In The Years Following Your Burn
Time for some real talk: Just because your sunburn has healed doesn't mean you're in the clear. Sun damage sticks around long after the redness fades, so you're going to want to continue treatment in the longterm.
"While you can't undo previous sunburns, there are products you can use on the skin to help improve the overall texture, quality, and color of the skin," says dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD
. He recommends incorporating retinol
and antioxidant-rich products (like Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum
and SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic
) into your skin-care routine, to stimulate collagen production, lighten sunspots, and minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
But if you want to bring out the big guns, Dr. Zeichner says that resurfacing lasers like Fraxel
are extremely effective in improving the tone and texture of damaged skin — and they may even reduce your chances of developing skin cancers in the future.
"If you make a mistake and burn, own it and be a part of your solution," Dr. Grossman says. "Then learn from it, so you don't do it again." Sure, it could lead to wrinkles and age spots, but every sunburn you get also increases your risk of skin cancers. As Dr. Grossman reminds us, "It's a health issue, not a vanity issue."