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Sunburn SOS: How to Soothe the Symptoms with After Sun Care

Sunburn SOS: How to Soothe the Symptoms with After Sun Care
SkinStore Editors
Writer and expert7 months ago
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Whether you have slumbered off whilst lying in the sun or been caught in the summer’s heat without your SPF, sunburn can affect us all at some point in our lives. Characterized by red skin that is tender to the touch, symptoms of sunburn will usually start a few hours after exposure and develop within the forthcoming days.

The number one priority when heading out into the sunshine is, of course, to prevent this from happening by applying (and reapplying every two hours) a broad-spectrum protection sunscreen. But if your skin is in need of some post-exposure relief, keep reading for SkinStore’s tips and tricks to soothe and cool sunburnt and sun-sensitive skin. 

Table to Contents:

Understanding Sunburn and the Symptoms

Sunburn occurs when the skin has been exposed to the sun’s UV rays, which causes an inflammatory reaction to the skin’s outermost layers. Some people are more prone to sunburn and susceptible to more apparent symptoms due to genetics (often those with fairer skin, which is caused by a lack of melanin, a pigment that helps to defend the skin). However, anyone can get burned.

The most common indications of sunburnt skin are redness, soreness or swollenness, skin that feels warm to the touch, followed sometimes by blisters, peeling and flaking skin in the subsequent days.

What is After Sun Care?

Backed by extensive clinical research and evidence, most people are clued up on SPF and its importance in protecting against burning and other serious skin complications. But what many aren’t aware of is the significance of caring for our skin post-sun exposure, whether you are sunburnt or not, after sun is an essential step in nurturing the epidermis.

After sun is designed to provide replenishing moisture to help cool and soothe sore skin. Like a daily moisturizer, it helps to protect and quench, with the added benefits of being ultra-light (to allow heat to escape) and having a bigger focus on soothing actives. Think aloe vera, chamomile and shea butter, ingredients that rehydrate and nourish to alleviate some of the uncomfortable symptoms of sunburn instantly and over time. Plus, after sun can protect against some signs of photoaging, as keeping your skin plumped with moisture may slow down and diminish visible wrinkles and fine lines from developing.

Tips and Tricks for Sunburn Relief

Although there is no cure or treatment to make sunburn go away, as the skin must heal itself over time, here are a few tips to help ease the discomfort and speed up your skin recovery.

  • Keep Skin Quenched: Apply your after sun lotion as frequently as you like. It is extremely important to keep the skin moisturized to prevent further dryness and peeling.
  • Keep Your After Sun Lotion in the Fridge: This will encourage extra cooling benefits, making the formula feel colder and more calming on the skin.
  • Apply a Cold Compress: To reduce feelings of pain, apply a cool compress to hot and inflamed areas of skin. You can use a washcloth soaked in cold water or wrap up a bag of frozen peas.
  • Take a Cool Bath or Shower: This can also help to reduce inflammation and encourage a calming effect on the skin.
  • Drink Plenty of Fluids and Get Plenty of Rest: Sunburn leaves the skin dehydrated, meaning it is vital to drink plenty of fluids like water. As sunburn can only go away by itself, your body needs time to heal, therefore rest and time out of the sun are also important.

SkinStore’s Essential After Sun Care Products

Whether it is a rich cream, soothing serum or cooling gel you would prefer, our experts at SkinStore have compiled some of their top picks to help get you started.

Alpha-H Balancing Cleanser with Aloe Vera

Perfect for sensitive complexions, clarify with Alpha-H’s gel-cream formula. Rich in aloe vera to hydrate and calm, treat your skin to a gentle yet effective cleanse post-sun.

RéVive Sensitif Calming Serum Skin Barrier Repair

Ultra-restorative and replenishing, this lightweight serum features a blend of antioxidants and soothing ingredients to diminish irritation and inflammation.

Avène Thermal Spring Water

From the brand that offers specialist skin care to sensitive and damaged skin types, Avène’s refreshing Thermal Spring Water spray effortlessly mists a fine layer of moisture across the face and body. Use whenever you need to cool and calm dry, sore skin.

iS Clinical Hydra-Cool Serum

Made with botanicals and bio-nutrients, this super serum relieves feelings of prickly heat, tightness and dryness.

ARCONA Night Breeze

A protective serum that promotes cell turnover while lending healing and soothing properties, suitable for all skin types.

SkinCeuticals Antioxidant Lip Repair

Looking after sunburnt lips, this reparative formula smooths and plumps dry and dehydrated skin while vitamin E nourishes and soothes.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

For severe sunburn cases, please consult a medical professional if you are experiencing large areas of blistering, fevers, dizziness or confusion.

Protect and Prevent Future Sunburns

Prevention is always better than cure – and a broad-spectrum SPF should always be worn when stepping out into the sun. Choose a sunscreen with SPF 30+ for optimal protection and look out for water-resistant formulas if you are heading to the pool or beach.

Shop all After Sun Care and protect your skin with SkinStore’s extensive selection of SPF products.

SkinStore Editors
Writer and expert
View SkinStore Editors's profile
Our team of beauty experts cover everything from skincare to makeup, picking out the most effective products from the best brands and latest trends. Stay up to date on everything beauty with the SkinStore blog, and find all your essentials in one place.
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