sunburnI made of the biggest skin care sins one could possibly make, and forgot to put my sunscreen on this morning before I left the house. And as you can see, I am suffering because of it. It was a beautiful 84 degree day, so I wore a strapless maxi dress and put the top down on my car. Then I proceeded to spend the majority of the day driving around, doing my errands and not thinking anything of it. Only when I returned home did I realize what I had done to myself.

Here are my favorite tips on taking care of a self-inflicted sunburn, because once you’ve forgotten the sunscreen, you can’t go back and fix it. You just have to treat the burn:

  1. In the past, I’ve used the vinegar treatment with great results, but you have to use it before you shower, for some reason. I like putting a squirt bottle of white vinegar in the refrigerator for a bit, then using it in the shower by squirting it on the burned areas. Shower as usual.
  2. Aloe seems to be the number one recommended treatment these days, and it’s easy to see why. This all-natural plant has healing and soothing properties that cool a sunburn down fast. Try Fruit Of The Earth Aloe Vera After Sun Gel (Drugstore.com, $6.99).
  3. Take an anti-inflammatory if you’re really uncomfortable. Ibuprofen is my favorite, but aspirin and acetaminophen work too. This helps reduce the swelling.
  4. Be sure to stay hydrated – dehydration can cause headaches, and it’s common for people with sunburns to be dehydrated too. Don’t add more pain on top of what you’ve already got.
  5. Avoid soap on your burn, as it can dry the skin out and encourage peeling, and peeling is a mess. Apply lotion only after the heat is gone, and then apply it as often as possible to avoid peeling.
  6. I’ve heard Noxzema The Original Deep Cleansing Cream in the blue tub really helps a sunburn cool, but I’ve never tried this. You’re supposed to apply it and let it soak in – do not rinse. Sounds messy, but if you’re desperate, give it a try
  7. I’ve also read that tea helps soothe a burn. Brew a large pitcher of very strong tea and apply with a wet rag before showering. Black or green tea has been suggested, but the tannins in black tea are supposed to be very effective.
  8. If your burn is bad enough to have caused blisters, don’t pop them. This just encourages infection, and it’s kind of gross. Consider an anti-bacterial cream such as Neosporin First Aid Antibiotic Ointment.
  9. Most of all, remember your sunscreen!
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