Once summer rolls around, we can’t get enough of the sun and the festivities it brings along. But the biggest drawback of the season’s abundance of sunshine is the wicked burn you can get if you don’t protect yourself. Glam turned to renowned dermatologist Dr. Jody Levine to find out how to heal bad sunburns in a flash.
Prevention by Protection
We all know how important sunscreen is to our daily routine, but many forget to reapply it throughout the day (every two hours, or if you get wet). There are also plenty of spots that can slip your mind and become a big pain after it’s too late, including the feet, ears, lips, eyelids, and even your eyeballs. “I think the eyes are a big one because you can actually get a sunburn on the cornea—the white part of the eye—so wearing sunglasses is really important,” she said. “Some people don’t even know it and they go to the eye doctor, who says, ‘I think you have some damage on your cornea.’”
Calm Down Quickly
Whether you’ve fallen asleep in the sun or thought a few hours without sunscreen would get you looking golden faster, burns can quickly go from bad—redness, tenderness—to worse, with painful blisters. Regardless of the level of damage, the skin needs to be soothed stat! “I love aloe vera, and I usually mix with it with a 1 percent hydrocortisone cream, and that really helps. You don’t want to overdo steroid creams,” Dr. Levine said. “In addition, a cool cloth always feels nice, or a cool shower or bath.”
Put the Peeling on Hold
As weird as it may look both on and off your body, peeling the dead skin from sunburn doesn’t make you heal any faster. “The skin that you want to peel is attached to skin that’s not ready to be peeled off, and if you do peel it, you’re going to end up hurting yourself,” she warned. While wiping the skin gently with a washcloth can catch the flaky bits easily, stubborn peeling skin may need a bit more. Shaving exfoliates the skin, and with the use of a gentle razor like Gillette’s Venus Embrace Sensitive you can say goodbye to those dry patches. Once you shave, apply a fragrance-free lotion to moisturize and nourish.