There are so many things to love about summer – the list is so long that we spend most of the year dreaming about it, and desperately looking forward to this blissful season. There are barbecues, watermelons, summer dresses, pedicures, pools, picnics, beaches, holidays, Pimms, being able to go outside without a jacket, and of course, endless ice creams.
The sunshine seems to instantly lift our moods and I feel like the whole of the UK is on a high at the minute thanks to this seemingly endless sunny spell we have.
But along with all the great stuff, there’s something we all dread as the sun comes out and winter becomes a distant memory: sunburn.
Of course, we do all that we can to prevent it. We wear sun cream, we stay in the shade, we invest in those big, glamorous, wide-brimmed hats to keep our faces protected. But sometimes, despite the best of intentions, accidents can happen.
If you do happen to get a sunburn this summer, here are 10 handy sunburn hacks to make sure you heal quickly and with as little pain – or peeling – as possible.
10 Simple Sunburn Hacks
Apply baby wipes
I’m sure I’m not the only mum who uses baby wipes for almost everything – yes, even treating sunburn. Gently lay a baby wipe over your sunburn for a gentle and instant cooling effect.
Bonus tip: keep your wipes in the fridge for the ultimate burn relief!
Use Soleve lotion
Sometimes aloe vera isn’t enough to soothe the pain of a sunburn. If you need a bit of extra help with the pain and irritation, try Soleve lotion. Available from Boots, this cream contains ibuprofen, which is an anti-inflammatory painkiller, as well as isopropyl myristate, which will keep the area moisturised.
Of course, if your burn is extreme, or you’re worried about it, be sure to see a healthcare professional.
Apply a wet towel
One of the worst things about sunburn is that, well, it burns. It can be so uncomfortable just moving around with burnt skin, but luckily there’s a simple solution to the discomfort: apply a cold, wet towel to the affected area. A bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel works, too. Basically, get something cold onto the burned area as quickly as possible, and for as long as is practical.
Bonus tip: put a wet towel in the freezer for a bit to make it ultra-cold, and then hold it to your burn with something between (like a tea towel) to protect it. You can thank me later.
Drink lots of water
Keeping your skin hydrated is absolutely essential when you have sunburn and you can hydrate it from the inside by drinking lots and lots of water. When you think you’ve drank enough water, drink a little more and then a little more again!
You need to keep your whole body moisturised to make sure your sunburn doesn’t peel (after all, your skin is your body’s largest organ), so keep drinking fluids and your skin will thank you for it.
Travel Hack Tip: If you’re struggling to stay hydrated or if you’re trying to keep kids hydrated, make homemade ice lollies as a much more interesting way to get your H2O! I make very weak Ribena lollies with raspberries and my kids think they’re a big treat.
Wear soft fabrics
Loose, soft and breathable is key for surviving sunburn without going crazy. You don’t want to wear any itchy or scratchy fabrics, as they’ll only aggravate the pain, so wear your softest clothes, and nothing that’s too close to the skin if you can help it! Something like a pashmina and a maxi dress is perfect.
Take a cold bath or shower
Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best. For long-lasting sunburn relief, run a cool bath or shower, and give the burn a good old immersion in the cold.
When you get out, don’t dry the burned area with a towel, just let it dry off on its own (preferably in front of a fan!) so you don’t damage the delicate skin. It’ll keep you cool for longer than an ice pack or wet towel, too.
Try apple cider vinegar
There are loads of natural remedies that people swear by to treat sunburn, and apple cider vinegar is one of them. It contains something called acetic acid, which is a component of aspirin. This can help with pain relief as well as relief from itching and inflammation.
Make sure you dilute the vinegar well in water, and apply it using a spray bottle, wet towel or in a cold bath.
If you’re going outside again after getting burned, make sure you cover up the area well, and take every precaution to protect it from getting burned again. After a sunburn, your skin can take up to six months to fully repair itself, so be kind to it and give it a break from any more sun.
Until it’s healed, don’t risk exposing it – just keep it covered up (once again, with loose, light fabrics).
Leave it alone
Once the initial burning has subsided, the itch will inevitably set in. It can be so tempting to scratch, but this will only delay the healing and make peeling so much worse.
As much as possible, resist the urge to scratch your sunburn. Instead, keep it cool and thoroughly moisturised, and trust that the itching will disappear soon.
Use green concealer
If your sunburn is on your face, chances are you’re feeling a little self-conscious about being constantly red. It’s hard to cover this up with regular concealer or foundation, so try using a green concealer. The green counteracts the redness, leaving your skin tone neutral so you can apply your makeup as usual.
Just make sure you dab rather than rub it, and make sure you wear plenty of sun cream (SPF 30 or higher) along with your regular makeup routine in summer.
Ultimately, the best treatment for a burn is not to let it happen in the first place, but if you do accidentally burn your skin this summer, these sunburn hacks will help you treat it so you can enjoy the rest of your summer without wishing for winter to come back!