The recent heatwave has brought some of the nicest weather of the year with plenty of us soaking up the sun.
Since us Brits rarely get the pleasure of enjoying warmer weather, when it arrives we flock to parks and beaches to bask in it. But it is easy to get carried away and forget to top up your SPF.
According to a Mintel survey over half of women who took part agreed that sun care is necessary, in addition to any skincare containing SPF, yet a whopping 37% admitted that they find it difficult to remember to apply SPF as part of their daily routine.
But a short stint in the sun without proper protection can easily cause damage (and pain). Even 15 minutes of exposure can be enough to burn paler skin, so it’s vital to always lather up the SPF before heading out and to reapply throughout the day.
We’ve got a full list of the best sunscreen to invest in to protect your skin this summer and five sun protection mistakes parents should avoid making.
However, if the damage has already been done and you’re looking a little red and blistered, here are some ways you can soothe skin and make the redness fade a little quicker…
How to get rid of sunburn – top tips
1. Get out of the sun
It might seem obvious, but as soon as you start seeing a patch of red, get into the shade. You don’t want to burn the area further – and if the redness hasn’t faded overnight, then don’t go sunbathing again the next day, as you’ll only be damaging your skin further.
2. Take painkillers
Some common painkillers can help relieve the discomfort and inflammation caused by a sunburn. If you can, take Ibuprofen for the next 48 hours – but check the leaflet and make sure you don’t go over their recommended dose.
3. Cool the area
Putting a cool compress on the skin can help to take down the initial redness. Catch it quickly and jump in a cool bath, or soak the area with cold towels, and you can stop it from burning further. Just like you’d put your finger under cool water after burning it, you can use the same principal for sunburn.
4. Keep hydrated
Sunburns often encourage fluid loss through the skin so make sure you drink plenty of water to keep your hydration levels up.
5. Wear loose clothing
Anything rubbing on your sunburn is likely to make it more painful and swollen. Keep to baggy shirts and no tight waistbands or necklines.
Expert advice on sun protection
Johnathon Major from British Association of Dermatologists says, “Applying liberally half an hour before going out into the sun, and then again shortly after going outside, is vital to ensure that you are fully covered and that the sunscreen has had time to be absorbed into the skin”.
Major adds, “”It should then be reapplied at least every two hours, as the protective filters can break down over time. It should also be reapplied after any activity where it might be accidentally removed, such as swimming. Water-resistant sunscreens are not friction-resistant, and therefore they can be accidentally removed if you towel dry after swimming or sweating.”
Sun safety tips to follow:
- Protect your skin with clothing, and don’t forget to wear a hat that protects your face, neck and ears
- Spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm when it’s sunny
- When choosing a sunscreen look for a high protection SPF (SPF 30 or more) to protect against UVB, and the UVA circle logo and/or 4 or 5 UVA stars to protect against UVA
- Apply plenty of sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before going out in the sun, and reapply every two hours and straight after swimming and towel-drying
- Keep babies and young children out of direct sunlight
For more information on sun safety, see ittakesseven.org.uk/skin-cancer-facts
Best sunburn treatments to try
Heal your burn in no time with these post-sun lotions…
Korres Yoghurt Cooling Gel Aftersun, £16
Yoghurt is known to cool and soothe skin, so if you don’t feel like layering on a tub of Tesco’s own, then this gel smells and feels much nicer!
Ultrasun Aftersun, £16
This hydrating lotion keeps skin moisturised for up to 24 hours and has a cooling effect to help soothe stingy skin. The formula doesn’t contain any mineral oils or preservatives and is ideal if you have sensitive skin.
£16 – buy now from Amazon
Herbivore After Sun Soothing Aloe Mist, £18
This synthetic free formula contains soothing ingredients like aloe, mint and lavender to help moisturise dry and irritated skin – and it smells divine.
£18 – buy now from Cult Beauty
Weleda Edelweiss After Sun Lotion, £16.95
This intensive gel formula combines organic olive oil, cooling aloe vera gel and nettle to instantly cool irritated skin and lock in much need moisture to sun damaged areas. Whilst the refreshing eucalyptus and lavender adds to the soothing relief.
£16.95 – buy now from Holland & Barrett
Lancaster Tan Maximizer Soothing Moisturiser, £22
Lancaster’s after sun moisturiser not only soothes sunburn thanks to its hydrating formula, it also contains a Tan Activator Complex that helps intensify melanin production from the inside giving you a longer lasting glow. And it can be used on both your face and body.
£22 – buy now from Amazon