Beauty

What to do if you (accidentally) get sunburned

What to do if you (accidentally) get sunburned

What to do if you get a sunburn Image by: getty Images

Beauty

What to do if you (accidentally) get sunburned

We do the best we can, but sometimes even the most diligent get sunburned. Here are tips for healing your skin and the products that will help.

If you've heard us say it once, you’ve heard us say it a thousand times—wear sunscreen! But, we know even the most diligent sunscreen users can make mistakes from time to time. Even—gasp—us beauty editors have been known to get red shoulders sometimes. So, if you have accidentally gotten sunburned, we have a few tips that can help with the recovery process.

We spoke to New York-based dermatologist Dr. Kavita Mariwalla about the best post-sunburn ingredients and practices so your skin’s transition to red, angry and peeling is short lived.

 

First off, get out of the sun

“Sunburns happen in a delayed fashion,” says Dr. Mariwalla. “It’s about an eight-to-ten hour lag.” So if you’re in the sun but you don’t see a sunburn, that doesn’t mean you won’t. Be proactive about protecting your skin, even if it isn’t red yet. “If you’re out in the sun and you do see that you’re sunburned, it’s only going to get worse as time goes on,” says Dr. Mariwalla. So, the first thing you need to do if you think you might be getting a sunburn, or you can see that your skin is visibly burned, is to get out of the sun.

 

Get the heat out of your skin

Your next step is to cool down—but we’re not talking about jumping in the water. Getting the heat out of the burn is necessary so that you don’t keep burning. This is the step where a cold compress can really help.

 

Add healing skin care

To help the healing process get started right away, you’ll want to make sure you put a balm or cream on the affected area. But pay close attention to the ingredients you slather on. Avoid anything petroleum-based or old-wives-tale-style advice and stick to trusted ingredients like aloe and Manuka honey.

“The thing that’s really good about Manuka honey is that it is very anti-bacterial and can treat a wound,” says Dr. Mariwalla. Manuka honey also maintains a moist wound environment (which is great for preventing blisters), prevents infection and adds a protective barrier.

You already know that aloe is good for burns. That’s because it’s super cooling so you immediately feel relief. “The nice thing about aloe is that it has natural stabilizers in it to help reduce pain, says Dr. Mariwalla, “and it also has magnesium lactate which can stop itching that happens with a sunburn.”

 

Avoid blisters and breaking the skin

As much as possible you want to avoid blisters or any breaking of the skin. “In its most basic form, a sunburn is really a radiation burn,” says Dr. Mariwalla. “So you want to do things that heal the skin really quickly if possible.” Blistering is always worse for the skin in cases of sunburn, so trying to keep the skin intact is best. Why? “The blistered area could become infected and the blisters can pop and can cause scarring of hypopigmentation.” Says Dr. Mariwalla. Not to mention that open wounds take longer to heal.

 

Take an oral anti-inflammatory

Yes, taking an aspirin or something with Ibuprofen can actually help your sunburn. Just remember to follow the instructions or talk to your doctor if you’re unsure.

 

What to do in the aftermath

Treating a sunburn isn’t a one-time, day-of thing. A sunburn can take upwards of a week to heal, so you need to be consistent with your treatment. “In the days that follow your sunburn episode, you want to make sure you’re using good anti-oxidants to make sure you’re really trying to repair the damage—be consistent,” says Dr. Mariwalla. As long as the skin isn’t broken, this means you can use antioxidants like vitamin C, green tea and niacinamide. It’s also a good idea to wear loose clothing that won’t irritate your skin more and to never exfoliate a sunburn. “You don’t want to help any peeling along,” says Dr. Mariwalla. Let your skin peel naturally if it’s going to and stay away from any exfoliating ingredients. Also, remember that even when the area is healed, it will be more prone to sunburn going forward in the season. So make sure to use extra protection.

