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The sun is finally shining after what feels like the longest winter and most overcast spring. While many of us are basking in the glow, we might all be digging in the cupboard for our aloe too. If you forgot to apply (or reapply) SPF, you could be dealing with a bit of sunburn at the moment. Have no fear. We’ve got a few tips on how to fix your tender epidermis.

The hard truth is that skin damage is cumulative. Hours, days, weeks, years — UV rays don’t discriminate, which is why practicing proper sun care always is the best way to protect yourself. However, if you’re anything like us and have worn all the creams and hats but perhaps missed a spot or fell asleep during your reapplication window, your skin is probably feeling a bit spicy at the moment. Especially after such a long season hibernating under coats and sweaters.

How long does it take to get sunburned?

While sunburns are normally more noticeable on fairer skin, the truth is that after about 10 minutes of sun exposure, your (read: everyone’s) skin is already starting to “burn”. This is why most sunscreen labels suggest applying cream well before leaving the house.

How to treat a sunburn?

If your sunburn is extremely painful and you develop blisters, fever, chills, nausea, fainting, headache, dizziness, or any other abnormal symptom, you should immediately seek emergency medical attention.

If your symptoms are mild, many at-home treatment methods can keep you comfortable while your skin heals.

Treatment for mild sunburns

Avoid more sun

First, once you’ve gotten a sunburn, avoid the sun again at all costs. You could make things much more severe by exposing your skin to the sun again.

Treat the inflammation

Next, treat the inflammation by taking an approved over-the-counter pain medication. This will help reduce pain and the inflammation caused by the sunburn.

Cool things down

By now, your skin might feel warm to the touch. Hydrate by drinking plenty of cool fluids, taking a cool shower and applying a cool compress.

Choose calming skin care products

Certain skin care products (like retinoids or Vitamin C) can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. For this reason, it is best to avoid applying any exfoliating products or those with active ingredients that could make things more sensitive. Instead, consider adding calming products like milk cleansers, oatmeal baths or ultra hydrating creams instead. If you have the ability to include 100% aloe products into your routine, now is the ideal time for this as well.

Be patient

While your sunburn probably came on quickly, it might take a lot more time to heal. Be patient with yourself as your skin heals, drink plenty of fluids, take pain relief as needed, and always listen to your gut — if you think you need medical attention, seek it out immediately.