What’s the best way to deal with facial redness from sunburn?

How to effectively reduce facial redness from sunburn and restore your skin’s natural glow

Facial redness from sunburn can be a troublesome and painful aftermath of spending time out in the sun without proper protection. It occurs when the skin is exposed to excessive UV radiation, leading to inflammation and blood vessel dilation. Common symptoms include red and irritated skin, swelling, and sometimes even blistering. To help you deal with this uncomfortable condition and regain your skin’s healthy appearance, we have curated a comprehensive guide with various effective methods and tips. Keep reading to discover proven techniques that will soothe your sunburned skin, reduce redness, and promote healing for a swift recovery.

Dealing with Facial Redness from Sunburn

Sunburns can be incredibly uncomfortable, and facial redness is one of the most common symptoms. Whether you forgot to reapply sunscreen or simply spent too much time in the sun, dealing with facial redness from sunburn requires a combination of soothing remedies and proper care. Here are some of the best ways to alleviate and treat facial redness caused by sunburn.

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Cool Compress

One of the first things you should do when dealing with facial redness from sunburn is to apply a cool compress to the affected area. This helps to reduce inflammation and provides instant relief. Soak a clean cloth in cool water, wring out the excess, and gently press it onto your sunburned skin for 10-15 minutes. Repeat this process several times a day for maximum effect.

Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera is widely known for its soothing and healing properties, making it an excellent remedy for sunburned skin. Apply pure aloe vera gel directly to your face, focusing on the red areas. This natural gel not only helps to reduce redness but also moisturizes and promotes skin repair. You can either use freshly extracted gel from an aloe vera plant or opt for store-bought gel containing minimal additives.

Hydration and Moisturization

It is crucial to stay hydrated when dealing with facial redness from sunburn. Drink plenty of water to replenish the lost fluids and aid the healing process. Additionally, moisturize your skin with a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer to prevent dryness and peeling. Look for products that contain ingredients like aloe vera, cucumber extract, or chamomile, as they can help calm and soothe sunburned skin.

OTC Pain Relievers

If you’re experiencing discomfort or pain due to your sunburn, over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers can provide relief. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen can help alleviate redness, swelling, and pain associated with sunburn. However, it’s essential to follow the instructions and consult a healthcare professional before taking any medication.

Protective Measures

After experiencing sunburn, it’s crucial to take protective measures to prevent further damage and promote healing. Avoid direct sun exposure, especially during peak hours when the sun’s rays are strongest. When you do have to go outside, wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF) and cover your face with a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. This will shield your skin from harmful UV rays and allow it to recover.

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Consult a Dermatologist

If your facial redness persists, becomes severe, or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it’s essential to consult a dermatologist. They can provide personalized advice and recommend appropriate treatments or medications to speed up the healing process.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure when it comes to sunburn. Protecting your skin from harmful UV rays with sunscreen, seeking shade, and wearing protective clothing can help minimize the risk of facial redness and sunburn in the first place.

According to a survey by the Skin Cancer Foundation, 42% of people experience sunburn at least once a year.


1. How long does it take for facial redness from sunburn to go away?

The duration of facial redness from sunburn varies from person to person. It usually takes around 3-7 days for the redness to subside completely.

2. Is there anything I can do to reduce facial redness immediately?

Applying a cold compress or taking a cool shower can help reduce facial redness temporarily. Additionally, using aloe vera gel or moisturizers with soothing ingredients may provide some relief.

3. Should I avoid any specific products when dealing with facial redness?

Avoid using harsh skincare products that can further irritate your sunburned skin. This includes products with alcohol, fragrances, or exfoliating agents. Stick to mild, gentle cleansers and moisturizers until your skin has healed.

4. Can I use makeup to cover up facial redness?

While it is possible to use makeup to camouflage facial redness, it is generally recommended to allow your skin to heal naturally. If you do choose to use makeup, opt for non-comedogenic, mineral-based formulations that won’t clog your pores.

5. Should I peel off any flaky skin caused by sunburn?

No, it is important not to peel off any flaky skin. Let it come off naturally to avoid further skin damage or infection. Keep your skin moisturized to help promote the natural peeling process.

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6. Will applying sunscreen on sunburned skin worsen the redness?

It is not recommended to apply sunscreen directly on sunburned skin. Sunscreen is meant to prevent sunburn, not treat it. Wait for your skin to heal before using sunscreen again to protect it from further damage.

7. Can I use over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream for facial redness?

If the redness is accompanied by inflammation or itchiness, you can consider using a low potency over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream. However, consult a healthcare professional before using any medication on your face.

8. How can I prevent facial redness from sunburn in the future?

To prevent facial redness from sunburn, ensure that you always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF before going outdoors. Wear protective clothing and a wide-brimmed hat, and seek shade during peak sun hours.

9. Should I see a doctor if my facial redness doesn’t improve?

If your facial redness worsens, is accompanied by severe pain, blisters, or signs of infection, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and treatment.

10. Can I still go outside while dealing with facial redness from sunburn?

It is best to avoid prolonged sun exposure while your skin is still healing. If you have to go outside, apply sunscreen, wear protective clothing, and seek shade whenever possible to prevent further damage to your skin.


In conclusion, there are several effective ways to deal with facial redness from sunburn. Firstly, taking immediate action is crucial, such as removing oneself from the sun and applying a cold compress to calm the skin. It is also important to keep the affected area hydrated through the use of moisturizers or aloe vera gel, which can help reduce inflammation and promote healing.

Additionally, protecting the skin from further damage is vital. This can be achieved by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, using a high SPF sunscreen, and avoiding sun exposure during peak hours. It is also recommended to drink plenty of water and consume foods rich in antioxidants to aid in the healing process.

Furthermore, if facial redness persists or worsens, it is advisable to seek medical attention. A healthcare professional may prescribe topical creams or medications to alleviate the symptoms and speed up healing. Overall, it is essential to be proactive in preventing sunburn and treating facial redness promptly to maintain healthy and glowing skin.