8 Tricks for Surviving Weekend Sunburn

by Catherine Devine


Getty ImagesGetty ImagesIt's what makes breezy sundresses and long days at the beach possible, but it's also the stuff of dry, itchy, lobster red nightmares. When it comes to protecting ourselves from the sun, most of us have stepped up our game. And yet accidents happen, so here's how to deal with them.

1. Pop two ibuprofen to dull pain and reduce swelling, says dermatologist Fredric Brandt.

2. Cover burned areas with a cold-milk compress. Yes, milk: It contains hydrating proteins, vitamins, and fats. Dunk a washcloth in cold whole milk and apply to skin for 20 minutes, says dermatologist Diane Berson.

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3. When you're ready to shower, keep the water cool, and gently dab your skin dry.

4. Slather on a one-percent hydrocortisone cream.

5. Here's the hardest part: Don't scratch, pick, or peel your skin, says dermatologist Jeffrey Dover. Let flakes shed naturally, and keep applying ceramide-rich moisturizer, such as Curél Itch Defense Lotion for Dry, Itchy Skin.

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6. Avoid anti-aging ingredients until the burn heals. "You risk sensitizing your skin to an ingredient, so you won't be able to tolerate it in the future," Brandt says.

7. Don't pile makeup on a burn, says dermatologist Eric Bernstein. "Powder feels more soothing on tender skin. After a day or two, apply your regular concealer or a foundation," he says.

8. And, of course, take a sunburn seriously: If the pain is severe or accompanied by blisters, fever, or nausea, call your doctor.

Reporting by Brooke Le Poer Trench and Elizabeth Einstein

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