Summer is all about soaking up the sun, but for some of us that comes at a price: sunburn. There is nothing more irritating than the itchy, flaky feeling of a sunburn so we went to find the best cures for this. We spoke to the experts at Consumer Reports to find the cures that work, but more importantly, the ones that don't. Here's what they told us.
- Water and fruits: Staying hydrated and drinking extra water especially when in the sun. When it's hot outside, your body works harder to cool the skin so staying hydrated works. Also, eating fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants may help prevent cell damage caused by the sun.
- Painkillers: Anti-inflammatory pain medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin can help ease the pain and discomfort that you can feel a result of a sunburn.
- Hydrocortisone cream: If a sunburn is causing itchiness, an over-the counter cream can help.
- Lotion: Don't waste money on a special after-sun lotion. A light moisturizer or aloe vera can minimize peeling and flaking.
What doesn't work:
- After-Sun Sprays: Pain-relief sprays offer instant relief, but most contain benzocaine or another anesthetic that can make things worse for those who are allergic.
- Noxzema: Applying more than a thin layer of Noxzema to soothe a sunburn probably won't help. Even the manufacturer does not recommend the use of its product for sunburn relief because they haven't been tested for that purpose.
- Vitamin Creams and Oils: Don't waste money on pricey lotions and potions that contain antioxidants. It's better to incorporate them into your diet instead by getting the vitamins from food. Also, don't puncture Vitamin E capsules to spread the oil on a sunburn since it can inflame sore skin on those who are allergic and may not help anyway.