A woman sitting on the beach, soaking up some sun.

8 Easy Sunburn Remedies to Help Protect Your Skin

Use Sunscreen to Get a Healthy Glow

It’s that time of year when the sun is shining, and we can all enjoy that gorgeous heat on our skin. While the sun gives us some important vitamin D and a sunkissed glow, if we aren’t careful, we can end up with a sunburn. If you spent a little too much time outside, don’t fear: we’re here with some of the best sunburn remedies so you can ensure a fast and painless healing process.

The Importance of Skin Care

Having a sunburn is not only uncomfortable and sore in the short-term, but if you don’t treat your sunburn effectively, it will last for much longer and may cause long-lasting skin damage. In fact, one of the best ways to keep your skin looking youthful is to prevent sun damage in the first place by using sunscreen.

However, we understand that sometimes we don’t reapply our sunscreen enough, or may have missed a spot. So if you do end up with a burn, don’t panic; work fast and effectively to heal the damage.

Our Top Sunburn Remedies

Get Out of the Sun

First things first: as soon as you notice yourself going red, get out of the sun to prevent further damage. Cover up with light, loose clothing, which won’t irritate the sunburn. Stay out of the sun as much as you can. If you do have to go outside, remember to apply plenty of sunscreen.

Take an Anti-Inflammatory

The best way to quickly combat the pain is to take an anti-inflammatory, such as ibuprofen, as soon as you’ve realized your burn. This will also help to reduce any swelling and redness.

Take a Cool Bath or Shower

Relieve the pain and discomfort by taking regular baths or showers. Make sure you keep the temperature cool, otherwise the hot water may dry out your skin. Afterwards, pat your skin dry, but leave some moisture on your skin.

Stay Hydrated

One of the best natural sunburn remedies is simply staying hydrated, and drinking extra water. Having a sunburn is incredibly dehydrating, and will not only dry your skin out, but your body too. You need to compensate by taking in more fluid than normal. You should also concentrate on the foods you eat, and reach for water-rich fruits and vegetables rather than salty, processed food.

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Moisturize Regularly

Sunburns can lead to dehydrated, dry skin, so it’s important that you concentrate on your skin care routine, especially moisturizing. While your skin is still damp, after your cool bath or shower, reach for a nourishing moisturizer to lock in and boost hydration levels.

We recommend using a moisturizer with aloe vera, a powerful anti-inflammatory which will help to soothe and heal redness and irritation. Avoid moisturizers which contain petroleum as these can trap heat in your skin.

Use an Ice Pack

If your skin is burning, you’ll want to reach for something cooling to calm the heat. Listen to your body and reach for an ice pack, or even a bag of frozen peas. You will want to wrap your cold object in a damp cloth as direct ice is too harsh for your delicate, damaged skin. Hold the wrapped ice pack over your sunburn, and it will help reduce swelling and absorb the heat from your skin.

Don’t Peel Your Skin

However tempting, it’s important that you resist that urge to peel back your sunburn, as it will only make it worse. If you do peel your sunburn, you will not only be in further discomfort for longer, but you increase the risk of infection as the air comes into contact with sensitive nerve endings.

Call the Doctor If Need Be

Most sunburns can be treated at home, but it’s crucial to know when you’ve gone too far and need to pay a visit to your doctor. Contact your doctor if a large area of your skin is blistering, or you are experiencing other symptoms such as nausea, chills, fever, faintness, weakness, or intense itching. You will also need to visit your doctor if your sunburn is spreading, or your burn has become infected.

Preventing Sunburns

Out of all of our sunburn remedies, the best one is to simply stop it from happening in the first place. Sunburns age your skin, are uncomfortable, and dramatically increase your risk of skin cancer. Keeping your skin protected is crucial for your health.

Even when the sun isn’t shining, you should apply sunscreen daily to protect your skin from environmental aggressors and UV damage. Always look for a broad spectrum screen to protect skin from both UVA and UVB rays, and make sure you regularly apply it to stay shielded throughout the entire day.

After a sunburn, your skin is dramatically more sensitive so it’s particularly important that you protect your skin in the six-month period after a burn.