Too Much Fun in the Sun This Weekend? Here's Sunburn Relief!

You can actually undo some of the potential damage. Use this step-by-step rescue plan.

Take Aspirin or Ibuprofen
These meds work reduce inflammation, which means they ease the irritation and redness that are your body's first responses to a serious burn. The catch is, you have to take them within 24 hours of getting fried. Otherwise, the redness can cause permanent damage.

Moisturize Like Crazy
Lotion infused with an anti-inflammatory agent like aloe vera or soy will decrease the dryness and flakiness you'll likely experience as the redness from your bad burn turns into peeling, itchy skin. Slather it on as often as possible; you can't go overboard, and it'll feel cool and soothing.

Use Sunscreen Religiously

Blocking UV light exposure gives skin time to heal and your immune system a chance to repair some of the damage. In fact, research suggests that zealously using sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 can keep precancerous cell changes you've already racked up from progressing.

Exfoliate the Area

Once your burned skin has completely healed, exfoliate the affected area with an over-the-counter alpha hydroxy acid cleanser twice a week for a month. This will stimulate the growth of new, healthy skin cells and also eradicate the dead ones that are making your skin tone look blotchy and uneven.

Apply a Retinol Cream

Sun destroys your skin's collagen, the substance that gives it elasticity. Retinol (a vitamin A derivative) can up production of new collagen. After the burn has healed, an over-the-counter retinol cream should work, but if you have rougher skin, ask for an Rx like Renova.

Next Time, Skip the Sun and Fake a Tan

Check out the six simple steps for a sunless tan! And don't you even think about stepping foot in an indoor tanning salon. They're gross! Read The Truth About Indoor Tanning to get to the bottom of the bogus arguments that salons are okay for you.

More from

The Best Self-Tanners for Your Sex Life

You're paler than Evan Rachel Wood and your man's on his way over. Don't sweat it: We've got you covered.

Get Soft and Sexy Skin

Prepare to look gorgeous because we have a slew of spa-inspired moves that'll leave your skin smooth and glowing all over.

The Perfect Bikini Line

Admit it, a flawless bikini line is essential. Cosmo has the latest hair-removal tricks and tips!

The Best Bikini Moments of All Time

From Angelina to Halle, Cosmo rounded up the most memorable moments in bikini history.

15 Bikinis Under $50

Check out these sexy bikinis with skimpy price tags!

Want More Sex & Love Advice? Subscribe to Cosmo & Save up to 71%!

Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.