We all know to practice safe sun exposure, but even the most careful among us can sometimes end up with an unwanted sunburn. Aloe, though, isn't the only way to cool the burn (nor necessarily the most effective), and residual damage to your skin isn't inevitable.
Rather, before those wrinkles and sunspots set up permanent residence on your skin and your fear of skin cancer goes up exponentially, there are a few things you can do to help reverse the effects of too much time spent in the sun.
Advil, Ice, and Cortisone: In the same way an ice pack and Advil can reduce inflammation in a sprained ankle and cortisone cream can reduce inflammation in a skin rash, they can also help reduce inflammation in swollen, burned skin. So take an Advil and apply cool compresses as soon as possible, and use a low-dose cortisone cream from the local drug store topically to immediately feel relief.
Moisturizer: Creams containing vitamin E or flaxseed, chamomile, lavender, or almond oils can all help speed healing, prevent peeling, and reduce irritation and inflammation. Looking for an all-natural option? Try virgin, cold-pressed coconut (you can find it in the health food store!).
Apple Cider Vinegar: Apply it topically to itchy skin to reduce the urge to scratch!
Oatmeal: Take a lukewarm bath with colloidal oatmeal, chamomile tea bags, and a few tablespoons of baking soda to relieve pain.
Milk: It's rich in lactic acid, which helps promote cell turnover, helping your skin heal more quickly! Apply compresses of cold whole milk to promote healing, soothe pain, and hydrate skin.