Ask Style

Sun-burnt? Here's how to deal with it

Apply sun protection throughout the day, especially after swimming and perspiring.
Apply sun protection throughout the day, especially after swimming and perspiring.PHOTOS: FARM TO BEAUTY, IDS, ISTOCKPHOTO, NIVEA, PORCELAIN, SUPERGOOP!

Before you plan a beach holiday, arm yourself with tips on preventing and treating sunburn

What should I know about sun protection and treating sunburn?

One always risks getting sunburn in Singapore when too much time is spent outdoors.

Also, if you are planning a beach getaway, tips on preventing and treating sunburn will come in handy.

Dr Dominik Goddertz from German personal-care company Beiersdorf, whose brands include La Prairie and Nivea, says sunburnt skin is usually red, sore, warm to the touch and often itchy.

"The first thing to do is make sure you're out of the sun so the skin can't be damaged any further. Try to cool it down using a cold compress or a cool bath or shower to soothe it."

Here are some other tips:

Prevention is better than cure

Applying a good sun cream before you go out in the sun is a much better idea than relying on a good sunburn treatment.

Not only do sunscreens help prevent sunburn, but they also stop UV rays from causing premature skin ageing and reduce the risk of skin cancer.

Use sun protection even when it is cloudy

Many people think that they are not at risk of sunburn when the sky is cloudy or overcast. Unfortunately, that is not the case, as more than 90 per cent of the sun's rays can penetrate cloud, fog and mist.

Always reapply sun protection throughout the day - at least every two hours - particularly after swimming, towelling and perspiring.


Sunburnt skin will feel tender and dry, so apply a layer of after-sun product, such as a moisturising lotion, to further cool the area and replace lost moisture.

When to see a a doctor

You should see a doctor if you suffer from additional symptoms such as headache, confusion, weakness, fever and nausea.

If you observe blisters on the skin, the sun has burnt the skin heavily and you should see a doctor immediately.

Here are some products to try:

1. IDS Non-Tinted Sunscreen SPF50 PA+++, $69, from IDS Clinic and

This lightweight sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum UV protection, dries totally matt and can be used as a make-up base.

2. Soothe Aloe Recovery Gel, $128, from Porcelain outlets

The soothing gel is said to prevent further inflammation and replenish the skin's moisture.

3. Super Power Sunscreen Mousse Broad Spectrum SPF 50, $49 for 220ml and $28 for 100ml, from Supergoop!, available at Sephora outlets

The easily absorbed lotion contains natural extracts of citrus, basil and boise de rose, which provides a subtle scent.

4. A Cool Aloe Cooling Gel, $35, from Farm To Beauty, available at Strip at Raffles City Shopping Centre

The label says this calming formula helps to heal and purify the skin.

5. Nivea After Sun Moisturising Soothing Spray, $11.10, available at selected Watsons, Guardian, supermarkets and hypermarkets

This is a light spray formula with aloe vera, which the label says soothes and refreshes the skin.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2017, with the headline 'Slather on sunscreen'. Print Edition | Subscribe