Everything You Need to Know About Treating Sunburn


Whether you forgot to reapply sunscreen, missed a spot, or just did not expect to be out in the sun for so long, sunburn happens. And when it does, all you want to do is heal it right away. To help you do just that, this is everything you need to know about soothing and treating sunburn.

Is it possible to get rid of sunburn redness overnight?

That will depend on several factors, starting with your skin type. A redhead who burns super easily will probably take longer to heal than someone with olive skin who usually does not burn. Another thing to consider is the location of the sunburn, such as on the face, back, arms, legs, abdomen, or chest. Then one must evaluate the severity of the sunburn, how quickly you intervened once you realize that you got a sunburn (did you apply sunburn solutions right away or wait until it was time to go to sleep?), which products you decided to apply, and the quantity or amount of the product that you applied.

Are there treatments or ingredients found in skincare products that can reduce sunburn redness?

There is scientific evidence that polyphenols—that is why I love green tea!—in both oral and topical form may provide protection from UV damage and sunburn, and thus are beneficial to skin health.  

If you want to do all you can to prevent the possibility of a sunburn—let’s say that you are going to be on a yacht all day long or playing a long game of tennis or watching a sport outdoors—then I recommend that you take oral antioxidant supplement such as ISDIN Softgel Capsules.


Softgel Capsules

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Of course, it is best to take this daily regardless of whether you plan to be in the sun all day, but it definitely is a great prevention and proactive step to take when outdoor trips and activities are on your calendar.

Aloe vera is known for being one of the best ingredients for treating sunburn. Research has found that its anti-inflammatory properties help soothe sunburn, and another study found that out of seven medical plant extracts, aloe vera was the most effective in calming sunburned skin.

One report found that low dose diclofenac sodium 0.1% gel can help reduce the pain and redness of sunburns. Unfortunately, it has been shown that topical steroids will not help.

Is it possible to prevent a sunburn from peeling or minimize peeling?

The more you hydrate the skin with products formulated for severely dry, irritated, and injured skin, the better! Not only will they nourish sunburned skin, but they’ll minimize peeling as well. Wash with BIODERMA Atoderm Ultra-Nourishing Anti-Irritation Cleansing Oil and moisturize generously with BIODERMA Atoderm Ultra-Soothing Balm.Additionally, be sure to apply pure aloe vera gel every few hours.


Atoderm Ultra-Nourishing Anti-Irritation Cleansing Oil

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Atoderm Ultra-Soothing Balm

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What are your top tips for treating a sunburn? 

Immediately keep the skin cool by staying out of the sun and applying cool compresses, such as ice packs or rolling a cold can of soda on your affected skin. Of course, don’t over do it and cause cold injury and frost bite! Apply generous amounts of pure aloe vera gel and repeat multiple times a day—even every hour during the first day! Keep the aloe vera gel in the refrigerator so that it is cooling and extra soothing when you apply it. As suggested earlier, use a super gentle, repairing, healing, hydrating body wash and body moisturizer.  

Be sure to avoid the sun, so stay indoors or covered up. Keep away from overheating the area; hot yoga and hot water could aggravate the sunburned skin, for example. Additionally, avoid friction and rubbing to the area. It’s important to be patient, as there is no magic bullet.

Remember that sunburned skin is injured, delicate skin. Make sure to avoid common mistakes when trying to make it go away faster. That includes never applying random products that contain color, fragrance, and other irritating ingredients. Do not scratch or exfoliate. Never apply active ingredients like retinols or retinoids, any type of acids (including AHAs and BHAs), or peels. Vitamin C will sting! I would also avoid applying makeup and let your skin just breathe and heal.

Ultimately, the best treatment for sunburn damage is PREVENTION. Make sure to always wear an SPF of at least 30 and reapply every two hours, or sooner if you’ve been sweating or swimming. We all slip and fall, but hopefully this will help you mitigate any damage! Here’s to healthy skin!