How to Reduce Facial Redness From Sunburn

In an ideal world, we'd never get sunburns, but sometimes long days filled with sweat and surf can easily foil our best efforts to keep sunscreen in place, particularly on the face. The sunburn that results is not only painful, but leaves your skin inflamed and red, due to dilated skin cells caused by UV rays. By keeping your skin cool, hydrating, and applying some simple techniques to reduce inflammation, you can help to reduce redness while easing some of the pain as well.

Young woman wearing a sunhat outside. (Image: Jack Hollingsworth/Blend Images/Getty Images)

Reduce Inflammation

Step 1

Reduce inflammation immediately by taking a painkiller, either aspirin or ibuprofen, as soon as you discover your sunburn. This will also help to reduce pain.

Step 2

On the first day of the burn, use a natural topical soothing agent like cold yogurt, which also contains healing probiotics, to help cool your skin and reduce inflammation even further. Apply the yogurt directly to your face, and leave on for 10 minutes before washing off.

Step 3

Apply chilled aloe vera to help soothe the skin in the days following the burn. Aloe vera helps to lower the temperature of the skin and promote healing, and will be even more soothing if it has been cooled in the refrigerator.

Step 4

Apply a light moisturizer to your face daily throughout the course of your sunburn to soothe the skin and hydrate it. This helps to promote fast repair, as well to eradicate irritating peeling skin.

Step 5

Drink lots of cold water daily, to both hydrate your body and keep your temperature down. This will serve to promote fast repair and reduce inflammation.

Prevent Irritation and Further Exposure

Step 1

Limit your sun exposure during your sunburn as your skin is sensitive and easily affected in this state.

Step 2

If you do go outside while your face is sunburned, protect your face with minimum SPF 15 sunscreen. Add a hat or visor for maximum protection.

Step 3

Treat your skin well. Avoid exfoliators or harsh skin-care products during the course of your sunburn to prevent further inflammation or irritation. When cleaning your face, use a gentle cleanser and pat with a soft washcloth.

Things You'll Need

  • Aspirin or Ibuprofen

  • Cold yogurt

  • Aloe vera gel

  • Moisturizer

  • Cold drinking water

  • Hat (optional)

  • Facial Sunscreen


If you are allergic to dairy products, try a cold compress soaked in an oatmeal and water solution, or even just a washcloth soaked in ice-cold water in place of yogurt.

While the remedies described are all-natural, if you feel you need a stronger anti-inflammatory treatment, look for a topical hydrocortisone cream at a drugstore and apply as directed.

Load comments

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.