Sunburns are the worst. Who hasn’t had a perfectly good vacation or beach day ruined by bright red, sometimes blistering burn at one point or another? Even though we know the importance of wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher every day — because prevention is by far the best defense against the sun’s harmful rays — no one is perfect. Sunburns happen and if one happens to you, you’re going to want to find a quick way to ease the pain and soothe the damage at home. Here’s how:
SUNBURN TIP #1: COOL THINGS DOWN
When you have a sunburn, your skin can feel hot to the touch. In order to find some immediate relief, try to cool your skin down. The cooling sensation of cold water can help to soothe the skin — especially if you’ve just been at the beach or pool — because the water will rinse away any irritating sand, chlorine, saltwater and dirt. If your skin is still feeling hot, reach for a cooling face mask. SkinCeuticals’ Phyto Corrective Masque offers a cooling sensation upon contact with the skin. It helps to neutralize the visible effects of temporary skin reactivity, including blotchiness, dullness and dehydration, as well as that tight feeling you can experience due to any number of factors including sun exposure.
SUNBURN TIP #2: REACH FOR ALOE VERA
If the skin stays hydrated it will be less likely to peel and flake. Aloe vera gel is packed with vitamins A, C and E, enzymes, minerals and amino acids that are known to help soothe sunburnt skin. Store aloe vera gel products in your fridge for an extra cooling sensation and lather on frequently throughout the day.
SUNBURN TIP #3: HYDRATE INSIDE, OUT
Hydrated skin is happy skin and that hydration starts from within. The skin needs to stay nourished on the inside and out in order to repair itself after getting sunburned. According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, burns draw a lot of fluid from the body. Be sure to drink extra water and watch out for signs of dehydration in the initial days following the sunburn.
SUNBURN TIP #4: SEEK SHADE
It may seem obvious, but it’s vital to move out of the sun as soon as you notice any symptoms of sunburn. It takes the burn up to six hours to fully develop on the skin’s surface, which is why you don’t always notice your sunburned skin until after you’ve gone home at the end of a long day outdoors. If you notice you’re starting to burn, reach for sunscreen and seek shade under an UV-ray blocking umbrella. Or, better yet, head indoors.
SUNBURN TIP #5: GET A SECOND OPINION
Is your sunburn particularly intense with symptoms that still persist after trying these options? You may want to consider seeing a board-certified dermatologist. While sunburns are typically temporary, they can cause long-lasting damage, especially if they’re severe. Fact is, just one sunburn can create sun damage on the skin. This includes everything from superficial effects like wrinkles and dark spots to more serious side effects like skin cancers.