Sunburned skin? How to help sunburn

Everyone knows what sunburn feels like. And it’s definitely not fun. Of course prevention is always better than cure, but luckily there are some things you can do to heal your skin if you do happen to get burned by the sun’s rays. We'll dive into how to ease the effects of sunburn and how you can get rid of it.

What helps with sunburn?

The first sign of (mildly) sunburned skin is usually the red colour. The sunburn then develops for another 12 to 24 hours, which makes it important to take these steps as soon as possible:

  • Cool the burned skin for a few hours using cold, damp compresses, or a bag of ice wrapped in a towel. This will help to draw out the heat and reduce any redness. Then carefully apply Paula's Choice Calm Soothing Liquid Toner to help relieve the sunburn.
  • Apply a light moisturiser with healing ingredients, like niacinamide, as long as there are no blisters on your skin. Make sure any product you use is non-irritating and fragrance free .
  • Get out of the sun right away; go inside or find some shade. And drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.

What shouldn’t you do?

Now we've learned how to help treat sunburn, it's also important to stress what not to do:

  • Do not place ice directly on your skin without a protective layer. It is too cold and can make the damage worse. Instead wrap the ice in a clean towel or dishcloth.
  • Do not apply a thick balm, cream, or butter to sunburned skin, as these products will trap the heat.
  • Do not use creams that contain fragrances. This can lead to skin irritation.
  • An aloe vera gel on its own is not enough. Sunburned skin needs a broader range of skin-repairing ingredients. Instead, use a night cream or gel that also contains other moisture-regulating ingredients, as well as aloe vera.

What to do with bad sunburn?

If you are badly burned, for example, if you feel faint or dizzy, have severe blisters, feel nauseous or have a high temperature, go and see your doctor.

How to prevent a sunburn

So now you may be asking yourself, how often should I reapply my sunscreen? Here are some top tips:

  • Use a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every day, even when it’s cloudy.
  • Apply the product liberally to all parts of the body that will be exposed to the sun.
  • Apply 15 to 20 minutes before going outside.
  • Repeat this routine regularly, especially if you are outside a lot, perspiring, or if you have been swimming.

Learn more about sun damage and how to prevent it in our article sun damage explained.

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