Soothe Your Skin: How to Get Rid of Sunburn Fast

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Rebecca Moses
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How to Get Rid of Sunburn Fast
A woman with sunburn at the beach

Soothe Your Skin: How to Get Rid of Sunburn Fast

Looking for an easy and effective way to get rid of a sunburn fast? Sunburns can cause pain, irritation, and long-term damage to your skin. Luckily, you can use a few simple methods to soothe your sunburn and reduce its severity.

Read on to learn how to get rid of sunburn fast using the ultimate home remedies to help quickly relieve your sunburn!

What is Sunburn?

A close up picture of a sunburnt back of a woman
A close up picture of a sunburnt back of a woman

Sunburn is a type of skin damage caused by the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation. It occurs when you have excessive exposure to the sun’s harmful rays, resulting in red, inflamed, and sometimes painful patches of skin.

This condition can cause short-term discomfort and long-term problems like wrinkles and an increased risk of skin cancer. Fortunately, there are simple steps to minimize your risk of getting sunburned or safely treat it if you do get burned.

How to Get Rid of Sunburn Fast

While we all love a sun-kissed glow, sometimes too much time in the sun can leave our skin red and tender. If you feel like you got too much sun, here are a few tips to help you treat sunburn quickly.

Take a cool bath or shower

A woman taking a cool shower
A woman taking a cool shower

A cool bath or shower helps reduce inflammation caused by sun exposure and provides temporary relief from stinging and itching sensations.

Additionally, the water helps moisturize the affected area so the skin can naturally heal itself faster.

Use an ice pack or compress

Ice cubes
Ice cubes

An ice pack or cold compress is one of the easiest and most effective treatments. Hold the pack or compress directly on the affected area for 10 minutes at a time, repeating several times each day until sunburn symptoms subside.

Alternatively, you can replace cold water, or ice cubes compress with milk to help your skin heal due to its antioxidants and vitamin properties.

Use lotion to keep your skin hydrated

A young woman puts lotion on her body
A young woman puts lotion on her body

Keeping your skin hydrated is an essential part of treating sunburn. Using lotion is one way to maintain the moisture in your skin, helping it to heal and recover from the effects of a sunburn.

Choosing body lotions with aloe vera properties is a good decision since it has anti-inflammatory properties.

Drink lots of water

A woman in sportswear drinking water
A woman in sportswear drinking water

Hydration not only helps your skin heal but also prevents dehydration which can worsen the effects of sunburn. Make sure you choose water or low-sugar beverages with electrolytes. Staying hydrated also helps to ensure that you remain healthy and able to manage sunburns as they occur.

Skip heat-trapping products

A person applying petroleum jelly on foot
A person applying petroleum jelly on foot

To treat sunburn, avoiding heat-trapping products such as petroleum jelly and body butter is best. Heat-trapping products will only trap the heat, making the burn worse.

Instead, use cool compresses, cold showers, or aloe vera gel to help soothe the pain and reduce redness.

What Not to Do After a Sunburn

Hot baths
Hot baths

Getting a sunburn can be painful and uncomfortable. But there are several things that you should avoid doing in the hours and days after you’ve been burned. Here is a list of what not to do after getting a sunburn:

  • Don’t take hot showers or baths – Hot water will make your skin even more tender, so opt for lukewarm water and limit bathing time.
  • Don’t scratch or pick at the burn – This will cause even more irritation and can lead to long-term damage.
  • Don’t wear tight clothing – Loose-fitting clothing made of natural fabrics such as cotton are best. Avoid synthetic materials that may rub against your burnt skin, causing pain.
  • Don’t use lotions that contain alcohol – Alcohol-based products will dry out your already dehydrated skin, so they should be avoided entirely until the burn has healed completely.
  • Don’t go out into the sun again – Exposure to further UV radiation while your skin is still healing can cause further burns and put you at greater risk for skin cancer in the future.

How To Protect the Skin After a Sunburn

A woman wearing a hat and applying sunscreen to protect her skin
A woman wearing a hat and applying sunscreen to protect her skin

The most important thing to protect your skin after sunburn is to avoid going outside as much as possible. However, if you have to go outside, there are several ways to give your skin protection, including:

  • Stay in the shade
  • Wear a hat
  • Apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30
  • Wear protective clothing with tightly woven fabrics

How To Prevent Sunburn

A woman with sunglasses and a hat applying sunscreen cream on tanned shoulder
A woman with sunglasses and a hat applying sunscreen cream on tanned shoulder

To prevent sunburn, wearing sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher before spending extended periods outdoors is vital. Remember to reapply sunscreen at least every two hours and after swimming or sweating.

Additionally, wearing hats, sunglasses, and clothing that covers your skin can provide additional protection against the sun’s powerful rays.

Lastly, avoid direct sunlight during peak exposure times (typically mid-day) when UV rays are at their strongest. If you really need to go outside, make sure to wear protective clothing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a sunburn go away overnight?

Unfortunately, it will be hard for sunburns to go away overnight. Typically, mild sunburn will fade after two days. If your sunburn is more severe, it can take longer to heal.

What day is sunburn worse?

Usually, sunburns start getting worse on the second and third days.

Do sunburns turn into a tan?

The answer is no. Sunburn is caused by the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation damaging the skin cells. In response, the skin produces more melanin to protect itself from further damage, resulting in what looks like a “tan.” Unfortunately, this “tan” does not provide any protection from sun damage and may be an indication of underlying skin damage.


Overall, while sunburn can be painful and dangerous, there are still a lot of things that you can do to get rid of it fast. From using a chilled compress to skin heat-trapping products, the relief may not be instantaneous, but it will help reduce the severity of the burn and resulting sting.

However, even if you take all the necessary steps, remember to prevent sunburn in the first place by applying sunscreen before venturing outdoors. Ultimately, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! If you find yourself with sunburn again soon, just know that you have several options available to help give you much-needed relief.


  • Rebecca Moses

    Depending on the day, you’ll find Rebecca in a well thought-out ensemble that she handcrafted herself, or in hiking and rock climbing gear. An avid outdoorswoman, cyclist, and cat lover, Rebecca reminds us all on the Groom+Style team just how much we need to get outdoors. She’s worked in spas and salons off and on before going full-time with the G+S team. Linkedin: