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Updated: April 10, 2020

It’s that time of year again when sunburns tend to happen. No matter how careful you are slathering on the sunscreen, sometimes you just tend to miss some spots (ahem… like I did this past weekend at the beach). If that happens and you find yourself in pain for the next couple of days, here are some tips to ease the discomfort.

READ: 14 Best Sunscreen Picks for Redheads in 2019 

1. Take a cool shower or bath

If showering, use a gentle stream of water (not on full blast) to avoid irritating the skin. Air-dry or pat gently with a towel to dry off in order to avoid damaging the sensitive skin in that area.

2. Drink water

Since any burn draws fluids to the skin surface and away from the rest of the body, it’s important to keep hydrated. Drinking extra water, coconut water, juice or sports drinks will help prevent dehydration and give your body the moisture to help heal.

3. Use lots of lotion

Leave any spots with blisters alone because the skin is extra thin and sensitive there. When choosing a lotion, reach for something that’s hydrating and will moisturize well to trap in any moisture that might still remain in your skin. Look for ingredients like glycerin, soy or ceramides.

Anything that contains oatmeal is also great because oatmeal has soothing properties. Some types of creams contain vitamins E & C, which can help calm inflammation in the skin. Never use a lotion or cream that contains petroleum because that will trap heat in your body and that’s the last thing you’d want to happen.



4. Take a dose of ibuprofen (example, Advil) as soon as you see signs of a sunburn and keep it up for the next 48 hours*

This will cut back on the swelling and redness that normally occurs.

5. Avoid using soaps, bath oils or other detergents when you bathe or shower

These can be irritating and make your sunburn hurt even more.

6. Apply a cold wet compress to the affected area

This can be a wet washcloth. Lay it on the area for about 20-30 minutes and re-wet when needed.

7. Wear loose cotton clothing over the sunburned area

Cotton is very breathable and the loose fabric won’t tug on your skin as much.

READ: A Redhead’s Guide to Sun Protection

8. Put aloe vera on the sunburn

Aloe is a cooling agent and an anti-inflammatory. You can grow your own aloe plant in your house or you can buy the gel at a drugstore.



9. Add a few scoops of baking soda to a bath

It’s cooling and helps your skin retain moisture.

10. Sit in air conditioning and soak up the coldness

This will soothe the skin instantly and give you relief.

Rock it like a Redhead!