How to treat sunburn, soothe stinging and prevent peeling

Here are the products to stockpile when your skin has suffered the sun’s burning wrath.

There’s only one thing that has the ability to dampen your spirits during a good old British heatwave: sunburn.

No matter how much SPF you slather on, no matter how many times you top it up throughout the day, spending just that little bit too long in the blazing heat will no doubt leave you with tell-tale t-shirt marks and skin that literally feels hotter than the sun that’s just burnt you.

While sunburn is no fun for anybody involved, it’s important to cool the area down and treat it as quickly as possible. Just like with any other type of burn, skin will keep on cooking even after you’ve taken yourself off to sit in the shade, so your best bet is to keep a couple of products on standby ready for when the inevitable happens.

Here’s our pick of the best creams, gels, sprays and balms to stock up on – and to keep in the fridge – for when disaster strikes. Thank us later.

The best products to treat sunburn

  • Avene Thermal Spring Water

    Formulated with unique thermal water sourced in France, this spray is gentle enough for even the most sensitive of skin. It works to soothe sensitive, allergic and irritated skin as well as helping to reduce any itching. Keep it in the fridge and spray often for maximum effect.

    Avene Thermal Spring Water, £13

    buy now

  • Clarins Soothing Aftersun Balm

    Suitable for use on both face and body, this balm envelopes skin in a layer of moisture and promises to hydrate skin for up to 48 hours. It’s non-sticky, protects against free-radical damage and works to help regenerate skin. 

    Clarins Soothing Aftersun Balm, £22

    buy now

  • Holland and Barrett Aloe Vera Gel

    Perfect for treating just about any type of inflamed or irritated skin, this 99.9% pure aloe vera gel is intensely soothing and nourishing, it absorbs easily and gets to work on cooling and healing quickly. A true multi-tasker that should be in every bathroom cabinet all year round.

    Holland and Barrett Aloe Vera Gel, £4.49

    buy now

  • La Roche Posay Posthelios After Sun Face and Body Gel

    Non-comedogenic (meaning it won’t clog pores) and intensely hydrating, this reparative balm injects moisture back into skin that’s been parched by the sun. It helps relieve irritation, is anti-inflammatory and works to soothe and restore skin’s natural balance.

    La Roche Posay Posthelios After Sun Face and Body Gel, £13.50

    buy now

  • Lancaster Tan Maximiser Instant Cooling Mist Repairing Aftersun

    This mist not only instantly refreshes, hydrates and cools skin, but it’s also formulated with Lancaster’s famous Tan Activator Complex which extends the release of natural melanin and helps speed up the skin’s recovery process after sun exposure and reduces the risk of peeling. 

    Lancaster Tan Maximiser Instant Cooling Mist Repairing Aftersun, £20

    £20 at Look Fantastic

  • Uriage Bariésun After Sun Repair Balm

    This balm’s creamy texture melts into skin helping to relive excessive heat and telltale stinging. Not only is it super hydrating and helps skin prolong a tan, it’s also infused with Uriage Thermal Water, an ingredient that promises to help soothe, moisturise and protect skin’s barrier. 

    Uriage Bariésun After Sun Repair Balm, £8.90

    buy now

Main image: Getty Images

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