Trending Topics
sunburn remedies

Sunburnt? Us Too.

Notes on curing a sunburn from a Jersey girl.

If you live through the summer in New York City, you’re considered a different breed. The concrete jungle is unforgiving — relentless heat blazing down upon its sweltering inhabitants…the humidity….oh, and the subways completely devoid of airflow….not to mention the pungent trash festering in the heat…it’s no wonder city dwellers take to the sea during the summer months.

That’s why Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start of summer for us on the East Coast. We all flock to the nearest beach town in anticipation of cool breezes and to start our tans.

But there’s one more universal experience that arrives at the first hint of sunlight: serotonin. Yes, you want that tan to develop immediately and you believe you may just be stronger than the sun.

I get it, I’ve been there. I forego everything I’ve been told about the dangers of UV rays, I disregard all warnings of melanoma, and I turn a blind eye to the rapid-aging effects of Our Dear Sun. Instead, I say “fry me!” and the sun listens.

Day two of Memorial Day Weekend tells a different story. People perch on the beach in t-shirts and lather themselves in aloe promising next time will be different. They make deals with the devil begging for their sunburn to just go away.

Year after year I’ve been there. I’ll never learn. And regardless of my poor health decisions all for the sake of flaunting my tan, it also means that I’ve tried every sunburn relief cream, every aloe vera hybrid on the market. Believe me, I know what turns your burn into tan.

How To Turn Your Sunburn Into Tan Quickly

sunburn reliefStay out of the sun. Tomas Salas via Unsplash

Drink Up

Essentially, the sun sucked all the moisture out of your body. It’s why you’re prone to blinding headaches when you’re extremely burnt. You need to replenish the water that is absent from your body by hydrating inside and out. So, drink all the water you can handle and then some.

Stay Inside

Yes, I know how tough it can be to pass up a good beach day. But it’s totally necessary when you’re sunburnt to stay out of the sun. Don’t make things harder on yourself…stay in, binge-watch a show on Netflix, apply and reapply aloe, nap.

Take Ibuprofen

Yes, Advil doesn’t just get rid of body aches…it’s for all types of inflammation and pain. So, your puffy burnt skin is the perfect candidate.

Slather In Aloe

You’re probably anticipating this one…but aloe vera is one of the main ingredients in sunburn relief remedies. But you should ferret out moisturizing oils like coconut, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid to restore some moisture in your skin as well.

Numb The Pain

There’s nothing worse than delicately putting on a bra when you’re sunburnt. Try numbing the bad areas with lidocaine — it may already be included in your aloe gel, so check it out. Or, try a hydrocortisone cream to help reduce swelling and redness, too.

Wear Loose Clothes

Try not to irritate the scorched skin — look to wear light — think white — loose clothing in materials like linen. And stick to cotton underwear.

Cold Plunge

It may feel like a shock to the system, but cold water and compresses for your sunburn can make a huge difference. Wrap ice packs in towels and apply them to the inflamed areas. It will lower your body temperature, utilize those frozen skincare cooling tools you bought for your face. Keep cool, your skin will thank you.

Best Sunburn Relief Products

Aloe is a terrific ingredient for reducing your skin’s inflammation and bacteria…which, yes, indicates that it may clear up pesky acne flare-ups! My friend from Vietnam says that in her country, it’s all the rage to use aloe as a spot treatment.

Now that you’re ready to seriously reduce your sunburn and transform it into a healthy, glowing tan…let’s get to it. Remember, the secret is to reapply and reapply.

Here are a few of my tried-and-true after-sun lotions and gels that actually work:

Maui Babe After Browning Lotion Tan Enhancer and Healer

Key Ingredients: Aloe vera gel, macadamia nut oil, glycerin, vitamins A, C, & E

The Lowdown: I don’t know how, but Maui Babe is easily the biggest miracle worker in the sun-care industry. Between this and the Browning Lotion, I’m a bronzed goddess.

Vacation After Sun Gel

Key Ingredients: Aloe vera, niacinamide, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, green tea extract

The Lowdown: When I first started tanning this year, I scorched my skin. This helped heal me and gave my skin a healthy glow.

Hawaiian Tropic After Sun Lotion

Key Ingredients: Aloe vera, cocoa butter, shea butter, glycerin

The Lowdown: Hawaiian Tropic is sold at every convenience store, grocery store, and Walmart near you…but it’s also a dermatologist-recommended brand that will give you real results.

Aftersun Cooling Gel With Lidocaine

Key Ingredients: aloe vera, lidocaine

The Lowdown: You may remember this bottle being stored behind the salad dressings in the door of your parents’ fridge…but it’s a classic. Adding lidocaine to aloe means you’re ridding yourself of the burn while numbing the pain. A two-for-one, if you will.

Latest Articles from Topdust