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What to put on a sunburned face?

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My daughter is 14 and has moderate acne. We can't seem to find a sunscreen that doesn't break her face out, and today she was out with friends and got sunburned. She isn't on any prescriptions right now (she did a few months of Minocycline but it was not helping), but she has been using the Clinique Acne Solutions kit which I know has Salicylic Acid and BP.

I want to get something she can put on her face to help heal the sunburn. Can anyone recommend something that will NOT cause a huge breakout? And can someone suggest a sunscreen that will not break her out so that this won't happen again? I have read through reviews here, but they mix moisturizer reviews with sunscreen reviews, and it's hard to sort through them. She wears mineral makeup with SPF 15, so the problem is when we go to the beach and it gets washed off.

This site has been so helpful to us as we try to get her clear. So glad we found it!

Thanks for any advice!

Edited by megsmom
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California Baby No Fragrance SPF 30+ Sunblock Lotion is really good in my opinion. You can find it in the baby aisle of stores, Target in particular. (This sunblock is not only meant for babies and infants, but sensitive adults as well. Non-comedogenic, too.) It is a bit costly, but will last a while, and worth the price. It is also one of the few easily accessible sunblocks that has an extremely low toxin rating. It won't go on smoothly, which is a shame, but mixing a couple of drops of jojoba oil or aloe vera gel will turn it into a lovely moisturizing sunblock. (Aloe vera helps with sunburns.)

Edited by youyesyou
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As per Paula Begoun:

Do You Known How to Treat a Sunburn?

Most of us know about sunburn. Spending even a short time in the sun can be all it takes to get a serious, painful burn. What’s more, sunburn continues to develop for 12 to 24 hours after the initial burn takes place. It goes without saying that it would be best if we all knew enough to take care of our skin and never get a sunburn, or tan for that matter, but that isn’t realistic. So knowing how to take care of sunburn is essential, both to keep from making the problem worse and to help skin heal.

Essentially, treating sunburn is the same as treating any other burn. Do not cover it with thick salves (butter is the worst, as are thick, creamy moisturizers). That will trap the heat and cause more damage. Get the skin in contact with cool compresses immediately (do not put ice directly on the skin – that’s too cold and will cause a different kind of burn on the skin). Then keep applying cool compresses on and off for several hours. Do not soak the skin with water; too much water in the skin can inhibit the skin’s healing response (Source: Contact Dermatitis, December 1999, pages 311-314). You may also want to apply a thin layer of pure, plain aloe gel or use the juice from the fresh plant. Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines such as Advil, Aleve, or aspirin can also help minimize sunburn and increase comfort. Please check with your doctor if you have any concerns about taking over-the-counter pain medicine.

100% aloe vera gel is available at most supermarkets, and you can get a high quality version at most health food and supplement stores (Vitamin Shoppe, GNC, Whole Foods, etc). As the the initial damage passes, you can help the skin heal correctly with a nourishing moisturizer like CeraVe, Gold Bond Ultimate Restoring Lotion, Olay Quench, etc. Antioxidants from non-irritating plant oils like olive oil or grapeseed oil can help with the healing process.


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Aloe vera gel always does the trick for me.

As for sunblock, I prefer the mineral ones. Peter Thomas Roth sells a mineral sunblock in a small portable tube that you could easily reapply after swimming. I think you should apply any sunblock after swimming anyway.

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I use Cetaphil SPF 50 Everyday sunscreen/moisturizer. Just another option. I use it on my cheekbones and nose everyday because I easily burn there. Good luck!

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