How to manage summer skin emergencies

Whether you’re sporting a streaky tan, full-body breakout or the sunburn from Hades, find out how to treat, conceal and prevent summer skin emergencies so you can look as cool as a cucumber.


Does your sunburn, spray tanning error or summer skin breakout have you hiding under hats and cover-ups? Here’s how to correct even the most obvious sun “oops” so you can enjoy attending that warm-weather wedding, cookout or party — or just head back out into the summer rays.

Heal a sunburn more quickly

When you’re lobster-red, “Ouch!” may be the only thought you have. While there’s no surefire way to reduce the redness other than giving it time, you can soothe your pain immediately.

“Sunburns need moisture,” says Cindy Barshop, owner and hair-removal guru of Completely Bare Spa. “The sun sucks out our skin’s essential moisture, creating a situation prone to dry, flaky, peeling skin. Keep moisturizers thick, creamy and chilled in the fridge for relief.”

And don’t neglect the power of aloe for cooling comfort and sunburn treatment. If you don’t have an aloe plant handy, soothe your skin irritation with JASON’s aloe and tea tree gels or the hydrating Pure Aloe Vera Gel from Aubrey Organics.

Correct a spray tanning mistake

You’re playing it safe, staying out of the sun. But rather than adopting the credo “pale is the new tan,” you decide you still want that bronzed look…and attempt to get it out of a bottle or can. Unfortunately, experimenting with a do-it-yourself tanning product can leave you looking streaky.

To conceal any unwanted orange or even-out areas where the spray tanning has obnoxiously settled, Barshop recommends a gradual tanning solution to help achieve that natural, flawless finish you were going for in the first place. Consider Australian Gold Instant Bronzer – it’s made with SPF and offers a continuous spray for easy application and even coverage.

Stop body breakouts

Summer weather can wreak havoc on your skin and turn your normally cooperative epidermis into an embarrassing breakout nightmare. “Using a skin pad with both salicylic acid (to treat and prevent oil production) and glycolic acid (to clear dead skin cells) will prevent spots from appearing and treat them if they’re already there,” says Barshop. She also recommends embracing the flowy bohemian trends to allow your skin to breathe.

Or try on Beautisol’s Need I Glow More – skin-type-specific self-tanners for the face that are formulated to enhance the condition of your complexion while giving you a healthy glow. The oily/problematic version improves acne and purifies the skin, while the dry/mature option helps retain moisture and offers anti-inflammatory properties.

Protect your skin

Whether you’re going for a fake bake, spray tan or choosing to let Mr. Sun do his magic, it’s crucial to slather on skin protection whenever you’re outdoors — which could help prevent the need for sunburn remedies.

CellCeuticals PhotoDefense Anti-PhotoAging Daily Skin Protector comes in SPF 55 and was created by plastic surgeon to the stars, Dr. Garth Fisher. What’s so great about it? This sunscreen contains vitamins and antioxidants to prevent signs of stress, something we all know can lead to visible wrinkles.

Don’t forget about protecting your lips in the summer sun. Kinerase Ultimate Volume Lip Conditioner will keep your precious pucker from getting burned thanks to its deeply hydrating anti-aging balm. Bonus: It even stimulates collagen production to plump up your warm-weather pout.

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