After the Sun: Nurturing Your Skin Back to Health Post-Sunburn

31 Jan 2024 / Treatments
After the Sun: Nurturing Your Skin Back to Health Post-Sunburn

In the aftermath of a sun-soaked day, our skin often bears the brunt of the sun’s fiery embrace. Sunburn, a common consequence, leaves our skin vulnerable and in need of tender care. This blog delves into the world of post-sun recovery, exploring the nuances of sunburn severity and unveiling immediate relief measures.

As we discuss, we’ll unravel the essentials of hydration and the art of choosing the right skincare products. From the unsung hero, sunscreen, to rebuilding the skin barrier function, join us in understanding the path to nurturing your skin back to health after the sun’s warm caress.

Understanding sunburn severity

Sunburn severity extends beyond mere surface damage, with varying degrees that demand attention. Mild cases manifest as redness and tenderness, indicating harm to the outermost layer. As severity progresses, so does the impact on deeper skin layers.

Moderate sunburn introduces pain and swelling, extending beyond the surface and potentially causing discomfort for days. Severe sunburn, the zenith of this spectrum, may involve blistering, peeling, and even systemic symptoms such as nausea or fever. Understanding these gradations is pivotal in tailoring an effective recovery strategy.

Recognising the signs of sunburn severity goes beyond visible cues. Factors such as skin type, duration of sun exposure, and preventative measures play crucial roles. Individuals with fair skin or prolonged sun exposure are more susceptible to severe sunburn. Acknowledging these factors allows for a targeted approach to recovery, helping individuals gauge when self-care measures may suffice or when professional medical attention becomes imperative.

In grasping the nuances of sunburn severity, we empower ourselves with the knowledge needed to address the immediate aftermath of sun exposure accurately. This understanding lays the foundation for the nuanced care required to alleviate discomfort and expedite the healing process effectively.

Immediate relief measures

When the sun leaves our skin scorched, seeking immediate relief becomes a pressing priority. The first line of defence involves cooling the affected area, and a cold compress or cool bath can work wonders in alleviating the burning sensation. Aloe vera, a natural anti-inflammatory, emerges as a soothing balm, offering relief and promoting healing.

Hydration is paramount in the quest for immediate relief. Sunburn draws moisture from the skin, intensifying dryness. Drinking plenty of water not only combats dehydration but also aids the body in repairing damaged cells. Applying a gentle, hydrating moisturiser further helps replenish the skin’s moisture barrier.

Over-the-counter pain relievers, like ibuprofen, contribute to both pain management and inflammation reduction. However, it’s crucial to follow recommended dosage guidelines. Steering clear of harsh skincare products and opting for fragrance-free, gentle cleansers prevents further irritation.

Understanding the immediate relief measures is akin to crafting a soothing symphony for sun-damaged skin. By employing these accessible remedies, we can offer our skin the respite it craves and jumpstart the recovery process, turning the discomfort of sunburn into a journey toward healing.

Hydration essentials for healing

Hydration stands as the cornerstone for healing sun-damaged skin, an essential aspect often underestimated. Sunburn disrupts the skin’s natural moisture balance, leading to dryness and exacerbating discomfort. To counteract this, it’s crucial to hydrate both internally and externally.

Internally, increasing water intake becomes paramount. Staying well-hydrated aids the body in repairing damaged cells and expedites the overall healing process. Additionally, incorporating hydrating foods, such as water-rich fruits and vegetables, further enhances the body’s recovery mechanisms.

Externally, a HydraFacial® can become your go-to once you’ve spent a bit too much time in the sun. A HydraFacial® will cleanse, exfoliate, and extract, before saturating the skin’s surface with intense moisturisers and nourishing, personalised ingredients for a glow like no other. You can also add on other treatments, like a perk lip treatment to rehydrate your lips!

Sunscreen: your skin’s best friend

Sun protection’s role is to prevent sunburn and long-term skin damage. Sunscreen works as a protective barrier, shielding the skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can lead to sunburn, premature aging, and increased risk of skin cancer.

Consistency is key with sunscreen application, especially during prolonged sun exposure. Reapplying every two hours, or more frequently if swimming or sweating, maintains its effectiveness. Making sunscreen a daily habit, regardless of weather or season, fortifies the skin’s defences against the cumulative effects of sun exposure.

In the daily routine of skin care, sunscreen emerges as a stalwart defender, preserving the skin’s health and vitality. Embracing sunscreen as a non-negotiable shield cultivates a proactive approach to sun protection, nurturing the skin and preventing the need for post-sunburn remedies.

Victoria’s Moisturising SPF15 Protect Cream is a zinc-based daily moisturiser which provides protection against UVA and UVB rays. UBV rays are strongest in the summer and re responsible for sunburn, while UVA rays are constant throughout the year and contribute to premature ageing of the skin. This moisturiser can be used as a makeup primer and should be applied daily to protect your skin from any further damage.

Rebuilding skin barrier function

Rebuilding the skin barrier function is a crucial step in the journey toward post-sunburn recovery, focusing on restoring the skin’s natural defences. Sunburn disrupts this protective barrier, leaving the skin vulnerable to moisture loss and environmental stressors.

To fortify the skin’s defences, choosing skincare products rich in ceramides, fatty acids, and antioxidants becomes paramount. These ingredients aid in repairing and replenishing the damaged skin barrier, fostering resilience.

Gentle cleansing is essential in this rebuilding process, as harsh cleansers can exacerbate skin irritation. Opting for mild, fragrance-free cleansers preserves the delicate balance of the skin and supports its healing.

Incorporating moisturisers with ingredients like shea butter or hyaluronic acid helps lock in moisture, promoting the restoration of the skin barrier. By prioritising products that nurture and repair, we pave the way for the skin to regain its strength and vitality, ensuring a smoother and more resilient complexion after the challenges of sun exposure.

Reverse hyperpigmentation

Whether you’ve experienced some sunburns this summer, or you just had a season of lots of fun outdoor activities, you may notice some hyperpigmentation. Sun exposure can increase melanin production, which is brown pigment suns, which act as protection from the sun. If you’re noticing some more freckles or sun spots that you’d like to lighten or erase, consider hyperpigmentation treatments.

At Victoria’s, we have a range of hyperpigmentation treatments that will restore your even skin tone after a long summer in the sun. Pico Genesis and Pico Genesis FX are effective laser treatments that work deep in the skin to erase hyperpigmentation. Pico Genesis has minimal to no downtime, while Pico Genesis FX is a stronger treatment that achieves significant results, so there may be some scabbing.


In the aftermath of sun exposure, the journey to skin recovery is a deliberate and considered process. From understanding sunburn severity to embracing immediate relief measures, and nurturing the skin’s health with hydration and sunscreen, each step contributes to the holistic well-being of our body’s largest organ.

As we focus on rebuilding the skin barrier function, we recognise the importance of resilience and care. Sun-damaged skin has the remarkable ability to heal, given the right attention and nourishment. By prioritising these practices, we not only mend the visible effects of sunburn but also cultivate habits that fortify our skin against future challenges.

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