As much as we want to lecture you on how important it is to smother yourself in sunscreen (hello, skin cancer?!), it isn’t the right time for that when you’ve learnt the hard way. Now it’s time to focus on damage control and make it up to your skin by lending a helping hand throughout the recovery process. Following our advice will surely earn your skin’s forgiveness (and ours for forgetting to top up your SPF!).

1.     Avoid Exfoliating 

No matter how much you hate going off schedule, you should skip exfoliating day until your skin is fully healed. Sunburned skin is damaged skin, and exfoliating will only cause more irritation and inflammation. This includes physical (duh), chemical, and enzymatic exfoliation. 

2.     Store Your Serums in The Fridge

For some extra calming action for your oh-so-inflamed skin, put your serums in the fridge to keep them cool. This will turn any formula into a soothing saviour for sunburnt skin and give you an “ahhh” moment whenever you really wanna say “owww”.

3.     Drink More Water Than Usual

So, we know water is good for your skin as it flushes out toxins, prevents acne (oh yeah!), reduces wrinkles, blah, blah, blah, but it’s also essential for healing sunburnt skin. A sunburn draws more fluids to the surface of the skin to help it recover, leaving the rest of the body parched. Drinking more water as it heals will help to keep your entire body hydrated and on top form to carry out the healing process. 

4.     Wear Minimal Makeup 

Or avoid it altogether if you can. Heavy makeup will block the skin from receiving oxygen, and pretty much every step of the healing process requires as much oxygen as possible. While you’ll be tempted to cover up the redness, you’ll be doing it for a lot longer than you need to if you continue to wear heavy makeup. But if you really can’t go without wearing makeup, lightly dust on a little powder instead. 

5.     Worship Aloe Vera 

If you aren’t already obsessed with aloe vera, you’re about to be. Aloe vera is a potent anti-inflammatory that helps to calm the skin and reduce pain and redness, whilst stimulating healing. It’s also loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, so you’re not only healing your skin, but beautifying it too. Now you get it right?

6.     Don’t Even Think About Picking Flaky Sunburnt Skin 

Sounds gross, but we’ve all done it, and you’re probably thinking about doing it again right about now. Peeling the damaged skin cells off before they’re ready can cause an infection or long-term scarring. You might also accidentally take off perfectly intact skin cells with them, as we don’t know where the dead ones end and the healthy ones begin, but our skin knows exactly what’s up, hence the whole peeling system its got going on. 

7.     Choose Shade Over Direct Sunlight 

Putting your already sunburnt skin in direct sunlight before it’s fully healed is super dangerous, as your skin can’t protect you as well as it could before from UV rays and increase the chances of skin cancer. Not to mention worsening the sunburn you have already. During this vulnerable time, it’s best to stay in the shade as much as you can until your skin has recovered.