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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. One of the most immediate problems? Sunburn!
Last summer, board-certified dermatologist and psychiatrist Dr. Amy Wechsler visited the TODAY Show to give guidance on how to combat sunburns and skin irritation with a few helpful tips and products. She discussed the importance of sleep, sun protection and finding the right skin care regimen to fit your needs.
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.
If you aren't commuting into the office just yet, 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.
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.
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.
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.
This CeraVe lotion is formulated to provide you with all-day hydration and protection. It's formulated with SPF 30 so it can be your daily moisturizer and sunscreen in one!
Create a DIY home treatment
You can easily create your own hydrating skin care product at home. Wechsler likes using this simple solution as a moisturizing mask that gently exfoliates and soothes sunburnt 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 whole milk has lactic acid, which acts as a gentle, natural exfoliant. The honey is also antibacterial and moisturizing.
Use aloe vera
Although Wechsler didn't mention it on the show, aloe vera has long been commonly regarded as a solution to sunburn. The plant contains several properties like vitamins A, C and E, enzymes and minerals. A review from the Indian Journal of Dermatology lists the mechanisms of these properties, which include things like anti-inflammatory action, antiseptic effects and moisturizing and anti-aging effects.
This organic aloe vera gel is a no. 1 bestseller in After Sun Skin Care on Amazon. It boasts a 4.5-rating and has over 9,500 five-star reviews.
For an affordable option, try this sunburn relief gel from Amazon's Solimo brand. It's made with aloe vera to soothe and relieve your skin after a rough day in the sun.
For more stories like this, check out:
- An expert fills us in on natural sunscreen — plus 22 options to shop
- 10 top-rated sunscreens that won't irritate sensitive skin
- 15 best sunscreens for kids, according to safety experts