Even when you try to wear the right amount of sunscreen to avoid sunburn, some days, you just can’t overpower the sun’s rays. Other times, you’ve applied your sunscreen unevenly and end up with little patches of sunburn across your body. No matter how you got your sunburn, there’s absolutely no denying it—sunburn is the worst!
Having sunburn might make you want to hide under the covers until it’s healed. Sunburn can also be very painful—ever gotten sunburn on your shoulders and then had to put a bra strap over it? We shudder just thinking about it.
We’ve got the secret to the best way to soothe and heal your sunburn quickly, so you can eliminate discomfort and go about your everyday life. Plus, the best way to treat sunburn is to not get it in the first place, right? Let’s chat.
How To Soothe and Heal Your Sunburn ASAP
If you need some new ideas on how to relieve that sunburn pain and get your skin back to normal as quickly as possible, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve got a long list of treatment options for you:
Aloe vera also has anti-inflammatory properties, which will reduce redness, inflammation, and swelling caused by sunburn. For issues specifically with the skin on your face, we recommend our Vitamin C Clay Mask, which contains aloe vera and other anti-inflammatory ingredients.
Once out of the shower, apply a gentle, healing moisturizer to your skin to trap as much hydration as possible. Be careful with your first shower after getting sunburnt—usually you won’t realize the extent of your burns until afterwards.
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How To Prevent Sunburn
Once you’ve recovered from an especially painful bout of sunburn, you may vow to never make the same mistakes again. While this is easier said than done, there are certain habits you can build that will minimize your risk of developing sunburn.
Firstly, you already know what we are going to say. Wear. Sunscreen. Applying sunscreen in the morning at the tail end of your skincare routine, and before you leave the house should be an essential part of your day. It does not matter if you are going out for 10 minutes or for 10 hours. Sunscreen will protect your skin from harmful UV rays and prevent sunburn and other skin damage.
Look for sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. If you have trouble remembering to put on sunscreen or have limited time in the morning, there are plenty of high-quality moisturizers available that also contain at least SPF 30.
One application of sunscreen in the morning should be enough to last you through the day if you will only be outside sparingly. However, if you will be spending the day in the sun (say, a trip to the beach), make sure to pack your sunscreen and reapply every couple of hours. Have a friend or family member help you with the harder-to-reach areas of your skin.
There’s a myth going around that people with dark skin are not capable of getting sunburn. And while having a higher amount of melanin in your skin does offer you added protection against the sun’s harmful rays, you can still experience sunburn, sun damage, and even skin cancer (albeit at lower rates). It’s better to be safe than sorry, and sun damage isn’t something you want to mess around with, so wear sunscreen regularly regardless of your skin color.
Finally, protect the body from the sun as much as you can. This means wearing sunglasses, a sun hat, and light clothes that cover most of the body. When you have the opportunity, sit in the shade, or bring your own umbrella.
If you absolutely must tan, be especially stringent about reapplying sunscreen regularly. Stop tanning immediately and move into the shade if you notice any redness or feel any tingling on your skin.
And, breathe. We just gave you, like, a ton of information and that list of treatment methods was pretty long. How do you know which option is best for you?
The cool thing is, you don’t just have to choose one. No matter what, drink plenty of water, take cool showers, wear loose-fitting clothing, refrain from using harsh makeup and skincare products, and stay away from the sun whenever you have sunburn. This should be your baseline level of care.
On top of that, get creative. Just because you took an Aspirin doesn’t mean you can’t also apply aloe vera to your burns. Play around with the treatment options that feel best on your skin, and do more of whatever helps you heal your sunburn in the safest and most efficient way possible.
Finally, a truly bad sunburn should be a lesson in practicing better skincare habits. Mainly, this means wearing sunscreen every day and staying out of direct sunlight when possible. By actively working to prevent sunburn, you will slow down the rate at which your skin ages, as well as your risk for potentially serious skin conditions later on in life.
How to treat sunburn (aad.org)
14 Best Sunburn Relief Tips - How to Make Sunburn Heal Faster (womenshealthmag.com)
Sunburn Remedies —17 Ways to Make a Sunburn Go Away ASAP (cosmopolitan.com)
Sunburn - Diagnosis and treatment - Mayo Clinic
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