Soothing tips for sunburns
Sunburns happen, sometimes despite the most careful preparation. You research the best and safest sunscreens for your kids and forget to apply your own, just for the afternoon. You carefully slater your favorite lotion on your arms and shoulders and miss the tops of your ears. Your new bathing suit has a different cut. No matter what the reason, a sunburn hurts, but some tips for sunburn relief can help you feel better until your irritated skin heals.
Get out of the sun — immediately
Sunburns creep up on you. You might feel a little hot or tingly, but the real damage comes hours later as the sunburn develops. When you begin to notice even a little redness or heat on your skin, it’s time to get out of the sun. It will be worse later, and staying in the sun longer can cause more damage — and pain. If it’s impossible to find shade, throw on a rash guard, like this simple black and white Stripe Rashguard (Athleta, $64).
Don’t be afraid to medicate
An anti-inflammatory, like ibuprofen, can help reduce the swelling in your skin. A dose of Advil before the sunburn has a chance to develop all the way can help ward off some of the discomfort you will eventually feel. Keep a travel-size container of Advil in your beach bag (Drugstore.com, $3). Even if you never need it for sunburn relief, it will come in handy before the end of the summer for headaches or sore muscles from an overzealous run on the beach.
Soothe your skin
Keeping skin gently soothed is one of the most difficult things about a sunburn. Showers sting, even when the lowest possible pressure is used. Try a bath instead, made using Aveeno Soothing Bath Treatment (Drugstore.com, $7). The powder is made with 100% colloidal oatmeal, which can soothe irritation and itchiness caused by sunburns, eczema or even poison ivy. The milky bath gently cleans as well as soothes, an added bonus for sunburn sufferers, as soap will dry out and irritate a burn even more.
Slather on hydrating lotion
Keeping skin soft and hydrated will help the discomfort of a sunburn and prevent the skin from becoming drier and tighter. Pure aloe vera gel is a definite option, but a lotion or cream containing aloe and vitamin E can be even more beneficial. The Pure Life Aloe and Vitamin E Regenerative Cream will relieve dryness and help skin heal (Vita Cost, $8). The cream is free of paragons, alcohol, petroleum, artificial dyes and fragrances.
Continue to treat your skin
Green tea compresses can provide additional skin relief. The anti-inflammatory properties of green tea — we love Matcha Japanese Green Tea — can soothe skin and promote healing (Teavana, $45). To make a compress, simple brew your tea, let the liquid cool, soak a soft cloth in the steeped tea and gently hold against the sunburn.
Stay hydrated — outside and in
Keep drinking water as well as using that fabulous aloe and vitamin E lotion. Keeping your body hydrated from the inside will help the healing process as well. Sunburn can cause your skin to lose water at a more rapid rate, so keeping a water bottle on hand will remind you to sip all day. It will also help to prevent headaches, another side effect from spending too much unprotected time in the sun. The Lifefactory Glass Bottle with Silicone Sleeve is an adorable way to keep your water on hand, in an environmental and health-friendly container (Lifefactory, $25).