How To Heal A Severe Sunburn WITHOUT PEELING

Happy FRI-YAY!!!! We are going to take a little trip down memory lane – Sunday, I was reading my book and enjoying myself thoroughly by the pool when I was VICIOUSLY ATTACKED BY THE RAYS OF THE SUN and when I went inside, over the course of the next few hours, I began to notice that my skin was actually radiating heat. I had chills, I was heating up my clothes, my husband hugged me and HE flinched from the heat. I am not kidding you – it was probably one of THE WORST (if not THE WORST) sunburns I have ever had. Was I surprised at this turn of events? Nope. Not even a little. I often get burned the first time I go out into the sun in the summertime, even with sunscreen (and I DO WEAR SUNSCREEN MOM), it’s just that I am SO pale and I think I may actually be a vampire? Jury is still out. Ugh. Anyways. I became terrified that I would peel and lose the little color I hoped to keep from this burn so I went on a hunt to my local Sephora and LUSH stores to harass all of the employees into sharing their skincare secrets to getting rid of a sunburn – fast. And boy did they deliver. Let’s dive into how to heal a severe sunburn WITHOUT PEELING.

How To Heal A Severe Sunburn WITHOUT PEELING

How To Heal A Severe Sunburn WITHOUT PEELING

Now. Let’s just give a little disclaimer here. A SUNBURN IS NOT THE GOAL. LITERALLY EVER. Wear your dang sunscreen. SPF 1000 and reapply every .1 seconds if you have to. Becoming tan is not worth looking like a leather handbag or getting skin cancer. Getting sunburn, just once every 2 years, can triple your risk of melanoma skin cancer. Let that sink in. It’s never worth it. Wear your sunscreen. Ok. I’m done being your mom.

HOWEVER – sometimes. Sometimes we burn. Sometimes we forget sunscreen or we use too much tanning oil or we forget to reapply after taking a dip in the pool. We are only human after all. This post is geared towards those of you with accidental sunscreen looking to protect your skin as much as humanly possible AFTER your awful-terrible-no-good-very-bad day in the sun.

How To Heal A Severe Sunburn WITHOUT PEELING


First things first: I was reprimanded by literally every single employee. Sephora – let’s work on JUDGING LESS and helping more, k????? I just came here to correct all my mistakes and left feeling like a terrible human being. UGh. The first rule of thumb every single employee said was MOISTURE, MOISTURE, MOISTURE. Your skin is fried. It is dry. You most likely were hanging out in chlorine, too, which sucks every bit of moisture out of your skin. Basically think of yourself as a dehydrated apple. A little crispy but still good inside.

Clinique Moisture Surge – hydrating super concentrate. 

I used this on my face only because I got the smaller size. They were out of the full size or I would have bought that instead. SO. I used this as a moisturizing primer underneath my minimal makeup to cover the burn that was on my nose and cheek bones. I felt like it make a difference within 24 hours, honestly. My face is completely tan now – no sign of redness at all. A+.

Tatcha Water Cream – refreshing and anti-aging.

I really need all of the anti-aging I can get after crisping in the sun. Sephora was also out of this in the full size, so they sent me on my way with like 40 samples of this so that I could test it out. I only used this on my face at night because it did feel pretty greasy on my skin. It did NOT break me out, however, even though it was a little oilier than I like my products to be. Aside from that – it actually really soothed my face burn. 

Sephora Watermelon After-Sun Mask – quenching and tan-perfecting.

Oh geez. I wish I could say I didn’t buy every single one of these on the shelf. But I would be lying because..I did that. I bought every single one of these on the shelf. I wish I had a picture of me laying on the couch in a little silk robe (because everything else was scratching my skin uncomfortably), with four of these covering every inch of my burn. This is not technically a body mask, just FYI. BUT the employees said, considering how bad my burn was, I should just lay them on all over my body and hope for the best. FUN FACT: when I finally peeled these off my blistering skin – they were so hot they were melted into me and I had to peel off in weird layers. Oy Vey.

My thoughts: THIS STUFF IS SO GOOD. It was so cooling and refreshing. It really sucked the heat from my skin and replaced some much-needed moisture back into it. I used this only on the first night, though, because that’s why the employees today me to do. And I’m a rule follower.

How To Heal A Severe Sunburn WITHOUT PEELING

How To Heal A Severe Sunburn WITHOUT PEELING


The LUSH employees were much nicer than the Sephore employees in that they sympathized with me instead of tearing a girl down. They were so nice to talk to and all of them recommended the exact same things to me so I figured they were a safe bet:

Dream Cream Body Lotion Sample – the most gentle cream for troubled, sensitive skin.

