Skin Beta - Healing a Sun Burn

Gosh darnit I try so hard to always cover every part of me with clothing or sunscreen but sometimes I still manage to get sunburned! Whether it’s because I am doing something at high altitude and the sun is just more intense, or I straight up forgot to protect a part of my body (happens embarrassingly often) I still mange to ignore my own advice and get some brutal sunburns from time to time. For a long time I thought the only thing I could do was put that nasty sticky died green aloe from the grocery store on and wait for it to get better. WRONG! There are actual helpful things you can do to help your skin recover from a sunburn. I just did them… because I just got burned :(


Sunburn sucks the moisture out of skin which makes it harder for your skin to heal itself- so your main goals are to hydrate, moisturize, and reduce inflammation so your skin can recover.

1) Hydrate

  • Drink a lot of water. Your skin cells are working overtime to heal and need to be nice and plumped up- the best way to do that is from the inside. Chug many Nalgenes.

  • Your skin is dehydrated which means it is lacking water (it is also dry which means it is lacking moisture, more on that below). Using a skin care product with hyaluronic acid will help bring water back into your skin cells. Putting an “acid” on your skin sounds scary, but hyaluronic acid is a molecule that attracts and holds onto water- putting it on your skin attracts water to your skin cells and hydrates them. Hyaluronic acid does not irritate or exfoliate your skin and can instantly sooth it. Many hyaluronic acid serums also have vitamin C which is great because vitamin C can help your skin heal.

2) Moisturize

  • Use an oil or butter to add moisture back to your skin. I personally like to use coconut oil on sunburns because they have a high vitamin E content which helps your skin heal. Make sure your coconut oil is raw, extra virgin, and cold processed like this one or it won’t have these benefits. Another great option is cocoa butter because it is a natural skin protectant.

  • If you aren’t a fan of slathering on coconut oil, break open a vitamin E capsule on your skin and use a moisturizer you like. Rosehip oil is another good option because it soothes your skin.

3) Reduce inflammation

  • If you have a really bad burn, take an ibuprofen (advil). This will reduce the inflammation and any swelling.

  • Use an antioxidant rich skincare product with vitamin C. Again, this will help your skin heal. You can also help from the inside but upping your vitamin C intake with a supplement for a few days.

While you are healing your burn, make sure not to use anything too harsh on that area of your skin. Don’t exfoliate or use a retinol or you will irritate the damaged skin and slow down the healing process.

Mainly, don’t be a dummy like me and wear clothes and sunscreen!!!