What to do if you get sunburnt

Just a few minutes in the sun without sunscreen is enough to damage your skin. But what causes sunburn, and how can you treat it? Here are our answers to some common sunburn questions, plus Clarins’ expert advice on how to treat your burnt skin.

Firstly, what causes sunburn?

Sunburn is caused by harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun, known as UVA and UVB. Without protective sun cream, UVB rays cause immediate (and sometimes painful) redness on the surface of your skin, while UVA rays penetrate deeper and can cause long-term damage such as wrinkles and premature ageing.

Does sunburn itch?

Yes, severe sunburn can sometimes cause your skin to itch. The prickly sensation usually begins between 24 and 78 hours after exposure and can last for a few days. It’s essential during this time to keep yourself as hydrated as possible, and liberally apply an after-sun moisturiser to soothe and cool your skin. Avoid the sun’s glare as much as possible, too.

Can sunburn scar?

Some severe cases (where the skin peels and blisters) may result in scarred skin tissue. After-sun products offer immediate relief for sun-damaged skin, but to encourage year-round hydration and repair, it’s important to moisturise regularly with a restorative lotion. Our advice? Treat yourself to a replenishing body moisturiser to ensure your body is kept silky-smooth. Then, an intensely hydrating face moisturiser from our Hydra-Essentiel range will keep your face expertly quenched, all year round.

How to treat sunburn

Clarins has a range of after- sun products which help combat the redness that often comes following exposure to the sun.

Our SOS Sunburn After Sun Mask, a deeply hydrating after-sun cream with Sunflower, Aloe Vera, and Shea Butter extracts, immediately comforts and soothes sunburnt skin on your face. Providing 48 hours of intense hydration, this nourishing after-sun lotion uses Mimosa Tenuiflora extract to protect your skin from free radicals. Its cream-gel texture is rich yet fast-absorbing, making it perfect for replenishing your skin after a day in the sunshine — whether you’ve been out on the slopes or relaxing in your garden.

For your body, our After Sun Shower Gel expertly washes away UV filters, pollution, salt, sand, and chlorine for a feeling of total freshness. Turning from a gel into a dense, creamy lather when applied to wet skin, this 3-in-1 body, hair, and face gel uses Aloe Vera extract to soften sunkissed skin while you shower. Neutralising smells such as chlorine with a sensual woody and floral fragrance, this revitalising shower will freshen you up from head to toe. Will freshen you up from head to toe, leaving you relaxed and ready for your evening plans.

Our comforting after-sun range is perfect for soothing light sunburn and minimising feelings of ‘hot’ skin following sun exposure. However, these products aren’t designed to treat badly burnt skin. If you feel your sunburn is serious, you should use a water-based emulsion that effectively treats superficial wounds and minor abrasions and consult a doctor.

What else helps sunburn?

As well as using after-sun products, it’s important to keep as hydrated as possible to allow your skin to regenerate, so try to drink around two litres of water per day. You should also avoid exposure to direct sunlight for a few days to give your skin time to recover.

The best remedy, however, is prevention. So regularly applying a high-performance sunscreen that’s suited to your skin type is the best way to avoid sunburn.

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