4 easy ways to treat sunburn, according to a dermatologist

Put an end to irritated skin with these affordable solutions.
By Megan Foster

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Summer is great for backyard barbecues and fun in the sun — but it isn't always great for your skin.

Between the heat, humidity and sunshine, environmental factors can cause skin problems that are hard to prevent and even harder to tackle. On top of it all, people are also dealing with added stress and uncertainty that can make these issues even worse.

TODAY welcomed board-certified dermatologist and psychiatrist Dr. Amy Wechsler to learn how to combat sunburns and skin irritation with a few helpful tips and products. She discusses the importance of sleep, sun protection, and finding the right skin care regimen to fit your needs.

See how you can take care of your skin with lotions for sunburns, gentle cleansers and DIY solutions.

Get more sleep

Between work, juggling kids at home and trying to develop a stable routine, it can be hard to get enough sleep throughout the week. Wechsler recommends getting at least 7.5 hours of sleep each night. She says this will allow your brain to heal, which eventually helps your skin heal.

Use sunscreen

If you aren't commuting into the office it's important to step away from your desk to get some fresh air. However, it's also important to remember that being outside can come with the risk of sunburns.

Wechsler says that if there's one thing people should be doing more, it's putting on sunscreen. While she also recommends sitting in the shade and wearing clothing with more coverage, she says that buying a quality sunscreen is the first step to prevention.

1. Aveeno Positively Mineral Sensitive Skin Sunscreen

According to Wechsler, a zinc-based sunscreen is great because it protects against both UVA and UVB light rays. This one comes in a travel-friendly size, gentle enough for sensitive skin and can be used under makeup.

2. Coppertone Pure and Simple Sunscreen Lotion

If you'd like to avoid a zinc oxide sunscreen, Wechsler recommends a broad-spectrum option. The Coppertone Pure and Simple Sunscreen Lotion is water-resistant and also formulated for sensitive skin.

3. Cetaphil Redness Relieving Daily Facial Moisturizer

If you still end up with a sunburn, you can cleanse and moisturize your face with gentle products like this daily facial moisturizer from Cetaphil.

4. CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM

This bestseller is formulated to provide you with all-day hydration and protection. It's formulated with SPF 30 so it's your daily moisturizer and sunscreen in one!

Experiment with a new skin care regimen

Wechsler has seen a major uptick in skin care experimentation over the past few months. Although finding the right routine is good for the health of your skin, she says that jumping from one product to the next can be problematic and irritating.

If you do want to try a new product, Wechsler recommends doing a spot test to ensure it won't leave you with redness or irritation.

Create a DIY home treatment

You can also easily create your own hydrating skin care product at home. Wechsler likes using this simple solution as a moisturizing mask that gently exfoliates your skin.

DIY moisturizing mask

  • Mix 1/2 cup of yogurt or whole milk with 2 teaspoons of honey.
  • Microwave the mixture for 15 to 20 seconds on high.
  • Spread the solution on your face and leave it to dry before rinsing off.

Wechsler says that the whole milk has lactic acid which is a gentle exfoliant. The honey is antibacterial and moisturizing.

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