 

Prepare for the future

“Sunburns usually happen when you least expect it and when you’re not prepared,” says Dr. Mariwalla. She recommends finding a sunscreen you love and keeping multiple bottles of it wherever you might find you need it. At home, in the car, at work or in your purse—make sure to have a bottle around for when you find yourself unexpectedly outside.

 

Here, a few post-sunburn options

1. Skinfix Calm & Repair Sleeping Mask

null

Calm & Repair Sleeping Mask, $79, skinfixinc.com.

BUY NOW

This mask is chock-full of Manuka honey, green tea and oatmeal which help to hydrate, heal and soothe a sunburn, respectively. Expect a serious reduction in redness and some great moisturization so you can wake up with visibly calmer skin.

2. Amara Organics Aloe Vera Gel

null

Amara Organics Aloe Vera Gel, $40, amazon.ca.

BUY NOW

If you don’t have an aloe vera plant where you can take the sap directly from the leaves, try this gel that contains 99.75% pure aloe vera. With quick absorption and an immediate cooling effect, this will definitely get the heat out of your sunburn. Pro-tip—keep this product in the fridge for added sunburn relief.

3. Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask

null

Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask, $56, amazon.ca.

BUY NOW

This mask credits Manuka honey with being super hydrating and great for blemishes—so you can bet it will help heal your sunburn. It’s also a great creamy consistency so you can really feel it working.

4. Osima Organics Lip Repair

null

Osima Organics Lip Repair, $27.50, thedetoxmarket.ca.

BUY NOW

Don’t forget your lips! Our lips often get sunburned because we forget to apply SPF to them. Make sure to treat any accidental lip burns with this combination of Manuka honey and myrrh extract which are both incredibly healing.

5. Burt’s Bees Aloe and Buttermilk Body Lotion

null

Burt’s Bees Aloe and Buttermilk Body Lotion, $13, amazon.ca.

BUY NOW 

Another great aloe pick, this body lotion is made to soothe and hydrate in a non-greasy way. Find relief from your sunburn, or just opt to smooth this cream on every day no matter your skin condition.

Slideshow

prev next 1 of 15

Chic swimsuit coverups for your next beach or pool day

Get in Line

Tied at the waist, this flattering striped kaftan checks off all the boxes we look for in a beach coverup. Fusing comfort with style, the breathable linen-cotton blend makes it the perfect piece for hot summer days.

Striped Kaftan, $50, zara.com.

BUY NOW

Image by: zara.com By: Samara Abells

Chic swimsuit coverups for your next beach or pool day

Grab 'n Go

Nothing screams beach coverup more than tassels. Easy to thrown on, the colourful trim of this kimono adds a little something extra to an otherwise plain style.

Bindya Double Tassel Kimono, $113, shopbop.com.

BUY NOW

Image by: shopbop.com By: Samara Abells

Chic swimsuit coverups for your next beach or pool day

Rainbow Rays

Carefree and relaxed. Those are the two words that come to mind when we see this coverup. The rainbow fabric coupled with the tassle hem makes this dress the perfect piece to swing into summer.

Out From Under Lisa CoverUp, $54, urbanoutfitters.com/ca.

BUY NOW

Image by: urbanoutfitters.com/ca By: Samara Abells

Chic swimsuit coverups for your next beach or pool day

Bow Down

If you're looking to be covered up, yet still show off your swimsuit, this is the ultimate kaftan for you! A great alternative to a kimono, this girly design fastens with two ties so you can effortlessly cover up.

Topshop Lace-Insert Kaftan, $68, thebay.com.

BUY NOW

Image by: thebay.com By: Samara Abells

Chic swimsuit coverups for your next beach or pool day

Weekends in White

Keep it classy at the beach with this all-white coverup. Spice up the outfit with a straw hat or add a pop of colour with some statement earrings. There's nothing like white clothing to say that (finally!) it's summer.

Kaftan Dress, $40, hm.com/ca.

