Sunburn facts and homemade relief

When we spend too much time under the sun’s rays, our skin becomes red and sore. Why is this? This reddening, sunburn, is caused when the skin is damaged by the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Everyone’s had it – the skin becomes red, sore, warm and tender to the touch. If you’re burnt, your skin may start to flake and peel after a few days. Usually, the burn is mild, and the skin makes a full recovery within 12 days.

Sunburn is usually not serious, and sufferers notice an improvement in symptoms within a couple of days, but it’s crucial to try to avoid sunburn at all costs, because of the hidden dangers it presents: it may increase your risk of developing skin problems in later life, such as premature ageing and skin cancer.

Sunburn lotion

Table of contents

When you’re lying in the sun, playing in the pool and enjoying time with friends and family, it can be very easy to underestimate the strength of the sun and the dangers it presents. Jumping into the pool, a cool breeze and other things make your skin feel cold, so you may not even feel the burn happening. This increases the dangers of sun exposure – often when you realize, it’s too late, and the skin has suffered significant damage. This is why, below, we’ve included the best advice to avoid sunburn, and some of the best homemade sunburn remedies for anyone whose suffering.

What is sunburn?

We all know what sunburn is but very few of us know the scientific process behind it, which is why many are unaware of the actual risks.

Below we’ve explained the basic scientific steps that lead to an uncomfortable night of sunburn!

Sunburn, in general, is a form of burn caused by UV radiation, commonly from the sun, but can also be caused by tanning beds and other things which emit ultraviolet rays.

UV rays

Sunburn is the body’s reaction to direct DNA damage from UVB light – the body attempts to revert the damage but reddening and peeling to remove the damaged skin cells which cannot be repaired.

The body then increases extra melanin to prevent future harm, which causes the skin to turn brown.

An extreme case of excess UV radiation can be life-threatening.

Signs and Symptoms of Sunburn:

(All of these symptoms vary depending on the severity of the burn and duration of exposure to the sun)

  • Erythema – this is reddening of the skin
  • Itching of the skin
  • Peeling skin
  • Rash
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Trouble Sleeping
  • Feeling disorientated
  • Oversleeping/fatigue
  • Blisters
  • Skin swelling
  • High temperature/fever of 38C (100.4F) or above
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness

Sunburn – why you should avoid it

The US Skin Cancer Foundation report within ‘Skin Cancer Statistics” as follows :

  • “Each year in the U.S. there are over 5.4 million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer.
  • 3.3 million people in the US currently suffer from it.
  • Skin cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis.
  • Over the past 30 years, skin cancer was the most common cancer
  • ⅕ Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
  • Between 40 and 50 percent of Americans who live to age 65 will have either basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma at least one time in their lives.
  • Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer.
  • Organ transplant patients are approximately 100 times more likely than the general public to develop squamous cell carcinoma.
  • Actinic keratosis is the most common precancer; it affects more than 58 million Americans.
  • About 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.
  • The annual cost of treating skin diseases in the U.S. is estimated at $8.1 billion: about $4.8 billion for nonmelanoma skin cancers and $3.3 billion for melanoma.”
  • One person dies of melanoma every hour.
  • An estimated 87,110 new cases of invasive melanoma will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2017.
  • An estimated 9,730 people will die of melanoma in 2017.
  • Melanoma accounts for less than one percent of skin cancer cases, but the vast majority of skin cancer deaths.
  • The large majority of melanomas are caused by the sun. In fact, one UK study found that about 86 percent of melanomas can be attributed to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.
  • The estimated 5-year survival rate for patients whose melanoma is detected early is about 98 percent in the U.S. The survival rate falls to 62 percent when the disease reaches the lymph nodes, and 18 percent when the disease metastasizes to distant organs.
  • On average, a person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had more than five sunburns.
  • Regular daily use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by about 40 percent and the risk of developing melanoma by 50 percent.

Sunscreen is important

With these figures in mind, the importance of using sunscreen is evident. It’s important to educate ourselves about the dangers, causes and possible treatments for sunburn and skin damage. Skin cancer is a common problem throughout the US, so proper sunscreen and being sensible in the sun has never been more important. If it’s too late and you’re already suffering from sunburn, check-out our homemade sunburn remedies!

How to reduce your risk of sunburn:

  • Avoid sun exposure between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. This is when the sun’s rays are strongest, and thus, you’re more at risk of sunburn. If you have to go outside during this time, make sure to stay in the shade as much as possible.
  • Do not expose yourself to sun tanning or to using tanning beds. Using tanning beds present a whole range of dangers, discussed in more detail below.
  • Cover up all areas of skin exposed to the sun. When in the sun, wear a big hat that covers your face, head, and neck. Ensure you choose clothing that covers you properly from the sun’s rays, including your arms, shoulders, chest and legs. Dark colors offer more protection from the sun’s rays, as do woolen fabrics without any gaps. Some clothes offer UPF protection, that’s protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. It works like sunscreen, the higher the number, the more protection you have.
  • Use sunscreen frequently and apply a lot of it. Many people believe that because they tan easily and they don’t burn, that they’re not at risk of skin damage. This is untrue; it doesn’t matter what your skin type is, you must use a sunscreen with SP15 or more for a broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using an SPF of 30 or greater, irrespective of race or ethnicity.
  • Apply sunscreen BEFORE you go into the sun. 20-30 minutes before going outdoors and into the sun, generously apply sunscreen with a high SPF on skin that will be exposed to the sun. Reapply it every hour, or more often if you have very sensitive skin or if you’re swimming in the pool or the sea, or sweating. If you’re using insect repellent in addition to the sunscreen, apply the sunscreen before the repellent.
  • Wear sunglasses when outdoors/exposed to the sun’s rays. Only sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection will fully protect your eyes from sun damage. Before you buy new sunglasses, make sure to check the UV rating on the label to see what level of protection they offer. The color of the lense doesn’t matter – dark or light; the UVA/B protection comes from the strength of the lens and not the color. It also is a good idea to wear sunglasses that fit snugly to your face and have wraparound frames that block sunlight from all angles going into your eyes.
  • Some medications increase your sensitivity to the sun – be aware of them. Common drugs prescribed by doctors might make you more sensitive to the sun’s rays, e.g. antihistamines, some antibiotics, antidepressants, antipsychotics, most cholesterol-lowering drugs, and ibuprofen. Consult your doctor or pharmacist about the medicine’s possible side effects before going into the sun.
  • Use the UV index before going out into the sun. The UV index shows the strength of the sun and the risk of getting sunburnt on any particular day in a certain location. This index is comprised of many factors, like the time of the day, cloud cover, the season, your location’s proximity to the equator, altitude, proximity to reflective surfaces.
  • Watch out for windy conditions. When it is windy, you are less likely to feel your skin burning, as the wind cools it. Check the weather forecast and avoid the sun as much as possible on windy days.
  • Be extra careful if you’re near the water. The sun’s rays can reflect off the water and onto your skin, increasing the sun’s effect on your body. If you are close to the water, it is a good idea to increase your SPF factor and use at least an SPF50 at all times.

Children and Babies

Sunburn for babies and children

While our children are running around and enjoying life by the pool or the beach, it’s important to know how to keep kids safe – skin damage is not just something that affects adults in later life.

According to the US Skin Foundation:

  • Melanoma accounts for up to three percent of all pediatric cancers.
  • Children often suffer skin damage by not waiting long enough after sunscreen application before exposure to the sun.
  • 24% of a child’s skin has suffered some form of damage by the time they reach 18 years of age.
  • Children are more likely suffer allergies to most drugstore pharmacy sunscreen.
  • The treatment of childhood melanoma is often delayed due to misdiagnosis of pigmented lesions, which occurs up to 40 percent of the time.

