How to: Recover from sunburn

Last updated 14:01 28/01/2013

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Makeup & Skincare

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We all know that smart cookies don't burn, but even the most obsessive sunscreen appliers among us sometimes get caught short. Here's how to ease that sore, itchy skin while you sit inside, berating yourself for being so stupid.


A nasty sun burn will feel hot and painful. Wrap an ice pack in a damp flannel and apply it to your burnt spots to calm the angry fire. A cool shower can also be a great way to reduce the heat.


Aloe vera is nature's skin hero, and the number one soother for burns. Apply an after sun gel that contains aloe vera to calm the burn and help speed up the healing process.

TRY: Sukin Aloe Vera Gel, $11; Cancer Society After Sun Gel, $10.99; Clinique After Sun Rescue Balm with Aloe, $54; Banana Boat Aloe After Sun Gel, $9.99.


Any exposure to the sun causes the skin to dry out, so sunburnt skin is even more parched. It's also extremely sensitive, so avoid any highly perfumed products or anything with a heavy chemical base. Natural vegetable oils are the most simple and cost-effective way to hydrate the skin. Try coconut oil, olive, avocado, argan, rosehip or sea bucktorn oils, or a healing balm or product containing  a combination of these.

TRY: Weleda Sea Buckthorn Oil, $35.90: One of the best oils for healing sun damaged skin, sea buckthorn contains high levels of vitamins A,B,C and E, and has anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties.

Antipodes Saviour Balm, $48: This oil-based healing balm is designed as a cure-all for sunburn, grazes, scratches, chapped skin, dry skin and insect bites.

Trilogy Everything Balm, $39: This deep conditioning balm features Trilogy's famous certified organic rosehip oil, jojoba, olive, honey and vitamin E to heal and nourish.

Nivea Pure and Natural Body Lotion, $9.49: Though less natural than the other three products featured, the latest release from Nivea contains argan oil for its replenishing and hydrating properties.

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