How to Reduce Facial Redness From Sunburn

by Amy Davidson

Sunburns can be dangerous to the skin, but also embarrassing because they turn your face so red. If you have a facial sunburn, the redness and peeling that accompany it can make you want to bury your head in the sand. Sunburn treatment is essential to prevent additional skin damage and also to lessen redness faster, allowing you to put your best face forward.

Take ibuprofen, which is an anti-inflammatory. Read the medication guidelines for correct dosage information. Ibuprofen will help lessen any swelling that presents with redness from sunburn.

Wash your face with cool water and a gentle, mild cleanser. Avoid cleansers with exfoliants, alcohol and salicylic acid, which are abrasive and drying. Pat your skin dry gently with a clean cloth or towel. Do not use skin toner until your sunburn has healed.

Splash your face with whole milk for a minute. This helps soothe and hydrate skin. Rinse with cool water and pat skin dry.

Squeeze a dime-sized amount of aloe vera gel into your palm and use your middle and ring fingers to lightly dab it over burned areas. This treats inflammation and red skin, and soothes any irritation.

Use a daily moisturizer with SPF 30 and no scents or dyes. Mix in a pinch of liquid green-tinted concealer and spread a dime-sized amount over your face. The green tint will help counteract the redness.

Brush your face lightly and gently with loose powder that matches your skin tone to get even coverage and set your makeup. Reapply a light dusting throughout the day, as needed, for coverage.

Remove makeup every night with gentle cleanser, and follow up with aloe vera gel every time you wash. Apply moisturizer with SPF in the morning following aloe vera application.

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Items you will need

  • Ibuprofen
  • Mild facial cleanser
  • Whole milk
  • Pure aloe vera gel
  • Green-tinted liquid concealer
  • Mild facial moisturizer with SPF 30
  • Loose powder
  • Powder brush


  • Keep aloe vera gel in the refrigerator to provide even more cooling effect. The cooler temp will also reduce the swelling associated with burns.
  • Do not use any heat, such as hot water, on the sunburned area. Stay out of the sun while it heals.


  • Seek medical attention if your sunburn doesn’t begin to fade in two to three days of treating with aloe and mild washing. If you develop a fever, vomiting, intense pain or painful blisters that present with pus, see your doctor.

About the Author

Amy Davidson is a graduate from the University of Florida in Gainesville, with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She also writes for local papers around Gainesville doing articles on local events and news.

Photo Credits

  • Ralf Nau/Digital Vision/Getty Images