Here are the 7 best ways to cure even the worst sunburn, because Memorial Day Weekend fun always has a price.
Happy Memorial Day Weekend hangover day, everyone! What did you all do? Probably went to the beach? Had some fun in the sun? For those of you who have been keeping up with me here on The Gloss, you know that I went to Electric Daisy Carnival, and it was basically the best day of my life and I can’t decide whether or not the fact that I’m not exaggerating is sad or not. Whatever, that’s not the point right now. What IS the point is that we were probably all out in the sun, and I think it’s fair to assume that a fair number of you are suffering from a friendly little sunburn, no? Because I am. Hoo boy, I’m full-on lobster status right now, y’all.
I know I’m paler than a standard piece of white bread, but why can’t I just go out in the sun without worrying about turning into a crustacean? There was a guy at EDC who was walking around with a sign that said, “Are you feeling it now, Mr. Krabs?” and I just wanted to find him and say, “YES. YES, I AM.” Seriously, here’s how my day usually goes. I put on some sunscreen and go outside, thinking.
Then, about an hour into my shenanigans, I start to feel a gentle tingle on my exposed skin, and it’s all I can do to not start rolling around on the ground, screaming.
Then, by the end of the day, this is basically me.
Except no dancing, because right now, I can barely lift my arms to turn on the lights in my living room, let alone get jiggy with it.
So, since this has basically been my life ever since I learned that the sun was a thing that would betray me on a regular basis, I’ve learned a couple of tricks to treat even the nastiest of sunburns. MDW is usually the first weekend where the worst burns take their toll, so it seems like the perfect opportunity to share some of the tricks with all of you! Here’s how to treat your burns when your sunscreen lets you down.
1. Aloe. So much aloe.
Guys, just go out to the nearest drugstore right now and buy, like, 10 tubes of store-brand aloe vera gel to keep in your closet this summer. They shouldn’t run you more than $7 each. If you’re feeling splurge-y, my favorite product is Solarcaine Aerosol Spray. It always leaves me feeling less sticky than gel, and the spray has an instant cooling effect that doesn’t require any painful rubbing-in.
2. Make a paste out of baking soda or cornstarch and cool water.
So I found this one relatively recently, and as weird as it is, it works pretty well. Just mix cornstarch or baking soda (whatever you have lying around) with cool—not cold—water until it forms a paste. Then, just pretend your skin is a bagel, and the paste is the schmear. For the non-Jews out there, that means to apply it like you would a lotion. Let it sit for as long as you want, then rinse it all off when you’re done! Not recommended for use outside of the home because that’d be pretty weird.
3. Use a DIY chilled milk compress.
I know, soaking a paper towel in cold milk and then putting it on your body sounds kinda gross, especially for any fellow lactose intolerant kids out there, but this does work. Think about it: Dairy products like milk and yogurt are often served with spicy food to relieve your mouth from heat—why not your skin, too?
4. For chest burns, stick an ice pack in your sports bra.
I’m pretty sure this isn’t an official remedy or anything, but it’s what I did when I got back from EDC the other day, and it was delightful. Basically, just put on a sports bra or otherwise fitted shirt, stuff an ice pack in there, plop yourself on the couch, and marathon Chopped. It doesn’t heal the burn per se, but it’ll make you feel a whole lot more comfortable.
5. Drink TONS of water.
A sunburn is a burn like any other, and the best to treat a burn is to hydrate. A few full bottles a day should do the trick, so long as you’re patient and have ready access to a bathroom at all times for the inevitable and frequent pee breaks you’ll need to take throughout the day.
6. Moisturize, don’t scratch and fight the urge to peel.
Your skin is very mad at you, and as the burn heals, it’ll start to dry and peel. As tough as it is, don’t scratch at the skin, and try not the peel the layers back. You’ll end up hurting the non-burnt skin, and the burnt skin will just stay irritated for longer. Just let your body be.
7. Cover up!
I don’t know about you guys, but I tend to want to hide away indoors for a few days after a particularly bad sunburn—I’m always afraid that going outside again will somehow make it worse. This is something we all have to get over. For the next couple of days when you’re outside, just make sure you apply plenty of sunblocks and maybe keep more of your skin covered than you normally would be safe.
Fellow lobsters of the world, you’ll be better soon! Sending air hugs your way because we all know how badly real hugs hurt right now. Seriously, no one touches me.