To avoid this, the US Skin Foundation recommends:

  • Babies younger than ten months should never be exposed to direct sunlight
  • Children should wear long-sleeved tops and long trousers in the sun, ensuring their face, head and neck are covered at all times.
  • Children’s sunglasses should correctly filter out UVA and UVB rays.
  • During warm weather, children should always be wearing SPF20, reapplying it every hour
  • Doctors do not recommend babies under six months wear sunscreen; they must be completely covered from the sun in clothing and the shade.
  • The best products for babies and children over six months are those that contain physical blockers (titanium oxide, zinc oxide).

Dangers of Tanning Beds

Artificial tanning

While sunscreen can protect you while you’re in the sun, it’s important also to avoid damaging your skin in other ways – doing things that sunscreen can’t protect from. One of the leading causes of skin cancer and skin damage are the use of artificial tanning beds.

The US Skin Foundation reports:

  • Ultraviolet (UV) radiation found in tanning beds is a proven human carcinogen.
  • The International Agency for Research on Cancer, an affiliate of the World Health Organization, includes ultraviolet (UV) tanning devices in its Group 1, a list of agents that are cancer-causing to humans. Group 1 also includes agents such as plutonium, cigarettes and solar UV radiation.
  • As of September 2, 2014, ultraviolet (UV) tanning devices were reclassified by the FDA from Class I (low risk), to Class II (moderate risk) devices.
  • Twelve states plus the District of Columbia prohibit people younger than 18 from using indoor tanning equipment: California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Texas, and Vermont. Oregon and Washington prohibit those under 18 from using indoor tanning devices unless a prescription is provided.
  • Brazil and Australia have banned indoor tanning altogether. Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom have banned indoor tanning for people younger than age 18.
  • More than 419,000 cases of skin cancer in the U.S. each year are linked to indoor tanning, including about 245,000 basal cell carcinomas, 168,000 squamous cell carcinomas, and 6,200 melanomas.
  • More people develop skin cancer because of tanning than developing lung cancer because of smoking.
  • Those who have ever tanned indoors have a 67 percent increased risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma and a 29 percent higher risk of developing basal cell carcinoma.
  • Those who have ever tanned indoors have a 69 percent risk of developing basal cell carcinoma before age 40.
  • Individuals who have used tanning beds 10 or more times in their lives have a 34 percent increased risk of developing melanoma compared to those who have never used tanning beds.
  • People who first use a tanning bed before age 35 increase their risk of skin cancer by 25%.

Premature Aging

Now that we’ve talked about the danger of skin cancer, you may be wondering, what are the other dangers caused by the sun’s damaging rays on the skin? One of the other main factors that overexposure to the sun causes is premature aging of the skin.

According to the US Skin Foundation’s report:

  • An estimated 90 percent of skin aging is caused by the sun.
  • People who use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher daily show 24 percent less skin aging than those who do not use sunscreen daily.
  • Sun damage is cumulative. Only about 23 percent of lifetime exposure occurs by age 18-28.
    So, before you go out and spend hundreds of dollars on anti-aging creams or on cosmetic treatments to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, it’s important to address your sun exposure and how you protect your skin when you’re out and about.


Melanin pigment matters

Ethnicity is a major factor in addressing your risk-level of sunburn and skin cancer. Below are some ethnic-specific cancer statistics, showing just how different skin cancer is depending on your background.

According to the US Skin Foundation :

  • “The estimated 5-year melanoma survival rate for black people is only 69 percent, versus 93 percent for white people.
  • Skin cancer represents approximately two to four percent of all cancers in Asian people.
  • Skin cancer comprises one to two percent of all cancers in black people and Asian Indians.
  • Melanomas in black people, Asians, Filipinos, Indonesians, and native Hawaiians most often occur on the non-exposed skin with less pigment, with up to 60-75 percent of tumors arising on the palms, soles, mucous membranes and nail regions.
  • Basal cell carcinoma is the most common cancer in Caucasians, Hispanics, Chinese Asians and the Japanese.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common skin cancer among blacks and Asian Indians.
  • Squamous cell carcinomas in blacks tend to be more aggressive and are associated with a 20-40 percent risk of metastasis (spreading).
  • Late-stage melanoma diagnoses are more prevalent among minority patients than Caucasian patients; 52 percent of non-Hispanic black patients and 26 percent of Hispanic patients receive an initial diagnosis of advanced stage melanoma, versus 16 percent of non-Hispanic white patients.”

Other Factors

Everyone who’s exposed to UV light is at risk of getting a sunburn, but some people are more vulnerable than others, aside from ethnic factors.

You should take extra care when out in the sun if you:

  • Have pale or very white skin.
  • Have freckles or red or fair hair.
  • Tend to burn rather than tan; skin very rarely turns brown.
  • Have many moles or freckles.
  • Have skin sensitivities relating to a medical condition.
  • Are only exposed to intense sun occasionally – for example, while on holiday, and thus skin is not used to it, with no reserve melanin.
  • Are in a hot country, closer to the equator, where the sun is particularly intense.
  • Have a family history of skin cancer, especially close family members like mother, father, etc.

Ozone Depletion

In recent decades, the number of people suffering from sunburn and related diseases (like skin cancer) worldwide has increased, in part because of damage to the atmosphere’s ozone layer, which acts as a protective shield for some of the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays.

Between 1970-2000, the ozone coverage decreased by 4%, which meant that there was roughly a 4% increase in the UV intensity around the world. In parts of the world where the ozone layer has gaps in it, extra care must be taken as this is a very damaging thing for skin.

How to Choose the Best Sunscreen

Sunscreen choices

Below, we’ve compiled the best tips to make sure you get a good SPF which will protect you and your skin from sun damage, stopping sunburn before it happens!

Here are our top tips:

  • When buying sunscreen, make sure it’s suitable for your skin, and you have no allergies to any of the ingredients
  • Make sure it blocks both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation.
  • The sunscreen label should have the letters “UVA” in a circular logo and at least 4-star UVA protection.
  • It should have a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 to protect against UVB
  • Most people don’t apply enough sunscreen, make sure you use it liberally. Around 50ml (8-10 teaspoons) of sun lotion is needed to cover the body of an average-sized adult and achieve full protection. If you apply less than this, then the SPF number is compromised – it may no longer be of an SPF20 standard, for example.
  • Reapply sunscreen every hour, more if you’re in the sea or sweating.
  • Apply it 30 minutes before you go into the sun.
  • Apply it to all areas of exposed skin, including your face, back, shoulder, neck, and ears.
  • Also apply it to your head if you have thinning or no hair, but wearing a wide-brimmed hat is better.
  • Even “water-resistant” sunscreen will wear off, reapply it once you exit the water.
  • Look for a sunscreen that contains at least one of the following: titanium dioxide, sulisobenzone, zinc oxide, avobenzone, ecamsule.
  • Make sure it’s a brand you trust

How to Treat Sunburn

Even if you’ve followed all our advice tomorrow, sunburn can still happen. If you’ve found yourself suffering from red, sore skin or worse – then you need to treat the sunburn. There is a range of treatments available – from the pharmacy, doctor or home-made remedies.

Sunburn Medications Available Over the Counter


Topically applying 1% hydrocortisone cream may help relieve sunburn and its annoying symptoms like pain, itch, and swelling. This can be found at any major drugstore. It is thought that this modifies the body’s immune response, decreasing the erythema (redness) of sunburn and shortening the course of sunburn.

Hydrocortisone cream

Take over the counter painkillers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve) to help relieve sunburn pain, swelling, and inflammation. These inhibit the inflammatory reaction and pain by decreasing the activity of cyclooxygenase, which results in calmer, soother and pain-free skin.

Take aspirin (Bayer, Anacin, Bufferin) to ease the pains of sunburn. It also works on the hypothalamus, which is the heat-regulating center, reducing fever.


