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The Sticky Situation:
You dozed off on the beach, and now you look like the lobster you’re about to eat.

1. Pop an ibuprofen or aspirin as soon as possible: Anti-inflammatories decrease swelling, pain, and redness.

2. Cool off! When you’re sunburned, more blood is flowing to the skin, which is why it looks red and feels warm. While you may be inclined to run ice over burned areas, that can be irritating, says Elizabeth Hale, MD, clinical associate professor of dermatology at New York University Langone Medical Center. Instead, take a cold bath or shower, which can reduce blood flow and also soothes the skin. Post-soak, dunk a paper towel or washcloth in a bowl of cold whole milk, and apply it to the sunburned area for ten minutes (you can repeat hourly as needed). The chilly temperature and the fat and protein in the milk can help ease inflammation.

3. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize with a cream containing hyaluronic acid, glycerin, ceramides, or antioxidants (such as Coppertone ClearlySheer AfterSun Moisturizer, $25; amazon.com). “Free radicals generated by UV rays trigger changes in the skin that can lead to premature aging and skin cancer,” says Hale. “Antioxidants, like vitamins C and E, can help neutralize these free radicals, counteracting some of the damage.”

4. Until you heal, keep your skincare routine simple. Avoid exfoliating ingredients (retinol, glycolic acid, alpha hydroxy acid) and tools (like cleansing brushes), as they may cause irritation.

While you recover from your burn , here’s what to do for redness relief:


Skip concealer. Chances are, your concealer is lighter than your current skin color, so it will draw attention to your burn. Use a green-tinted primer (like Lancôme Miracle CC Cushion, $35), which neutralizes redness, says makeup artist Emily Kate Warren.

Apply liquid foundation one shade darker than your pre-sunburn skin color. Or add a little powder bronzer to your regular liquid formula.

Dust bronzer on the areas where the sun would normally hit your face. (Try Nars Sun Wash Diffusing Bronzer, $24.50)