You know the drill: Wear sunscreen even on days when it’s cloudy, reapply it every two hours and try staying out of the sun during peak hours on extremely hot days. But, let’s face it, even the most committed sunburn preventionist can’t escape the potential that one day it might happen. Additionally, that sunscreen that you depend on religiously to protect you from the sun’s harmful rays, might not be living up to its SPF promise.
“The idea behind a mineral or physical blocker is to provide a layer that protects by deflecting and scattering UV rays,” explains Dendy Engelman, MD, a dermatologist at Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery in New York. “However, if the product is not applied generously and in all places, then UV light can get between the molecules.”
When you first notice you’ve gotten burned, the best thing you can do for sunburn relief is to head indoors or seek shade. Unfortunately, you can’t magically get rid of a sunburn or reverse the damage to your skin, but you can take steps to relieve the redness, pain and swelling associated with sunburn. So we picked the brains of top dermatologists to learn the best ways to get some sunburn relief. Unless your sunburn is severe, in which case you should call your doc or 911 ASAP, head to your local drugstore for one of these quick-fix sunburn treatments that can soothe and even speed the recovery of your sunburn.
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This article originally appeared on TotalBeauty.com