The natural skin that forms over a blister is necessary as it acts as a natural barrier to infections. It’s important that you do not remove the skin, leaving it intact to avoid infection. As much as you want to, try not to pierce the blister because it may cause an infection or slow down/disrupt the healing process. When the blister is ready to heal on its own, allow the skin to peel off naturally after the skin beneath has healed. Do not peel the skin off.

You may want to cover small blisters with plaster. Larger blisters can be covered with a gauze pad or dressing that can be taped in place. Make sure all of these plasters and bandages are sterile before you put them on the blister. Change the dressing on a daily basis and wash your hands before touching the blister and afterward to avoid infecting the area or the blister.

Blisters caused by the sun

If a blister has burst, don’t peel off the dead skin on top of the blister. Allow the fluid inside to drain and wash it with mild soap and water, or an antiseptic cream. Cover the blister and the area around it with a dry, sterile dressing or plaster to prevent it from getting infected until it heals.

Hydrocolloid dressings, available from most pharmacies or doctors’ surgeries, have been shown to markedly help in reducing pain and discomfort and encourage the healing process. If the top layer of dead skin from a burst blister has already rubbed off, don’t pick at the edges of the remaining skin, it’s imperative with blisters to leave them to heal by themselves. Follow the advice above to protect the area and the blister from infection.

Peeling Skin

Here is a selection of some of the best products to help to peel skin – as you’ll see, they all contain natural, active ingredients which help sunburn:

  • Clinique After Sun Rescue Balm with Aloe ($23): this moisturizer instantly cools, soothes and replenishes skin’s moisture. The added aloe vera also helps calm the skin and promote the healing process.
  • Burt’s Bees Sheer Body Lotion with Cucumber & Aloe ($8): this simple body lotion is sprayed onto the skin. The infusions of cucumber and aloe-vera instantly help peeling skin.
  • Coola ER + Radical Recovery After-Sun Lotion ($32): This amazing lotion contains agave and cucumber, to replenish the skin’s moisture and promote the healing process. After one application, skin appears nourished, healed and glowing.
  • Hamptom Sun Continuous Mist Hydrating Aloe ($28): This brilliant spray works wonders because of the high levels of aloe vera inside. Aloe vera calms the burnt, peeling skin and locks in moisture in the skin, slowing the peeling of the skin. It’s also super easy to apply, which works well for skin that is peeling in lots of places!

Itchy Skin

Anti-itch creams are available in every drugstore over the counter and can help with that dreaded itch that comes with sunburn!

Look for creams and lotions that contain:

  • Camphor
  • Menthol
  • Phenol
  • Pramoxine (Caladryl, Tronolane),
  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
  • Benzocaine
  • All corticosteroid medications.

Severe Sunburn

Itches from sunburns

If you’re suffering from some of the serious symptoms of sunburn, then it is important you receive medical advice and treatment from your doctor straight away. If you have more than a few of the below symptoms, then your illness is sunpoisoning which requires urgent medical attention:

  • Fever and chills
  • Disorientation
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Extreme Fatigue

Quick homemade sunburn relief

Because so many of us suffer from sunburn on a daily basis while on holiday, or out and about at home, it’s important to treat your sunburn as quickly and as efficiently as possible. You don’t always have to spend $60 on sunburn medication to ease your pain, whenever nature has some of the best treatments at home!

So before you run to your pharmacist, go through these simple steps at home, to reduce your sunburn the easy way, with quick, homemade sunburn remedies.

N.B. This is only suitable for mild sunburn cases, not if you are suffering from sun poisoning, discussed above.

Homemade compress sunburn

Place a cold compress on the sunburned skin for immediate sunburn relief. This can be a towel, or a cloth or even a t-shirt. Run it under cold water for several minutes and then place on the skin for over 20 minutes. Make sure it’s not too cold though, as this could also hurt and irritate the skin more.

Take a refreshing shower or bath to calm your sunburned skin, staying in the water for more than 15 minutes.

Have a bath with these natural bath therapies and to soothe sunburn pain and other symptoms.

