Tips to relieve a sunburn & minimize peeling

This past week in Hawaii, I got a little sunburned.  I hate getting a sun burn.. hate it, hate it, hate it!  First of all it hurts and secondly I don’t like the unevenness that develops when your skin peels.  I’m all about a nice consistent, even, golden tan.  I know spring break is coming up, so while I’ve got sunburns on the brain, I thought I’d share some of my best tips to help relieve your sunburn and to minimize peeling skin.


Prevent – The best sunburn tip I have for you is to avoid getting burnt in the first place. Use sunscreen and reapply often especially if you’re doing water activities, or sweating a lot.  Don’t be fooled, you can still get a tan with sunscreen.  Let me repeat that.. you can get a nice tan with sunscreen.

Cool Down – The first thing I do when I realize I’m burned burned is take a cool shower.  I’ve read many articles which dispute if it’s better to take a warm or cool shower when sunburned.  Personally I always go the cool route.  Mainly because I find that the cool water feels better than warm water, and I think it helps to bring the temperature of the skin down .  Also, hot water is drying and the last thing you want do to your skin in this fragile state is dry it out.

Take Something –If you can, take an Ibuprofen/Asprin or other anti- inflammatory . Not only will this ease your pain, but it can also reduce redness.

Moisturize- I’m a huge fan of Aloe when I’m burned, I slather it on like it’s going out of style. When my skin is visibly red, I shy away from scented lotions and stick to Aloe. {tip:  throw your aloe in the fridge and apply the cool aloe to your burn. Ahh! Refreshing!}  Once the redness fades, I use lotion (or a nice thick body butter) like crazy to keep my skin moisturized; dry skin = peeling skin.

Be Gentle- When you dry off, get dressed, go out, take it easy on your skin.  Try to avoid rubbing with your towel {I prefer to pat my skin dry.}  Rubbing it with a towel or exfoliating with a loofah can encourage your skin to peel, even when it’s not going to.  Avoid itching whenever possible, especially if you’ve started to peel.

Hydrate- Applying moisturizer isn’t the only way to keep your skin hydrated, be sure to get plenty of water (and avoid alcohol- it’s a diuretic) to keep yourself hydrated

If you start to peel, just let it happen (not that you can really stop it)  just keep following the above steps-: being gentle, staying hydrated, & keeping your skin moisturized. When I’m burned, I try to avoid the sun as much as possible.  However, sometimes it’s unavoidable that you need to be back in the sun while sun burned.. if this happens, you need to be hyper vigilant about keeping your skin protected.  I usually use SPF 50 (or more) when I’ve got to be outside and I’m burnt, If possible I also will try to cover myself up with clothing.  Your skin is in a fragile state, and you need to be sure to treat it as such.



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