Although we know we’re not supposed to get a sunburn, since it’s mostly avoidable with the proper use of sunscreen, things happen. Sometimes we forget to reapply or don’t use a strong enough SPF to fully block all of the sun’s damage, and we end up with a sunburn. People love to do DIY skin care, especially since the advent of TikTok, but doctors warn against putting just anything on skin. Dermatologists gave us a list of things from store-bought products to at-home solutions that you should never put on sunburn.
While icing a sunburn might seem like a an obvious and harmless solution, Fort Lauderdale, FL dermatologist Dr. Matthew Elias says it’s a big no. He warns that putting ice directly on the skin can further damage it. Instead of icing a sunburn, he recommends using “a cool compress to soothe the area.”
Harsh skin-care products
Miami dermatologist Dr. Deborah Longwill advises against putting any harsh skin-care products on sunburned skin. She specifically points to exfoliating scrubs, enzyme peels, retinoids, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and vitamin C.
“Using any of the aforementioned at-home treatments on a sunburn can be risky since the skin is already sensitive and inflamed,” warns Dr. Longwill. “Applying these treatments can further irritate and damage the skin, leading to increased redness, blistering, peeling and discomfort.”
Perfumes and scented products
Dr. Elias warns you to keep perfumes and scented products away from sunburn. He explains that the fragrance can “further irritate the skin and make you more sensitive to the sun.”