Getting a sunburn is never fun, to say the very least. The redness alone is bad enough, and hard to hide when you’re trying to look flawless, let alone the potential peeling making your normal skincare and makeup routine seem like a nightmare. And as if that weren’t bad enough, the level of sun exposure required to cause a sunburn will significantly increase your chances of developing melanoma (skin cancer) later in life.
Knowing this, it’s easy to talk about how important it is to protect yourself against sun damage (broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher sunscreen or bust!), but what do you do if it happens? Even the best of us make mistakes or forget things now and then, so while it’s best avoided, it’s entirely possible you may find yourself with a nasty sunburn at some point in your life if you haven’t already. Luckily, Vine Vera has some foolproof methods for managing and soothing your sunburn so you can go about your daily life pain-free.
Aloe Vera Gel
This first one is one you’ve probably heard several times before, and for good reason: it works. In fact, Aloe Vera gel is good for just about any kind of burn, from the sun or otherwise, because it soothes damaged skin and promotes healing. Simply rub a generous amount gently into the affected area.
You can buy bottled aloe vera gel at just about any department store, usually near the sunscreen and other skincare products. The bottled stuff works fairly well, but if you don’t mind a small bit of extra work, you can actually use raw gel harvested from fresh aloe plants for even greater effect. Aloe vera plants are very easy to grow when planted in the ground or a large pot, and whenever you need burn relief, you can cut off a leaf, slice it down the middle, and split it in half. You can scrape out the gooey gel from inside and bottle it for later, or simply rub the exposed gooey part of the leaf against the burn, taking care not to scratch yourself on the aloe’s natural spikes.
Another option is to use a zinc-based irritation-relief cream. They are generally developed with general irritation-relief in mind, so they can be good for everything from itchiness to razor burn to, of course, sunburn. Use sparingly, as a little goes a long way, and look for zinc-based creams that also contain aloe vera, for an especially potent combination.
You should always be drinking water throughout the day for general health. While you should never force yourself to drink if you’re not thirsty at all (it can upset your electrolyte balance), it’s good to keep water in arm’s reach all day and take sips regularly. When you have a sunburn specifically, drinking water is important, because it is common to be dehydrated after a sunburn.
Lastly, applying cold to a sunburn can help, but be careful with freezing ice packs, as they can be too intense and make it hurt a little worse. Soaking a rag in cold water and laying it over the burn can be perfect. Taking a cold shower or back can also provide a soothing effect.