Marie Claire

Exactly How to Heal a Sunburn, According to Dermatologists

Become BFFs with SPF to make peeling a thing of the past.

Come on, talk to me. You can admit it: Sometimes you tan without sunscreen, don't you? You've been sunburned before, haven't you? Listen, I don't judge. Occasionally, I only put sunscreen on my face and let my legs get nice and brown. I very rarely re-apply SPF like I know I should. And sometimes, I miss a spot and get a sunburn that starts to peel and takes a year to truly fade. But if you've never put sunscreen on when you go out in the sun, consider this your intervention.

If you look at me and think, Well of course she has to wear sunscreen, she's so pale she's basically transparent, you have great observation skills but you're also wrong. While I need to be careful about using SPF due to my pale skin and family history of melanoma, all skin tones and types are susceptible to sun damage and should be protected. With the help of some stellar dermatologists, we're here to tell you how to heal sunburns, avoid sun damage and protect yourself from future tanning disasters. Bonus: you can still enjoy the without harming your skin—just follow these steps.

Active SPF 43

A lot of the warnings about reducing sun exposure comes from a place of vanity. As valid as it is to want to avoid unsightly wrinkles and sun spots, protection from harmful UV rays is really about our health. Skin cancer can be life-threatening, which makes self-checks and yearly visits to a dermatologist very necessary. If you notice an unfamiliar freckle on your skin or spend a lot of time outdoors (or neither, just go!) it's important to see a dermatologist and advocate for your own health. In the meantime, throw on some self-tanner, take Vitamin D supplements, and always, always wear sunscreen.

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