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Can You Prevent Your Sunburn From Peeling?

Even summer has its downside.

There’s so much to love about summer—vacations, warm weather, frose specials and beach days. But even summer has its downsides, and dealing with sunburn can be one of them.  What’s more, sunburn peeling can be one of the most annoying experiences. From red, painful skin to the super noticeable skin peeling, it can really put a damper on your summer. Not to mention, the fear of increasing your risk of skin cancer and skin aging should be enough to make you take the appropriate measures to avoid sunburn peeling at all costs.

While this skin care concern can be alarming, the more knowledgeable you are about it, the better prepared you’ll be to handle it. So we’re tackling all things sunburn skin peeling, including tips for dealing with sunburn peeling and skin care tips to give you some sunburn relief.

Why Does Your Sunburn Peel?

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, sunburn skin peeling happens as the body’s way of getting rid of skin cells that were damaged by too much exposure to UV light. While the shedding can be a bit embarrassing to deal with, sunburn peeling goes a long way in repairing your skin. The best way to think of sunburn skin peeling is your skin going into defense mode. It’s actually a good thing if your skin is already sun damaged.

While you may think that sunburn peeling happens immediately, it actually takes some time for the shedding to start. Per the Skin Cancer Foundation, you can expect sunburn peeling to occur about three days after you experience a sunburn. While no one likes to deal with skin peeling, there are steps you can take to speed things up.

How To Stop Sunburn Peeling

When you have a painful, peeling sunburn, it’s to be expected that you’ll want to take action. While the only way to truly prevent sunburn peeling is to not get a sunburn in the first place, if you catch a bit too much sun, there are steps you can take to accelerate the healing process. The Skin Cancer Foundation shares that one of the best things you can do for sunburnt skin is to moisturize the area. It not only provides skin with necessary moisture, but it also works to soothe sunburn and provide comfort. Be sure to apply moisturizer to damp skin so that you can reap all of the benefits.

5 Tips For Dealing With Sunburn Peeling

As you can imagine, there are myriad ways to give your skin relief from sunburn peeling. The Skin Cancer Foundation shares that you can use the same techniques that you would use to handle a non-peeling sunburn. Here are some tips to try.

Editor’s tip: If you’re dealing with an intense level of sunburn it might be best to make an appointment with a dermatologist, who will be able to tell if there is something else going on with your skin.

1. Take Cold Showers And Baths

The worst thing you could do when tackling sunburnt skin that’s peeling is to shower in hot water as it can cause irritation and make matters worse. Keep things nice and cool to give your skin the care it needs. Fortunately, in the summertime a nice cold shower might be preferred to combat the hot, sticky weather anyway.

2. Stay Indoors and Don’t Touch The Burn

This may be a no-brainer, but it’s totally worth saying—stay out of the sun! The Skin Cancer Foundation shares that getting out of the sun and treating sunburn as soon as you notice can go a long way with your healing process. And while you’re indoors, don’t pick at your skin. Picking your skin as it’s peeling can have adverse effects, which is the last thing you need. Similarly, you won’t want to exfoliate the area where your skin is peeling. While it may help remove the peeling skin, it could cause major irritation. 

3. Wear Loose Clothing

Tight clothes and sunburn make for an uncomfortable combination. To help limit the risk of further irritation, play it safe, and wear loose, breathable clothing.

4. Cozy Up To Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen

It’s easy to forget about applying sunscreen, especially when you’re trying to manage sunburn skin peeling, but it’s an essential step for your healing. The Skin Cancer Foundations shares that skin becomes much more sensitive to additional UV damage after being burned, which means it’s a necessity to take the appropriate protective measures. So use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more every day and reapply sunscreen every two hours or more if you’re sweating or swimming. Don’t forget to limit your exposure to the sun, especially during peak hours between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. 

5. Moisturize Your Skin

We can’t say this enough: moisturize your skin! Sunburn can easily leave you with dry skin, and using a daily moisturizer can help tackle this skin care woe with ease.


Next: The Top 10 Sun Tips To Follow Year-Round

Photography: Chaunte Vaughn, Senior Art Director: Melissa San Vicente-Landestoy, Associate Creative Producer: Becca Solovay, Makeup Artist: Jonet Williamson, Hair Stylist: Akihisa Yamaguchi, Wardrobe Stylist: Adriana Perez-Bell, Digital Tech: Paul Yem, Model: Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick

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