Nobody enjoys coming inside after a long day of soaking up the sun to find that their skin is severely burnt, however, it is extremely common. After all, it can be a challenge to remember to continue to lather up on the sunscreen if you’re caught up swimming, tanning, etc. The next few days are spent trying to navigate how to minimize the pain and avoid additional sun exposure. As we’re all familiar with some general remedies to relieve the burning sensation, like cooling Aloe Vera, did you know you're supposed to steer clear of certain ingredients as your skin works to repair itself? Here Haute Beauty experts tell all about how to handle your sunburn correctly.
Dr. Bertha Baum | Skin | Miami/Ft. Lauderdale
I would avoid a sunburn at all costs, but if it does happen, here are some tricks on how to take care of your skin. Apply Aloe Vera gel or calamine lotion, a good trick is putting them in the refrigerator, so they soothe your skin. Also, applying hydrocortisone 1% cream over the counter twice daily should help. Protect yourself from more sun and stay away from it completely. I would not apply Neosporin or pop the blisters. Also, I would avoid any caine products (such as benzocaine) because of allergic reactions and any products with alcohol.
Dr. Ellen Burov | Skin | Manhattan NY
My favorite product for sunburns is Hyaluronic Acid. The easiest way to get it is Neutrogena Hydroboost body gel from the drug store. It speeds up the healing process. If it’s a blistering sunburn, it’s better to see a dermatologist for treatment recommendations. Do not use anything irritating such as acids (glycolic, salicylic), or topical alcohol-containing remedies.
Dr. Harlan L. South | Anti-Aging | San Francisco
A sunburn often occurs during the summertime when we become overexposed to the sun's UVB rays. Hydration and using an SPF 50 or higher natural sun care product can help to prevent sunburn. However, once a sunburn has occurred, there are a few natural items to help ease the discomfort and start the healing process. Cold chamomile tea bags, chilled cucumber smoothies, and coconut oil cream are great ways to start the cooling process. Also, using a baking soda paste (with lukewarm water) can normalize the ph balance of the injured skin, and using a high-fat cold yogurt or milk can help to lock in the moisture as well as aid the healing process. Several products can help alleviate the discomfort of sunscreens, like Korres After Sun, which includes aloe vera and greek yogurt, Cerave moisturizing cream, and Cetaphil soothing gel cream with aloe.
Of course, one should avoid the sun and excessive heat until their skin has healed. Appropriate sunscreen can go a long way to preventing long-term complications such as skin cancer later in life.
Dr. Omar A. Ibrahimi | Skin | Stamford/Greenwich
Once you have gotten a sunburn, you must realize that you have damaged your skin, and it's best to be very gentle and not take any aggressive actions. I recommend cool baths or showers followed immediately with a bland gentle moisturizer, and a special ingredient I love for sunburns is Aloe Vera. Oral ibuprofen will help with severe sunburns and discomfort. One thing you should not do is if your skin blisters, DO NOT pick the blisters. Allow the blisters to heal!
Dr. Tamara Lazic, Hudson Dermatology and Laser Surgery | Skin | New York
Sunburn happens to the best of us, we have all been caught off guard on a cloudy day! To help heal sunburned skin, it is important to start treating it as soon as you notice it.
Here are my healing tips:
- Take cool baths or showers to help with the pain.
- After bathing, apply aloe vera gel which helps cool and soothe, for a more severe burn, I suggest treating with hydrocortisone cream (over-the-counter 1%), which actually helps with the inflammation and speeds up the healing process.
- If you are in pain, take ibuprofen, especially if swelling is involved.
- Do NOT peel blisters, this increases the risk of infection. Allow them to heal naturally.
- Wear protective loose clothing and sunscreen to prevent sunburn on top of a sunburn.
- Make sure you stay well hydrated!