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 to get sunburn relief to no avail, you’re probably searching what to put on sunburn. As always, we’ve got you covered. This skin care concern may be painful, but there are ways you can help soothe the burn to get some relief. Keep reading for the 10 best tips on what helps a sunburn.
SUNBURN TIP #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 ASAP. You don’t want to expose your skin to any more sun as it can keep burning.
SUNBURN TIP #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. The Skin Cancer Foundation also shares another tip on how to soothe sunburns: apply a cold compress.
SUNBURN TIP #3: APPLY MOISTURIZER TO DAMP SKIN
When it comes to how to help sunburn post-shower, don’t completely towel off. Instead, gently pat your skin dry and apply a moisturizer to damp skin, which the AAD says can help ease sunburn-related dryness.
SUNBURN TIP #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. That’s right, aloe is the main answer to what to put on a sunburn. Hello, comfort!
SUNBURN TIP #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.
SUNBURN TIP #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.
SUNBURN TIP #7: 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 your sunburn qualifies? It’s always a good idea to play it safe.
SUNBURN TIP #8: APPLY A BROAD-SPECTRUM SUNSCREEN DAILY
We all forget to wear sunscreen from time to time, but applying one 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, like dark spots and wrinkles. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, 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).
Tend to skip out on the sunscreen because you just don’t have time in the a.m.? Use a moisturizer formulated with broad-spectrum sunscreen to pare down your skin care routine. Try the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Bright Reveal Brightening Day Lotion SPF 30. 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.
SUNBURN TIP #9: GET A GOLDEN GLOW SANS SUN
Tanning is a skin care no-no—but that doesn’t mean you have to forgo golden color. Just use a self-tanner instead! The L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze™ Self-Tanning Towelettes for Body are quick, convenient, and offer smooth, even application. Plus, they’re individually wrapped so you can use them on the go! Just make sure to cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize before use. You can use a towelette once a day until you reach your desired level of tan, then once or twice a week to maintain the results.
SUNBURN TIP #10: GIVE IT TIME
As with most things, getting total sunburn relief takes time. How long does sunburn last? This 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.
Next: If you have darker skin, you may not burn easily—but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about other forms of sun damage! Make sure you’re staying sun safe by following our Sun Protection Tips for Dark Skin Tones because everyone (and we mean everyone) should take sun protection measures.