According to Dr. Palm, intense exposure of UVB rays rays can cause a toxic cellular response that affects both the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin) and upper dermis (the second layer of skin). Shortly after exposure, some cells in the upper layers of skin can become so unhealthy that they undergo a controlled cell death response, known as apoptosis. The skin’s response of UVB cause a chain reaction of other responses that begin with the release of chemicals, known as chemokines and cytokines.
Chemokines can cause tissue swelling, blood vessel dilation—manifesting as sunburn redness—pain, and even a few systemic symptoms. To help ease the pain of a sunburn, Dr. Palm recommends ibuprofen if tolerated and appropriate, and looking for products that contain anti-inflammatory hydrocortisone. Soothing agents, like aloe and colloidal oatmeal (try Aveeno's Soothing Bath Treatment in your bath), which can also help ease the sting. She advises using a moisturizer containing ceramides—or lipids that help skin retain moisture—a week after getting burned to help treat the skin barrier and its dryness. For long-term treatment, Dr. Palm suggests using an over-the-counter retinoid like Differin Gel or retinol once the burn and dryness of sunburn is gone to rehab skin.
Now that Memorial Day weekend is officially here, there will be many more beach days (and potential sunburns) to come. I decided to ask a few people about their favorite soothing products to use to help treat sunburned skin. Suffering from a bad sunburn and looking for some relief? Read on for a few products fellow sufferers absolutely love.
All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
“This rich cream is basically just water, coconut oil, glycerin, and aloe. Short of rubbing an actual aloe plant on your body—not always convenient, also kind of sticky—this stuff is perfect for soothing and rehydrating newly tanned skin (by which I mean, skin that has a slight tan although sunscreen was diligently used!). I'll use this for several days after sun, or throughout a beach vacation daily, to help extend the life of my tan and make sure there's not even a hint of peeling.” —Amy E., 34
“There are two things that I really love about this product. Since I feel completely on fire after getting an unexpected sunburn, I love that this product immediately cools me down after I apply it. The other thing I really love is the smell—it’s also soothing to me for some reason!” —Adam D., 30
“I love using this spray because there’s not as much painful contact involved (like when I have a really bad burn and it hurts to touch it). It provides instant relief since it’s super cooling, and takes the sting out right away. Plus, it doesn’t feel too sticky or gross on my skin.” —Chloe E., 26
“Though it may not have the most sexy packaging, this product has long been a standby since I was a kid growing up in Florida. (Yes, sunburns happened more than once.) This spray is immediately cooling on contact (not sticky once it dries), and the lidocaine helps to numb your skin (at least temporarily), to alleviate the pain. It's also great because, as a spray, you don't actually have to touch your skin to apply—perfect if you're burned and your skin is extra sensitive. I suggest spraying it on, and while you wait for it to dry, you Amazon Prime sunscreen for next time.” —Amy E.
“I've tried some after-sun lotions that are sometimes helpful but nothing is as helpful as straight up aloe vera when I have a sunburn. I usually try to find one with some menthol in it to have that cooling feeling if my skin literally feels like it's radiating heat. I have super sensitive skin and tend to burn at least once a summer, and putting on tons of aloe definitely helps. It doesn't smell great and yes it feels kind sticky for a while, but it's the only thing that actually relieves a burn for me.” —Casey G., 30
“I can go through a bottle of this stuff in 72 hours after a bad burn. It's cooling and feels nice and moisturizing without being greasy. And I think it definitely helps me heal a little faster!” —Carolyn T., 28
“On my recent trip to Florida the sun was much hotter than I expected after being stuck inside all winter. I needed something to soothe and hydrate my skin at the end of the day and the Sun Bum Cool Down Spray did not disappoint. This after sun spray is absorbs quickly and has aloe, cucumber extract, and vitamin E to moisturize my skin.” —Cheryl C., 34
“This aloe gel absorbs quickly and really helps to soothe my sunburns (especially when it’s kept in the fridge). It smells nice, feels hydrating, and the cute bottle is a nice bonus!” —Amanda B., 27
“La Roche-Posay makes some of the best sunscreens in my opinion, and their after sun products are no exception. This product has a gel like formula that immediately cools my skin, and isn’t sticky. Highly recommend.” —Talia A., 25
925 Jewelry Silver Bracelets
“I got one of the worst sunburns of my life last year, but this creamy lotion saved me: It feels cool, calming, and moisturizing on your skin.” —Sarah J., 29
Silver Jewelry, 925 Silver Jewelry Sets, Silver Earrings - Smartmix,http://www.smartmix-jewelry.com/