It isn't until you settle on your sun lounger, slather on some SPF and open up your new book that you can finally breathe that sweet sigh of holiday relief.

That is, until you fast forward a few hours later to wake up and find vacation's biggest enemy: sunburn. On your face.

A sunburnt face is incredibly painful and should be treated straight away.The first thing to do is to get out of the sun as soon as possible. 

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Dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting says, 'It's amazing how many people will continue to expose a red sunburnt face, waiting for skin to turn brown. Stay out of the sun!'

Once you're inside, cool your skin with cold water or a cold compress to soothe the sunburn. 

Additionally, avoid dehydration by drinking lots of water, as burns draw fluid from the skin's surface and the rest of your body. 

As your skin begins to cool, it's important to ensure that you're applying the correct ingredients to avoid further irritation. Dr Bunting says, 'Sunburnt skin will absorb skincare products more readily, as your barrier function is reduced.' This means that your skin is highly sensitive and more susceptible to reacting. Because of this, Dr Bunting recommends keeping your skincare as simple as possible and to avoid active ingredients, such as retinol and alpha hydroxyl acids.

'I'd also skip all exfoliants and perfumed skincare – the blander, the better,' she adds.

Instead, Dr Bunting suggests 'taking an oral anti-inflammatory.' Additionally, she says, 'Seek out a good moisturiser with anti-inflammatory ingredients like aloe vera – applied straight from the fridge, this will feel great.'


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