Sunburn SOS: The Ultimate Guide to After-Sun Care

woman on beach with a sunburn

So you got a sunburn. We’ve all been there – a day at the beach, a backyard BBQ, or just forgetting to reapply that SPF (oops!). And now? You're as red as a lobster and your skin is crying for help and potentially peeling like an onion. Don't worry, we've got you - let’s turn that burn into a beautiful glow!

african american woman with sunburn nearly submerged in milk bath

Step 1: Cool It Down, Cutie! 

First things first, we need to cool that burn. Your skin is basically begging for some relief. Here's how to do it:

  • Cold Compresses: Soak a washcloth in cold water and lay it gently on the affected area. Do this in 10-15 minute intervals.
  • Cool Showers/Baths: Avoid hot water like the plague! Lukewarm or cool showers will help soothe your skin. For extra relief, add some baking soda to the bath – it's super calming.
  • Avoid Soap: Steer clear of soaps and shower gels that can strip your skin’s natural oils. You want gentle and hydrating. 

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asian woman in towel on bath tub edge, applying lotion to legs

Step 2: Hydration Station 🚰

Sunburn = dehydrated skin. Replenish it from the inside out and outside in!

  • Drink Up: Water, coconut water, herbal teas – keep those fluids coming. Your body needs it.
  • Moisturize: Slather on a hydrating, alcohol-free lotion. Aloe vera gel is your best friend here. Keep it in the fridge for an extra cooling effect. 

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white woman with a sunburn scratching skin

Step 3: TLC for Your Skin 💖

Your skin is in recovery mode, so treat it with tender loving care.

  • Leave Blisters Alone: They might be tempting to pop, but resist! Blisters are your body’s way of protecting and healing.
  • Gentle is the Name of the Game: Use soft fabrics and avoid tight clothing. Think loose, breathable, and comfy.
  • No Scratching: Itchy skin is part of the deal, but scratching will make things worse. Apply more moisturizer instead.
erin's faces spfs in front of a blue lake

Step 4: Avoid the Repeat 🚫

Learn from the burn, folks! Here’s how to stay sun-safe in the future.

  • Sunscreen Savvy: Broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher. Reapply every two hours and after swimming or sweating.
  • Shade is Your BFF: Wear hats, sunglasses, and seek shade, especially during peak sun hours (10 AM - 4 PM).
  • UV-Protective Clothing: They make cute clothes that double as armor against UV rays. Stylish and safe!

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bowl of pieces of aloe vera

Bonus Tips: Nature's Soothers 🌿

Mother Nature has some tricks up her sleeve for sunburn relief.

  • Aloe Vera: Already mentioned, but worth repeating. Straight from the plant or store-bought, it’s a miracle worker.
  • Cucumber Slices: Chill them and lay them on the burn for instant cooling relief.
  • Oatmeal Baths: Blend oats into a fine powder and add to your bath. It’s soothing and anti-inflammatory.

Follow those steps and you’ll bounce back from that sunburn and be ready to glow again in no time.  

Until next time, stay cool and sun-safe! 🌟


1 comment

  • Jennifer

    This might sound weird but another helpful thing to do is take frequent naps. You might feel very tired and that is your body wanting to shut down to regenerate. Give in to it! You will feel better after a little snooze.

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