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16 Mar

(Don't) Feel the Burn

Posted by Bikini Owner

How to ease your pain after a day in the sun.

By Jessica Vozel,

It happens to the best of us. You heeded the ever-present warnings and slathered on the SPF, put on your floppy straw hat--then you fell asleep in the sun. Or you forgot to reapply. Or maybe you just chanced it and went without. It’s OK — we won’t judge. The pain is punishment enough.

A lot of home remedies for sunburn involve food products like honey, oatmeal, tea, and pickle juice (seriously). But if you’re on vacation, you don’t want to spend your day smelling like a pantry, and you probably don’t have these on hand, anyway.  

Luckily, sensible sunburn soothers are within reach, even if you’re away from home.

Here are the best ones for keeping sunburn from ruining your trip:

Water puts out fires, including the one happening on your skin. Take a shower in cool water, or soak some washcloths in it and drape it over your burns until the cloth heats up, then soak and apply again. Keep soaking and applying for 10 to 15 minutes at a time.   

And while you’re at it, drink some of it, too (just not the stuff you’ve been soaking washcloths in). Staying hydrated is important for combating sunburn’s dehydrating effects.  

Dairy products will also beat the heat. Grab your hotel’s ice bucket and get a carton of milk, which is served with any respectable complimentary breakfast. Saturate a washcloth in the ice and milk and hold it to burns, like you did with the water (for housekeeping’s sake, wash out the ice bucket afterward).    

Popping a couple over-the-counter painkillers will help with pain and inflammation.  Be careful with this one if you plan on resuming your vacation and having a few drinks, though.  

Aloe Vera gel
The fewer chemicals in your aloe vera gel, the better for angry skin. It’s doubtful an aloe plant is among your hotel’s amenities, but thankfully, most drugstores sell this “98% natural” gel from J.A.S.O.N

Get out of the sun
As with any ailment, rest helps your body heal. The good news is you’re on vacation. Resting opportunities are plentiful. The bad news is, well, you’re on vacation — likely your hotel room is not where you want to spend your time.   

The most important thing, though, is to get out of the sun. Talk your fellow vacationers into catching a movie. Take haven in a bar (be sure to keep hydrated!), or check out a nearby art museum.  

Then try to get to bed at a reasonable hour. If you’re ready to hit the beach again when you wake up, goop on as much sunscreen as you can stand. You’ll be thankful you did.