How To Treat Sunburn

We all know sunburn is bad. We know it fast-tracks the signs of ageing and can increase our risk of skin cancer – plus it looks ridiculous – but the truth is, it happens. And when it happens, the only thing you want is to get rid of it – and fast. Discover Vogue‘s guide to soothing your poor, sun-ravaged skin fast.


SCOTT TRINDLE

Get out of the sun

The first thing to do once you realise your skin is burned is to get out of the sun. We repeat: get out of the sun. Ideally cover the affected area – if it’s your face, wear a wide-brimmed hat – and head into the shade immediately to prevent further damage. Giving any exposed area a good coating of SPF 50 will also help.

Wash carefully

Avoid a hot shower at all costs – high temperatures will dry out the skin and do nothing to reduce the heat of the affected area. The pressure of a very powerful shower may also cause discomfort, so opt instead for a bath or gentle shower with cool or lukewarm water to soothe the skin. And as far as products are concerned, avoid scrubbing or shaving the area and instead opt for a gentle cleansing gel or cream which you can smooth over the area before rinsing off gently.

Staying hydrated is always important, but it can make a real difference when you’re suffering from sunburn. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to cool you down and prevent dehydration, and carry a bottle or flask with you when you go out into the heat, too.

Embrace after-sun products

A highly hydrating and soothing after-sun product does wonders when it comes to replenishing moisture and helping skin to heal. Aloe can help with reducing inflammation, whilst ingredients like shea butter and coconut oil will help skin to stay hydrated. For your face, consider a healing mask like Skinceuticals’s Phyto Corrective Masque or an after-sun product designed specifically for this more delicate area. Consider storing in the fridge – the cooling effect is all the better.

Don’t rush back into the sun

Even if your sunburn looks like it’s improving, it’s important to keep the area protected while the skin heals. Wear loose clothing – this will also prove more comfortable than tight straps and waistbands against red-raw skin – and be the cool girl who embraces the shade in a floppy hat and great sunglasses. Your skin will thank you.