I 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:
- 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.
- 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).
- Take an anti-inflammatory if you’re really uncomfortable. Ibuprofen is my favorite, but aspirin and acetaminophen work too. This helps reduce the swelling.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Most of all, remember your sunscreen!