  • Add 3 cup of apple cider vinegar to a bath to help balance the pH of sunburned skin, and promote healing. Make sure the water isn’t too hot before you soak.
  • Add 5 cups of oatmeal to your bath of cold water. This is particularly useful for itchy, sunburned skin. Stay in for 30 minutes.
  • Add some essential oil, like lavender or chamomile, to the bath to help relieve some of the stinging and pain. Lavender works to relax the skin and chamomile is a nature anti-inflammatory.
  • Just add 2 cups of baking soda to the bath to help ease irritation and redness from sunburn, into a tub of cold water.
  • Avoid soap or perfumes in the tub water as these can be drying on already dry and sunburned skin. Sunburned skin is already irritated, so you want to keep all unnecessary chemicals away from it.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera home treatment for sunburn

Use creams and lotions that contain Aloe Vera to soothe and moisturize sunburnt skin. Aloe Vera is a particularly good cure and moisturizer for peeling skin.

Try and find aloe vera products that contain lidocaine, an anesthetic that can help relieve sunburn pain.


Drink lots of water, tea and fruit juices. When you get sunburn, your skin becomes dry and dehydrated. Replacing lost body fluids and replenishing the body’s natural water level will help your skin heal from sunburn more quickly.


Apply cooled milk (not cold) with a clean cloth to your sunburned skin, leaving on for 15-20 minutes per area. The milk will create a protein film on your sunburnt skin that helps ease sunburn discomfort and helps promote healing.

Like milk, yogurt applied to sunburned skin also can be soothing. Try and find a unflavored, plain Greek or natural yogurt, and use like a moisturizer.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a natural antioxidant and can help decrease inflammation caused by sunburn on your skin. Use Vitamin E oil on the skin liberally, or take a regular dose of the supplement, available in most drugstores. Vitamin E oil also can be rubbed onto peeling skin and works as a brilliant moisturizer.


Applying tea on affected areas

Apply freshly-brewed tea to the affected areas after it has cooled, using a clean cloth. The tannic acid in black tea helps remove heat and toxins from the sunburned skin and also aids in restoring the pH balance, which is in chaos after heavy sun exposure. Add mint to the tea for a more cooling effect, or cinnamon to boost the toxin-removal.

Apply tea bags soaked in cold water to sunburned eyelids to soothe the burn and reduce inflammation. Leave on for at least 20 minutes. This handy little trick also works on puffy eyes!


Cucumbers are brilliant for treating sunburn. They contain a natural antioxidant and have analgesic properties. Chill cucumbers, then mash in a blender to create a paste, and apply to affected sunburned areas, including the face, back, arms and belly. Cucumber also can be soothing and moisturizing for peeling skin, once it is sunburned.

If you are feeling tired, dizzy and confused after massive exposure to the sun, cucumber can also be brilliant when ingested. Chop up half a cucumber and add to cold water, leave to soak for 1 hour, and then drink at least 2 liters of cucumber water. Cucumber is said to have healing, restorative powers when the body has lost nutrients through sun exposure, leaving you feeling tired and disorientated. Cucumber will also work to balance the pH inside your body.


Peel some potatoes and then boil them in hot water for 20 minutes until soft. Once this is complete, mash the potatoes and leave aside to cool. Once cooled, applied the potatoes to the affected areas of the sunburned skin and left for 30 minutes.

It is though that the starch in potatoes helps draw out the heat and toxins from your skin, caused by the sunburn, which reduces pain and swelling. The sooner the skin cools down, the faster the skin will heal.

If you’re out of potatoes, similarly cornstarch can be used to have the same effect on the skin. Mix 4 tablespoons with 500ml of water or until the mixture forms a paste-like consistency, and apply to skin. Leave on skin for 30 minutes, or until burning appears to have reduced.

Witch Hazel

Witch hazel for sunburn

Witch Hazel is a natural anti-inflammatory, which works wonder on skin suffering from sunburn, acne or puffiness. Witch hazel can be applied directly to the skin, and left on to work it’s magic!

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a brilliant moisturizer for all over your body – skin, hair, nails or eyelashes! But please make sure to not use coconut oil as sunscreen!

