How to Treat Facial Sunburn: 8 Tips and Products

By Emily M.| Last updated on April 12, 2024
how to treat facial sunburn
⏱️ 5 min read

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If you forget to apply or reapply sunscreen in summer, especially in the afternoon when temperatures and UV radiation are the highest, chances of getting a sunburn are very high, regardless of your skin tone.

Sunburns have long-lasting consequences on your skin, even after they fade, so it would be best if you would take the necessary steps to avoid getting them in the first place.

But if you haven’t, don’t worry, we have tips for you on how to ease the discomfort immediately and fade your sunburn as fast as possible.

Here’s How to Treat Facial Sunburn

Here are 8 tips to minimize the symptoms of a sunburn, along with the best products to use.

1. Apply Aloe Vera Gel Right Away

Pure aloe vera gel has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, so it’s the number one facial sunburn treatment for a reason.

If you feel you’re getting a sunburn, or you notice your skin getting red, you should put aloe vera gel on your skin as soon as you can. Ideally, apply it before and after the cold compress. Keep reapplying aloe regularly in the following days.

2. Cool Down Your Skin

After aloe, the next thing you should do to relieve the burning sensation is to apply a cold compress on your skin.

In this case, a cold wet towel should work, but ice rollers are also a good option. Make sure to apply very gentle pressure as rubbing your skin can irritate it even further.

3. Drink a Lot of Water to Rehydrate Your System

After a sunburn, your skin and your body will need a lot of hydration, so make sure to drink plenty of water. An occasional low-sugar drink that contains electrolytes will also help refresh your body, but it’s not a replacement for plain water.

Avoid drinking alcohol, as it dehydrates the body and skin further and can make the problem worse.

drink a lot of water
Image source: Freepik

4. Try Over-the-Counter Medications for Facial Sunburn Treatment

If you’re looking for a way how to heal facial sunburn quickly, you can find some medications for sunburn treatment at your local pharmacy as well. Try some of these to relieve the swelling and redness:

  • Benadryl or Chlor-Trimeton might help relieve itching as the skin begins to peel and heal underneath.
  • 1% hydrocortisone cream is non-prescription and can help soothe mild or moderate sunburn

5. Make Sure to Moisturize Frequently & Generously

Remember that during this time your skin needs hydration more than ever. The best way how to treat facial sunburn is to keep reapplying a moisturizing cream consistently in order to keep the burned and peeling skin moist.

This will relieve the discomfort, but also help the skin recover faster.

You can find moisturizers formulated specifically for application after sun exposure, or try whatever you normally use – as long as it’s gentle.

Best Face Cream for Sunburn:

6. Adjust Your Skincare Routine

Your skin is in a very sensitive state when you have a sunburn, so naturally, you will need to take a break from some of the products you usually use, such as exfoliators or other products with strong active ingredients.

Keep your routine as simple as possible and make sure to moisturize a lot.

7. Don’t Pop Any Blisters!

If your blisters are more severe than with a usual sunburn, please consult a doctor as these will require professional medical attention.

If it’s just a few smaller ones, don’t pop them, as that will make them more prone to infection. But if they do pop on their own, clean the area with some mild soap, apply an antibiotic cream, and cover with a bandage.

8. Protect Your Skin Against Further Damage

It would be best if you could stay inside during the day as long as you have a sunburn.

But if you need to go out, make sure to wear a hat and sunglasses to cover your face, and of course, don’t forget to apply sunscreen!

If you want more sunscreen recommendations, check out these articles:

How to Treat Swollen Face from Sunburn

Other than getting red and feeling painful, your skin can also get swollen from sunburn.

It happens due to blood vessels dilating to increase blood flow and bring immune cells to the skin to aid recovery.

This swelling may persist for up to two days or longer for severe burns. You can take anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or use a corticosteroid cream to help reduce swelling.

Avoid putting ice on swollen skin as it can make matters worse and stick with cold compress towels to reduce swelling.

How to Revitalize Your Skin After a Sunburn Has Healed

After you followed these steps and took care of your skin with some at home treatments and products, your face should be back to normal in a couple of days.

And now that it’s calmed down and looking better, it would be a great time to treat your skin with a hydrating facial to revitalize it.

We recommend a hydrodermabrasion, a facial treatment that provides a thorough exfoliation, and a deep cleanse, resulting in better skin texture, and a radiant appearance. Perfect for post-sunburn recovery!

Another great option would be an oxygen facial, which delivers a stream of high pressurized oxygen into the skin, giving your face immediate hydration and radiance.

This procedure also improves blood circulation in the skin, which makes it a great option for a treatment after sunburn.

Cover image source: Freepik

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