After-Sun Tip #1: Jump in a Cold Shower or Bath (With or Without Milk)
This won't make the burn go away, but it will help with the pain you're experiencing. "A cool bath or shower will help relieve the immediate pain from the burn," Ronald Moy, MD, FAAD, of MFC Facial Plastics and Dermatology, told POPSUGAR. "You can also apply a cool compress to take the sting out."
If you want to soak away the pain, try adding milk — yes, you read that right — to the tub. "Soak in the tub with lukewarm or cool water mixed with six cups of whole milk," said celebrity aestetician Renée Rouleau. "A cool bath helps to lower the internal body temperature and milk, due to its fat, protein, and pH, can have an anti-inflammatory effect. Thus, it provides some pain relief."
After-Sun Tip #2: Take Advil For the Pain
If the pain is unbearable after a really bad run in with the sun, you can take a pain reliever like Advil to make you feel a bit more comfortable. This won't make the skin heal faster, but it will decrease inflammation and swelling.
After-Sun Tip #3: Reach For the Right Beauty Products
Most people reach for the aloe vera products buried in the back of their medicine cabinet when they get a sunburn, but Dr. Moy has something different in mind. "There is the old wive's tale that aloe vera is the true saving grace for all sunburns," said Dr. Moy. "Though it may remove some redness and provide soothing of some sort, the only way to truly repair the damage done by those powerful UV Rays, and to do so quickly, is to apply products with organic and plant-based DNA repair enzymes." Research from the National Institute of Health has shown that replenishing DNA enzymes in the skin can help with the DNA damage caused to your skin by the burn.
After-Sun Tip #4: Avoid Products Made With Irritating Ingredients
No matter what type of product you decide to apply to your sunburn, just make sure it doesn't have any irritating ingredients in the formula. "Do not apply alcohol and avoid lotions with antihistamine," said Dr. Moy. Alcohol can strip the skin of moisture and cause more irritation to your parched, compromised skin.
"Many aloe products contain synthetic dyes and fragrance, which give aloe that bright green color," said Rouleau. "Artificial colorants may further irritate sensitive skin, so ensure your aloe is dye and fragrance free." To tell if your aloe is natural and safe to use, read the ingredients listed on the pack. You can identify natural aloe by its clear or slightly golden hue.