Once the skin has cooled down through using some of the above methods, keep rubbing in coconut oil to ensure that skin regains its lost moisture, and to prevent further peeling.


  • While you can treat sunburn at home with the above remedies, make sure to keep your house cool to ensure that they get the best chance to work. Turn up the AC and place fans nearby to help the skin stay fresh and start the healing process.
  • If the skin is peeling, do not rub at it or pick at it as this defeats the skin’s healing process. Leave skin alone, just touching it to apply more moisturizer.
  • If you have blisters from heavy sun exposure, this is a sign of dangerous sunburn. Do not pick at the blisters or attempt to pop them – cover them with an antiseptic cream and then a plaster to prevent them from tearing and potentially getting infected, and leave to heal.
  • Stay indoors until skin is fully healed as further sun exposure when your skin is already damaged will only make matters worse.
  • While it is possible to treat sunburn and ease your suffering, the best type of cure is prevention! Follow all of the above steps to ensure that you remove yourself from the risks of sunburn and the damaging effects of the sun’s UV radiation!

Sunburn relief products

Hawaiian Tropic Cool Aloe After Sun Burn Gel ($21.99)

Enriched with Vitamin A and E, this gel works by cooling the skin and replenishing some of the lost nutrients. Vitamins A and E also promote skin healing.

This gel is perfect for you if you’re feeling extra warm from your sunburn, as it works best at reducing skin temperature.

Ben Hickok said that “I try to stick to using only Hawaiian Tropic products when it comes to my skin and being out in the sun. They have never let me down – this product included. I try to avoid getting burnt by the sun, but occasionally I’ll stay out too long, and my skin gets a little more sun than it’s supposed to. This after sun cooling gel provides instant relief. It smells good, it’s not too sticky or messy, and it does the job!”

SunBurnt Advanced Sun Recovery After-Sun Gel ($12)

This product contains a great combination of aloe vera and other natural active ingredients to calm, soothe and rehydrate damaged, sunburnt skin. It contains Calendula, Echinacea and Cantharis (to name a few) which get to work straight away on cooling and calming the skin.

The formula is quickly absorbed and is non-sticky and contains zero parabens, glycols, PEGs or fragrances.

Alice Reuven says “This product works very well! I have three kids suffering from severe sunburn after finding out that we bought a fake suntan lotion. This product worked very well and brought the pain level down, and kept it there! It also hydrated the skin and reduced swelling. This is the best product I’ve used so far!”

Moisturizing Lotion for Dry Skin by Solar Recover ($13.95)

This amazing spray works straight away on your skin and tackles all of the problems caused by sunburn: swelling, redness, pain and peeling!

It contains lavender which soothes the skin and promotes healing

Its main advantage is how much it hydrates skin, which is dry and irritated after sun exposure.

Ashley Graham says, “This product is magic! After getting entirely too much sun from temperatures in the 100s, I sprayed this on immediately after showering, I took two Aleve and drank some water and went to bed. By the time I woke up the next morning, almost all of my lobster red skin was completely normal! It is insane how well this works. Some of the worst-hit areas are still a touch pink, but nothing unmanageable. I wish I had thought to take a before picture so that I could post it with an after. Just for the record, I am pale, freckled and blonde, I always burn and peel, aloe doesn’t work for me and is sticky, This stuff is amazing, I love that I can spray it on my scalp instead of lathering up my hair with lotions and such. You have a customer for life!”

Final words

We’ve discussed all types of home remedies and over the counter medications to get rid of that dreaded sunburn and help your skin heal. But, as we’ve said, prevention is the best type of cure!

If you follow our steps above to avoid the sun at its strongest, protect your skin when you’re in the sun and how to choose a good SPF, then you won’t suffer from sunburn again!

But, if you are unlucky and find yourself suffering from sunburn, then use our tips and tricks to deal with it. Try the home remedies for sunburn, or a combination method with some other over the counter choices. But remember, if you are suffering severely with sunburn, it is always important to seek medical attention.