How To: Heal a Sunburn
We’ve all been there: you’re heading to the beach, (hopefully with your sunscreen on), and sure enough, an hour later, you’re as red as a beet.
We asked two skin-care experts to offer their “cool” tips for healing that stubborn sunburn.
Hydrate: “Since your body loses fluids when your body is overheated, it’s important to drink cold ice water to keep the temperature of the body down and internally hydrate,” says celebrity esthetician, Renée Rouleau. Rouleau also recommends soaking in a bathtub with lukewarm to cool water with six cups of milk to help lower the temperature of the body while soothing the skin.
Apply a Lightweight Lotion Containing Antioxidants: “Soothing ingredients like oatmeal or antioxidants like Vitamin C and Ferulic acid can help fight inflammation and aid with healing. Avoid alcohol-containing products, or products with anesthetics like benzocaine. These tend to do more harm than good,” says Whitney Bowe, a broad-certified New York dermatologist.
Apply a Cooling Gel Mask: “Using a cooling gel-based mask to lower the temperature of the skin can bring soothing relief. If you don’t have a gel mask, apply cold plain yogurt; it works as an anti-inflammatory to reduce heat and irritation. Apply, let dry for 15 minutes, and rinse. Repeat every hour,” recommends Rouleau.
What NOT to Do: According to Bowe, never scrub, pick or peel the skin. Also don’t over moisturize: “If you apply too much lotion, the heavy oils in the lotion can create a barrier and trap heat in the skin keeping it red longer,” says Rouleau.