BUY NOW

Image by: hm.com/ca By: Samara Abells

Chic swimsuit coverups for your next beach or pool day

Red Hot

We all know red has been huge this year, so we’re definitely not surprised to see the colour making its way into beachwear. Be unpredictable and opt for a bold animal print to take your swim look to the next level.

Sophie Snake Print Maxi Beach Kimono, $52, ca.boohoo.com.

BUY NOW

Image by: ca.boohoo.com By: Samara Abells

Chic swimsuit coverups for your next beach or pool day

Jump On It

With the summer heat, most try to avoid clingy coverups. But hear me out: This playful jumpsuit's smocked top flatters your figure while still letting you move around with ease. Not to mention the wide-leg bottoms give your body lots of room to breathe.

Smocked Wide-Leg Jumpsuit, $37, oldnavy.ca.

BUY NOW

Image by: oldnavy.ca By: Samara Abells

Chic swimsuit coverups for your next beach or pool day

Flowy Florals

Serving us the floral kimono of our beachy dreams, this Canadian brand seems to know what’s what in the world of beachwear, eh? The large floral print, grounded by grey trim adds to the easy-wear, breathability and versatility of this coverup.

Floral Kimono, $80, everydaysunday.ca.

BUY NOW

Image by: everydaysunday.ca By: Samara Abells

Chic swimsuit coverups for your next beach or pool day

Knot Your Typical

A more relaxed alternative to denim overalls, this playful piece is sure to complement any swimsuit in your closet. An added bonus? Wear a crew neck t-shirt underneath to take this look beyond the beach.

Classic Surf Romper, $50, bikinivillage.com.

BUY NOW

Image by: bikinivillage.com By: Samara Abells

Chic swimsuit coverups for your next beach or pool day

Boho Babe

The combination of embroidery and tassels on this tunic gives us major boho vibes. Not to mention the neon on this easy slip-on coverup is sure to compliment your (faux) tan too. What's not to like?

Embroidered Indian Cotton Beach Tunic, $128, jcrew.com/ca.

BUY NOW

Image by: jcrew.com By: Samara Abells

Chic swimsuit coverups for your next beach or pool day

Feeling Blue

There’s no feeling sad wearing this jumpsuit. Super lightweight with feminine details, this light blue number is sure to meet all your beachy needs, while keeping you covered.

Florentina Jumpsuit CoverUp, $120, nordstrom.com.

BUY NOW

Image by: nordstrom.com By: Samara Abells

Chic swimsuit coverups for your next beach or pool day

Playful Pom-Poms

The beach definitely has a way of bringing out the kid in all of us. Featuring a hot pink pom-pom trim, you're sure to maintain a youthful mindset in this playful coverup.

Tie-Front Pom Coverup, $69, guess.ca.

BUY NOW

Image by: guess.ca By: Samara Abells

Chic swimsuit coverups for your next beach or pool day

Black and Breezy

Looking for a coverup that's a little sexier? This sheer black option lets you show off your figure while still remaining covered up—it's the best of both worlds!

Tassel Hem Tunic, $29, joefresh.com.

BUY NOW

Image by: joefresh.com By: Samara Abells

Chic swimsuit coverups for your next beach or pool day

Perfect Print

Cute? Different? Flattering? Check, check, check! Take a break from floral printed beachwear with this paisley design. We recommend adding a denim jacket to make it last from day to night. Versatility? Another check!

Kristina Paisley Print Shift Dress, $105, tobi.com.

BUY NOW

Image by: tobi.com By: Samara Abells

Chic swimsuit coverups for your next beach or pool day

Sun and Stripes

Ditch the dress and try pants as a coverup instead. Wear this high-waisted style on its own or with a white t-shirt. These drawstring pants are sure to get you through your sunny day with ease.

Wide Leg Pant, $40, lavieenrose.com.

BUY NOW

Image by: lavieenrose.com By: Samara Abells

 

Comments

Share X
Beauty

What to do if you (accidentally) get sunburned

Login