Sometimes no matter how careful you try to be, sunburns still happen. While we’ve already gone over plenty of ways to soothe sunburn on our bodies (including all the unexpected places you’re probably forgetting), we’d be remiss not to mention how to hide perhaps the most embarassing scenario of all: a lobster-red complexion.
To be honest, applying makeup to peeling, stinging skin is a tricky situation, which is why we asked makeup artist Kira Nasrat to break it down for us, below:
Step 1: Soothe the Burn
Skip the exfoliator (which will only make matters worse) and spritz Avène Thermal Spring Water ($13; drugstore.com) to gently wipe away unsightly peeling skin, Nasrat tells InStyle. “It will soothe any inflammation and redness. It’s also great to set makeup as well as freshen it up.”
Step 2: Repair the Damage
“You really should treat sunburn before trying to cover it up,” the pro adds. Aside from aloe vera, Nasrat recommends healing the affected area with a hydrating formula, such as African Botanics Marula Intense Skin Repair Balm ($55; violetgrey.com). “Its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties make it great for battling sunburns. Plus, it has repairing properties and encourages cell turnover," she says.
Step 3: Prevent It from Getting Worse
Once you're feeling brave enough to step out in the sun again, make sure you’re properly protected with a layer of sunscreen (preferably with a higher SPF). “For daily use I love the Avene Ultra-Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50 ($24; drugstore.com),” says Nasrat. “It has Avène Thermal Spring Water and it soothes the skin. Not to mention the lotion is sheer so the hypoallergenic formula is great for all skin types. It’s perfect for layering under makeup.”
Step 4: Cancel Out Redness
The best way to do this is by prepping with a color-correcting primer, says Nasrat. She swears by Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Makeup Color Base in green or yellow ($48 each; kohgendocosmetics.com) to instantly even out an inflamed complexion.
Other than that, she suggests wearing minimal makeup to avoid further irritating the skin. “If you really want some coverage in certain areas try the Kjaer Weis foundations ($68; kjaerweis.com). They are amazing and a little bit goes a long way,” she says. Her trick? “Start off by dabbing a small amount in the red areas and then blend outwards with your fingers. Or you can ditch the foundation and use a bronzer to mute any redness.” Just make sure the bronzer you choose doesn’t have a pink undertone (we like Make Up For Ever’s Pro Bronze Fusion, $26; sephora.com). “Apply it where the sun would touch your face, including the forehead, nose, chin, and apples of cheeks,” she suggests. “Your skin will look more like sun-kissed than sunburned.”