There has never been a study to prove or verify this, so there’s no evidence that this works," he said. "It makes sense to me, intuitively, that all of the moisturizers and lubricants in the shaving cream may help. The tingling of menthol may feel good temporarily, but it's not helping you.”

However, he said shaving cream can still be hazardous to your help.

“There's a lot of ingredients that no one can pronounce or say, including myself, in shaving cream that could cause even more irritation when your skin is damaged by UV radiation, which is different than razor burn,” Reitzenstein said.

So, his answer: “The simple answer is this isn't proven and I would never recommend it to my patients,” he said.

Other options for curing sunburns include taking a bath in cold water, moisturizing your skin, using frozen peas to absorb the heat and staying hydrated, among other cures, according to Prevention.com.

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