How to Treat a Sunburn Before Your Wedding

We’ve all seen pictures of a beautiful bride in her gorgeous flowing gown with bright red tan lines accenting her shoulders and back. Whether a day at the lake turned you into a lobster or you went a little too crazy with the sunbathing at your destination wedding location, there’s ways to help cover and treat a sunburn for your big day. There’s no promise you won’t be left with some gnarly tan lines, but at least you won’t be a tomato in your wedding photos.

Moisturize and Calm Your Skin Immediately

Bright red skin doesn’t just look painful—it is! Alleviate the pain with proper skin care. If you just start to throw makeup at the redness, you’ll only leave the actual skin irritated and unsupported in the healing process.

Soothe your burned skin and begin to moisture as quickly as possible. Wash your face or body with a mild cream cleanser and cool water. Don’t reach for anything that contains alcohol. Not only will it burn, but it will dry out the skin even more. Aloe is a great place to start when applying treatment to your skin. Aloe often takes away a bit of the sting and will even help the inflammation go down, meaning you aren’t left as red.

Put a heavy moisturizer on the skin instead of regular lotion to hydrate it as much as possible. You will need to reapply this throughout the day because the skin is so thirsty that it’s just absorbing every bit of these products. Drink a lot of water as well. Anything you can do to hydrate your entire body will help heal your skin. You can also pop an aspirin or Tylenol to help with inflammation.

Make Use of Bronzer

It may sound crazy to apply a bronzer over red skin, but it could be the secret to the perfect color. Bronzers help you look darker without bringing out the red in your skin. The only problem with using bronzers is if you’re trying to be rid of tan lines on the shoulders and back next to your pristine white dress. Be very careful when applying the bronzer and always put a layer of moisturizer underneath so it sticks to the product instead of your dress. Keep a good balance and make sure the color isn’t too dark, overshadowing your entire face.

Make the Most of Primer, Foundation and Concealer

There is no magical way to fade a sunburn. It’s natural to want to just throw as much foundation as possible at your skin in hopes it will erase any redness, but this could actually make it look worse. It’s best to begin with a light application of primer. If you can find a primer that has a green or yellow tint, you’ve hit the jackpot because these colors help neutralize redness.

You want to make sure any products you use are cream-based instead of powder. Powders provide more of a matte look and will accentuate the dehydration your skin is feeling. While you’re at it, mix your moisturizer with foundation to hydrate your skin while working on your tint. If your sunburn is more of a spot job like “raccoon eyes” from wearing shades in the sun, concealer is your best friend. You can dab a bit on the darkest areas and blend with your foundation.

Play up Other Features

If your face is bright red, bring out the best in your eyes and lips—but don’t wear the candy apple red lipstick or fun pink eyeshadow. Neutral colors are best when you’re trying to downplay a sunburn on your face. Put on a few extra layers of mascara to stand out against a more natural eyeshadow. Highlight areas of the brow bones and lash lines so they sparkle, taking the attention away from your red cheeks and nose. Play with different colors to see what works best with your face. This isn’t your normal skin tone, so your everyday makeup colors can make your entire face look different. You don’t need to look like a different person just because you’re trying to cover up a sunburn.

Don’t Forget About Treatment After the Big Day

You want to prevent peeling as much as possible, but sometimes the skin is so sunburned that there’s just not enough lotion in the world to keep it from peeling. Other times, you have hope! Lotions with Vitamin E as well as ceramides work best to keep skin from flaking. You can put aloe on your skin throughout the day. Even though it feels a bit sticky, it does wonders for your skin. Always put moisturizer on your skin before applying makeup. Keep downing that water and try to stay away from alcohol as much as possible. You’re probably headed to your honeymoon filled with fun fruity drinks, so just be sure to drink water alongside the alcohol. Keep sunscreen on your skin at all times to prevent further damage.

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