I won’t lie. I’m not the world’s biggest fan of the smell, which is why I opted for a tiny little pot of this verses the huge pot. I used it mainly for my arms and saved my other products for the rest of my body. It was very cooling and wasn’t at all greasy. I actually really liked how soft my skin felt afterwards. I’m not sure that this actually helped my sunburn directly, but it did feel nice.

Breath of Fresh Air Toning Spray – soothing sea water spray.

Now. You may be saying. Taylor. Why the heck would I spray salt water on my skin when I have a sunburn? Doesn’t that mean it will dry my skin out more? I asked this question and every employee told me that there is absolutely NO alcohol or salt in this toner and it’s strictly the H2O. It is also full of amazingly beneficial ingredients like: aloe vera gel and rose absolute which work together to soothe, cool and hydrate and works wonders to calm redness (which is good for sunburns)! ALSO: S/O to the employee that gave me this pro tip – put the bottle in the fridge so that when you spray it on your skin, it’s totally cold. Your sunburn will literally never feel so refreshed. A+ advice. 

Charity Pot – philanthropic skin softener.

This stuff is amazing – and has pushed it’s way to the very top of my favorite products list when it comes to body lotion. Not only is it thick and moisturizing to the skin, but it smells so relaxing and delicious. I’m totally ok will smelling like this for the rest of my life. The ingredients include ylang ylang and rosewood oils in a hydrating cocoa butter base – with fresh aloe gel. So you get aloe vera, cocoa butter and rosewood to calm redness. I think this was the product that did the most good for my sunburn. My skin is visibly softer (which has never happened to me with a sunburn) and as of right now – 5 days later – I have no signs of peeling. I honestly think the moisturizing properties of this lotion helped to keep my skin soft, my tan develop and the peeling to stay away. I bought the largest size available because I knew that I would be putting this on my entire body and I didn’t want to have to go back into the store.

How To Heal A Severe Sunburn WITHOUT PEELING

How To Heal A Severe Sunburn WITHOUT PEELING


How To Heal A Severe Sunburn WITHOUT PEELING

I have been really pleasantly surprised how my skin has been healing over the last few days. Other than the fact that I’m a little bit itchy in the places where my burn was the worst, I feel great and my skin doesn’t even look burned anymore. I am endlessly thankful that places like Sephora and LUSH (I would have gone to ULTA, too, but they didn’t have one near me at the time) exist to help with skincare concerns and point people in the right direction.

How To Heal A Severe Sunburn WITHOUT PEELING

What is your tried-and-true sunburn relief method?! Let me know in the comments below!


About The Author

Taylor Mobley


  1. Tonya Tardiff | 15th Jun 18

    Omg I love this post! Every time I get sunburned I peel so badly. I’m totally bookmarking this for later! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Megan Elliott | 15th Jun 18

    Oooh these products are so perfect for summer!!

  3. Julia Comil | 15th Jun 18

    Love these tips!! On point for summer!!!

  4. Nailil | 15th Jun 18

    This is so interesting. I’m glad that I hardly ever get sunburnt. I’m keeping your tips handy either way.

    Xx, Nailil

  5. Kileen | 16th Jun 18

    Wow, this is such a great post babe and all of these sound like amazing products! Makes me want to try them even without a sunburn!

    cute & little

  6. adriana | 16th Jun 18

    Love this!! I always end up getting burnt even with SPF 1-2 times during the summer and it’s the worst! I just got that Sephora mask and I cannot wait to try it out!

  7. Emenike Emmanuel | 17th Jun 18

    You’ve got awesome tips here. We men hardly care about our skin as much as women do. I will recommend it to my female friends if I notice that any of them got a sunburn.

    Keep the good work here going.


  8. Stephanie | 17th Jun 18

    I had to giggle over the difference between your Sephora and LUSH experiences – as much as I love both stores, it’s true that Sephora employees can be a little brash sometimes. Glad you found some products that helped you out though! I just bought a Charity Pot for my fiancé because he works in a granite & marble warehouse and his hands are getting so rough. I know this will help him lots (and I may just need to steal it every now and again as well hehe)!

  9. Tara Fuller | 17th Jun 18

    what an interesting read. I’m sorry to hear you were so judged by Sephora, that shocks me! I do genuinely love these products on their own or combined!

  10. Suzanne | 18th Jun 18

    I always use aloe vera gel after getting sunburned. That watermelon mask sounds so refreshing!

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