skin care concerns 10 Ways to Instantly Relieve Sunburn Pain

Try these the next time you doze off in your beach chair.

August 03, 2022
How To Relieve A Sunburn

We’ve all been there before — you apply sunscreen before heading to the beach and then promptly proceed to fall asleep on your towel with the sound of the waves crashing behind you. Now you’re left with a red, painful sunburn. Ouch! 


If you’ve tried everything under the sun (no pun intended) to get sunburn relief to no avail, you’re probably searching what you can put on sunburn. As always, we’ve got you covered. Sunburns may be painful, but there are ways you can help soothe them to get some relief. Keep reading for the 10 best tips on what quickly helps relieve sunburn pain.


1. Head Indoors, Stat

One of the main answers to how to help a sunburn is to stop exposing your skin to the sun. If you’re outside and realize you have a sunburn, the Skin Cancer Foundation advises getting inside as soon as possible. You don’t want to expose your skin to any more sun as it can keep burning.

2. Keep Things Cool

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, one of the simplest ways to get sunburn relief is to take frequent cold baths and showers. Just avoid staying in the tub for too long, which can be drying — and avoid harsh soap, which may irritate your skin further. You can also apply a cold compress to help soothe the pain, according to The Skin Cancer Foundation


3. Apply Moisturizer to Damp Skin 

When it comes to how to help sunburn post-shower, don’t completely dry off. Instead, gently pat your skin with a towel and apply a moisturizer to damp skin, which the AAD says can help ease sunburn-related dryness. 


4. Reach for Aloe Vera

You can’t go wrong with using aloe for a sunburn. Aloe vera has been used since ancient times — and there’s a reason why it’s stood the test of time. Most commonly, aloe vera is used to help provide soothing relief for sunburns. Hello, comfort!


5. Wear Loose Clothing

Not sure how to find relief from your sunburn? Wearing the right protective clothing is a great place to start. After all, tight clothes over a sunburn make for an uncomfortable experience. In fact, the Skin Cancer Foundation suggests wearing loose, soft, breathable clothing to avoid further skin irritation.


6. Seek Shade

This one might sound obvious, but it’s worth repeating. Whether or not you have a sunburn, you should always seek shade, especially during the sun’s peak hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


7. Apply a Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen Daily

We all forget to wear sunscreen from time to time, but applying it everyday should be at the top of your list of skin care priorities. As we all know, when you spend time in the sun without protection, you can get burned, which can also lead to damage and visible signs of aging down the road, including dark spots and wrinkles. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater, and toss it in your bag to play it safe. Broad-spectrum sunscreen can help protect against both UVA rays (the ones that cause damage) and UVB rays (the ones that burn).


If you tend to skip out on sunscreen because you just don’t have time in the morning, use a moisturizer formulated with broad-spectrum sunscreen to pare down your skin care routine. We love the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Day Lotion SPF 30, which protects your skin from the sun’s rays while targeting common signs of aging. 


Keep in mind, even if you apply sunscreen at the beginning of the day, you still need to reapply. If you’re going to be spending an extended amount of time outside, try setting an alert on your phone so that you don’t forget to reapply every two hours.


8. Get a Golden Glow Sans-Sun

Tanning is a skin care no-no — but that doesn’t mean you have to forgo a golden glow. Just use a self-tanner instead. The L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Water Mousse is an easy way to get a long-lasting tan while keeping your skin safe from the sun’s rays. Just make sure to cleanse and exfoliate before use and allow four to eight hours for the color to develop before taking a shower. 


9. Give It Time

As with most things, getting total sunburn relief takes time. You may be wondering how long a sunburn can last, but it depends on the severity of your burn. You can expect to be dealing with your symptoms for anywhere from three days to more than a week. In the meantime, try the above mentioned remedies and avoid doing anything to further irritate your skin.


10. Visit the Dermatologist

If your sunburn symptoms are more intense and lasting longer than usual, the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends seeking medical attention. Not sure if your sunburn qualifies? It’s always a good idea to visit one if you’re worried, just to play it safe.


Next: 5 Sun Protection Measures to Add to Your Summer Routine ASAP


Edited by: Shannon Stubbs, Photo Credit: iStock