Sunburn is something that happens more or less once a year, and for many of us, we tend to whack on the after sun and hope that it goes away!

Of course it’s no surprise that there is no magic wand to wave away your sore, sunburnt skin.

However, we do recommend that you take a glance at our recommended steps below to restore your skin to its naturally glowing, healthy self.

Cool it Down

If you’re quick to realise that your skin is sunburnt while you’re still out, try to find any form of cold water. Whether you’re by the beach, a cold pool or even a drinking tap, try to submerge the burnt areas quickly to keep them cool.

ice cubes Source: MurlocCra4ler

However, don’t play with fire. If these areas are not shaded, only submerge your sunburn for a very short time.

Otherwise you may risk making the burn worse given its exposure to UV rays – we certainly don’t want that!

To create the same effect, you can use some ice to create cooling ice water. Just make sure that you don’t press this directly onto the affected areas so use a soft flannel to soften the impact.

If not, take a cool bath or shower to effectively cool the skin. But try not to sit there for too long, otherwise you may dry out your skin.

Likewise, try to avoid any harsh soaps or cleansing products that could aggravate the damaged skin.


While this may sound strange, moisturising your skin whilst it’s still damp is a great way to treat burned skin. This keeps your skin fully protected and hydrated, allowing it to absorb the moisture.

This moisturising practice should be repeated regularly over the next few days to keep your burning, peeling skin moist and well looked after.

sunblock Source: Chez Beate

Decrease Inflammation

To decrease any discomfort caused by inflammation, it may be wise to take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as an ibuprofen. Please check with your doctor before taking any medication.

Soothing lotions that contain Aloe Vera can also help to calm mild burns. Its natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties mean that it can help to relieve the inflammation and discomfort caused by sunburn.

Stay Hydrated

Burns typically sap fluid away from your body, leaving you dehydrated.

As a result, it’s essential to keep your fluid levels as high as possible. So you should be drinking extra quantities of water throughout the day to top up any dehydrated body cells.

water drop Source: Rony Michaud

7 Things to Avoid

Often, despite our best efforts, we can mistakenly aggravate our sun burnt skin!

Something as simple as using the wrong lotion, or wearing the wrong materials, can delay your skin’s recovery process.

For this reason, we’ve come up with a few hints and tips of what to be aware of and what to avoid:

1. Aggravating skin lotions

When your skin is burnt, it’s sensitivity is heightened. Therefore, it’s important to be as delicate as possible when undertaking your skincare routine. This will help to speed up your skin’s recovery process.

For example, using facial exfoliators can seriously aggravate burnt facial skin due to their deeply cleansing nature.

Similarly, moisturising lotions that include harsh chemicals and perfumed scents can also aggravate burnt and sensitive skin.

So stay sensible and apply natural, nourishing products to avoid further aggravation.

2. Harsh fabrics and clothing

Similarly, to avoid any further skin irritation, wear loose, soft and breathable clothes. Wearing harsh fabrics like nylon and wool can often irritate the skin, especially when it is already damaged and vulnerable.

Instead opt for soft fabrics like cotton and linen, which are light and delicate on the skin.

3. Picking your peeling skin

If you’re experiencing peeling skin as a side effect to burnt skin, resist the urge to peel it off!

When your skin goes through the peeling process, it will naturally fall away as the skin layers underneath fully mature.

So by peeling off the skin, you actually risk damaging the developing skin cells below.

To avoid damaging your skin further, allow the peeling skin to fall away on its own accord. Picking at your skin will only delay the recovery process!

4. Picking your blisters

On a similar note, avoid picking or bursting any sun blisters that you may have accumulated due to excess sun exposure. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, popping those blisters will only make your sunburn worse.

So protect your skin by leaving your blisters to heal in their own time. Popping or breaking the skin will also open your skin up to possible infections and we don’t want that!

5. Always wear sun cream

Whilst this may be obvious, it’s important to prevent further damage by topping up your sun cream whenever you’re out in the sun! This is especially important for your face, which is more sensitive to burns.

We’ve also created a sun cream guide, to ensure you’re up to speed with everything you need to know about sun protection!

6. Not staying in the shade with burnt skin

Another basic tip is to simply avoid the sun whilst your skin is recovering. This reduces the risk of further sunburn that can add to your skin damage and slow down the recovery process.

If not, you can easily keep yourself covered up with light, non-aggravating cottons or hats.

Source: Pixabay

7. Not taking sunburn seriously

Whilst the visible signs of our sunburn may disappear, being burnt as little as five times can more than double your chances of developing melanoma skin cancer in the future.

In fact, UV rays can be very dangerous.

UVA rays, for example, are associated with the development of long term conditions, which involve premature ageing, skin cancer and age spots.

So there you go, our complete guide on how to treat sunburnt skin!

Understanding how sunburn develops is crucial to developing effective solutions on how to treat it, so why not take a sneaky peak at our guide on the effects of sunburn on your skin.

Please note that if you have developed severe blisters over a large portion of your body, or are experiencing any fevers, chills or dizzy sensations from your burns, it’s essential that you seek medical advice as soon as possible.